Building A Mask To Induce Lucid Dreaming

While dreams are generally thought of as the unconscious wanderings of the mind, that’s not the full story. Lucid dreams are ones in which the individual is conscious or semi-conscious in the dream state, and may be able to control the dream environment. Over the years, various devices have been used to generate these dream states more reliably. [Ben] decided to have a go at building his own, inspired by designs from the 1990s.

To induce lucid dreaming, the aim is to first detect that the mask wearer is in REM sleep. This is commonly done with an infrared eye tracker, which detects the rapid twitching of the eye. [Ben] used the onboard IR proximity sensor on the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express to pull this off. The accelerometer hardware was then used to detect if the wearer was still, indicating they are indeed fully asleep. Once the user is in the correct state, the mask then flashes LEDs which are intended to be visible to the wearer while dreaming. This allows them to realise they are dreaming, and thus enter a conscious, lucid state.

[Ben] doesn’t report the success rate at using the mask, but we’d love to know more about how well the mask works. We’ve seen others do similar work before, and even a recent Hackaday Prize entry. Video after the break.

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The Trouble With Tamagotchis…

The must-have toy of a couple of decades ago was the Tamagotchi, a virtual pet in an LCD screen on a keyring, that demanded your attention and which would die were you to neglect it. Fortunately it had a reset button on the back through which it could be resuscitated, but even so it lacked a satisfying tactile experience. [Nadine] has done something about this with her Tamagotchi-style Tribble, an anthropomorphic ball of fluff that demands attention and purrs when it receives some.

Inside the ball of fake fur is an Adafruit Circuit Playground with a capacitive touch pad and a haptic motor. After a random time with no attention it “cries”, and its owner strokes it, after which it responds with a purring vibration. It’s quite cute as you can  see in the Twitter video below, and fortunately it won’t multiply and fill up your starship. We wonder whether a small resistive heater to give it a body temperature would complete its appeal as a virtual pet.

Given the popularity of Star Trek TOS among Hackaday readers perhaps it’s surprising that we don’t see more Tribble related projects. They have made a notable appearance as a DEF CON badge though.

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Touch Face, Lights Chase, Sirens Race

Let’s face it — people are gonna touch their faces. Sometimes faces itch, especially during allergy season. But the first step toward quitting something like that is to become cognizant of just how often you do it.

With a bracelet like this one from [Mauricio Martins], your face-touching frequency will quickly become apparent. Strap it to your favorite face-scratching arm and go about your day. The code constantly polls the accelerometer to see if your hand is in the vicinity of your visage. If so, red lights circle around and an emergency vehicle-type siren goes off to let everyone around you know you’ve sinned.

This no-touch-face bracelet is awesome because it’s simple and it works. It uses a Circuit Playground Express programmed in Make code, but it would be easy to port it to Arduino or CircuitPython. If you want to make something more elegant, we’re all for it, but you could be using this in the meantime to help condition yourself away from the habit. Check out the demo after the break.

Sometimes you gotta take a step back and make something that just works without getting all fancy. Did you hear the one about the astrophysicist who got magnets stuck up his nose trying to solve this very problem?

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A Touchless Handwashing Timer Comes In Handy

In 2020, it’s no longer enough to simply wash your hands. You’ve got to do it right. Proper process involves rubbing soap and water over every surface of your hands, and taking a full 20 seconds to do the job. While many recommend singing various popular songs to keep time, that can be more than a little embarassing in shared spaces. [Alex Glow] instead created this simple timer to help out.

The timer is built on the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express, a devboard that features 10 RGB LEDs already onboard, making the project a cinch. It also comes with a MEMS microphone and a light sensor all ready to go. Thus, with a bit of code, [Alex] was able to create a timer activated by a loud noise, such as clapping. Once detected, the timer starts, flashing its LEDs to indicate time remaining. There’s also a nightlight feature, which activates when light levels decrease, making it easier to navigate the bathroom in the dark.

It’s a useful little project for these troubled times, and one that makes great use of everything onboard the Circuit Playground Express. Having everything included certainly does make projects come together quickly. You can even program it from your phone! Video after the break.

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A Digital Pitch Pipe Gets You In Tune

Some humans are blessed with perfect pitch, an ability that comes in handy when pursuing the musical arts. For many others though, a little help is often appreciated. A pitch pipe is a handy way to find the starting note of a performance, and [Isaac] decided to build his own in the digital realm.

The project is based on the Adafruit Circuit Playground express, which packs in all the peripherals needed right on board. The buttons are used to select the pitch required, with the LEDs used to display the selected note. Blue means flat, green means natural, and red means sharp. A 3D printed outer ring is clipped on to the board to denote the pitches for the user. To play the note, the user simply blows on the pitch pipe. The onboard MEMS microphone detects this and plays the note on the onboard speaker.

It’s a tidy little project that is a great way to get one’s feet wet with embedded programming and working with audio. We’ve seen the Circuit Express pop up before too, such as in this pizza-box DJ mixer. Video after the break.
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Code On Your Phone With CircuitPython Editor

[foamyguy] loves Python and messing around with electronics. Boards such as Adafruit’s Circuit Playground Express make it easy for him to take both anywhere. He recently found himself wanting to program Circuit Python boards in the field, but doesn’t always have a laptop on him. So he created an Android app to make on-the-go programming fast and easy.

Using CircuitPython Editor and one or two USB cables, you can program Circuit Python boards with most Android device, including Tinkerboards. It features serial communication, a basic code editor, and a REPL sandbox for code-based castle building. [foamyguy]’s most recent addition to this work in progress is a macro creation tool that lets you edit and store modular, repeatable tasks, like turning all the NeoPixels blue, or lighting them up in a smiley face pattern. The Circuit Python board will draw its power from the Android device, so keep that in mind before you program some crazy light show.

You can get the app in the Play store or download it directly from the ‘hub. If you have any trouble setting it up, check out [foamyguy]’s Adafruit guide.