Smart Home Stuff

Very excited to see the first units heading out soon!
I’m curious to see what connectivity is offered, and how we might be able to integrate these with smart home systems like Home Assistant.
It’d be great to have the Oasis lighting aligning with other scenes in the house etc.
Look forward to learning more!

4 Likes

It’s a wifi device, and we’re definitely planning on implementing an API although it likely won’t be ready for the initial release. Home Assistant has been the most requested integration. I haven’t worked much with APIs on consumer products so I’m curious if there are any other integrations that we should explore.

I think there’s a lot of cool stuff that can be done with algorithmic track generation and an API. Tell time, display the daily weather, etc.

2 Likes

Imagine a sand clock that keeps erasing and writing the updated time.
That would be epic!
Look forward to the API when it arrives!

6 Likes

how would that work in this type of application. By the time it created the display in sand, the time will not be correct.

I’m imagining something like this, but sandier -
As long as you can draw the updated digit/hand in 30 seconds (ish) then you’ll keep up - with time to spare to draw the changing hour digit/hand.

No need to do the entire design every minute, just update what’s needed to change.

3 Likes

Thanks for elaborating. Still cannot wrap my head around how this can be implemented with this idea. What you may be able to do is have it draw the hour hand and make the ball itself be the minute marker? The real challenge you’ll face it have a design that will allow the ball to remove the hour hand and redraw the new hour hand within 30 seconds.

I don’t think we could do minute level accuracy, but 5 or 10 minute accuracy might be possible. The tricky part is continuously erasing the hour and minute hands in a way that works long-term.

1 Like

You two have me pondering this for real now… haha

I’m assuming that the 6 degree resolution needed to draw each minute wouldn’t be an issue here.

Starting from the centre, taking 60 seconds to reach the edge and then shift 6 degrees clockwise - you have the minute drawn and an approximation of seconds too.
Then the next 60 seconds returning to the centre for the next minute, and so on.
I reckon (admittedly without knowledge of the unit’s capabilities!) this should be doable, and be quite an elegant way to present time passing.

The hour hand would be more tricky, but if we shift it with that same 6 degree resolution then it needs to be redrawn only every 5 minutes.
Perhaps every 5th minute is drawn double speed, allowing time to redraw the hour?

Then establishing the clock markers around the edge presents some opportunities for customisation. A flattened spiral where lines intersect at each number around the clock face? A simple circle around the edge with ‘blips’ at the markers?

1 Like

Yeah, the 6 degree positioning resolution is easy, and we could definitely go from the center, to the outer edge, and back, in well under a minute. I still think the erase of the arm from the previous minute is the hard part.

I wonder if thinking of the minute hand as a sort of progress bar would work. What if on odd hours the progress bar filled up in one direction and on even hours it reversed and went the other direction? I don’t really see how this would work yet, but it’s fun to think about.

I’m not sure if an erase is needed -
You’re drawing the next minute only 6 degrees away, so the ‘bow wave’ of sand would likely cover most of the previous minute anyway.

Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking. You can remove pretty much all of the sand from an area, but it requires making very thin passes. I think the challenge would be redistributing the sand after one full rotation.

1 Like

Erasing minutes wouldn’t be necessary if the hour is shown outside (or inside) of the minute area. The clock would accumulate minute lines as the hour went on, and so the current minute would be the furthest clockwise line. If the current hour was shown outside of this area, you wouldn’t need to worry about it covering up the hour hand.
Once an hour it would clear the board from the inside out, and while it is spiraling outwards you’d still have an idea of the time because the hour that just finished would be the last thing to be erased. The same concept could actually be used for the hour hand as the minute hand starting at 12:00, so then the clock would only need cleared every 12 hours.
To return the ball to the center you could draw the hour, then a circle dividing the hour and minute regions, then draw minutes starting from the top of that dividing circle. Hopefully that makes sense to someone.

4 Likes

Interesting take on it. I like it

1 Like

It seems like a digital clock would be easier to implement…though the look of analog would be my preference, too.

2 Likes

thats a really cool idea! does the electronics/software design of the Mini lend itself to sending continuous images being sent/drawn?

2 Likes

Yeah, it has a playlist feature that lets you run designs continuously back to back. The harder part with a clock is getting it sync’d to the time correctly. It’s something that we should be able to make an API to support.

Zach, thanks for the reply. Yeh, seems like that could be done through an API and the usb port. Write some software (running on a raspberry pi, for instance) that sends a new design to the Mini every minute.

Jesse, the device would constantly list the wrong time!
Love the interesting idea though.

1 Like

I think with an API you would sync it to a time function, so it would be pretty good. Depending on how quickly the minute hand could move, you shouldn’t ever be off by more than a couple minutes. Still not totally sure how to implement this, but it’s definitely a good idea. A weather app is the other low-hanging fruit for automation.

2 Likes


Seems like a simple approach would be to just draw the hour as an inner ring, redrawing it’s progress only on the hour, and then just using the marble and it’s track to fill in the outer ring by constantly redrawing the minute hand (at first only 1/2 way, until the current hour position is reached, and then the full radius length for the remainder up to the 12 position.

1 Like