The UpNext is a single-purpose device that displays your next calendar appointment on an E Ink display. By design, it’s a simple device with a simple user interface designed to show just one piece of relevant information at a time. It doesn’t run games, play music or video, or… draw much power or let you get distracted while you use it.
Developer Brett van Zuiden made the first UpNext digital calendar out of a Raspberry Pi, a 4.2 inch E ink display, and a small case — and posted details to github explaining how to make everything work.
That includes software that lets the Raspberry Pi connect to Google Calendar over WiFi to access your schedule, find the next appointment, and then display it on the small E Ink calendar.
In the event that you have overlapping appointments, the software will try to prioritize events that are most relevant by looking at things like whether you’ve confirmed attendance to a meeting or whether it’s a recurring event (which may indicate lower priority).
UpNext can also display a second upcoming meeting in a small line below the first in the event that you’ve got two back-to-back meetings.
Van Zuiden says the most challenging aspect of the project was getting the E Ink display to refresh as smoothly as possible without looking like a jumbled mess for about 10 seconds at a time — which is what happens if you just treat it as if it were a normal LCD display.
The display used for this project is a 4.2 inch, 400 x 300 pixel tri-color display from WaveShare. And just about any WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi should be able to run the software. The case used in this build was just a small black box — with no screw holes, so van Zuiden just glued things in place and cut a hole in the front for the display.
You can read more about UpNext (and see more pictures), in a blog post about the project.
via Hacker News