In the Harry Potter universe, the Weasley family has a magic clock with hands for each member of the family, pointing to where they are at any given time - including the ominous "mortal peril."
An enterprising university student recently created a real-life working version for his own family.
Duke University student Trey Bagley, class of 2017, made the device from a broken clock he got at an antique store, he explained on the image-sharing community site Imgur. He drew out the vector patterns and worked with a friend who knows Illustrator to etch the wooden clock surface.
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Inside the body he put an Internet of Things development hardware kit called Particle Proton, connected it to an addressable LED strip, and used the task automator If This Then That to set location-based rules for each family member.
The clock "hands" representing Bagley and his five family members have initials on them, and light up to show where each person is: home, work, holiday, on the way, forest and mortal peril.
"Work" lights up for Bagley if he goes to the university library, and "Home" when he's at the dorm. Other rules were more creative. If the forecast calls for snow, the clock sets him to "Holiday." Mortal peril happens "if the stock of the company I'll be working for next year drops too low," Bagley, whose handle is tbornottb3 on Imgur, wrote online.
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It bothered me that bloggers weren't identifying the person who made such a cool device, though. Credit was clearly due. The back of the clock had a Duke University Innovation Co-Lab sticker on it so I went to their website, and the creativity incubator was already giving Bagley shout-outs on social media.
Unlike the fictional Weasleys, the Bagley family doesn't have to worry about Voldemort –although with all the crazy East Coast weather this year, "Holiday" might be a strong possibility. Given how clever this kid is, I doubt he'll be worrying about peril over his job any time soon.