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Hacked Space Invaders Alarm Clock Now Serves Up Mail Notifications

Although this alarm-clock-to-email-notifier could have been packaged in any sort of shell, the Space Invaders angle really sells the whole project.

Grant Gibson saw the alarm clock, seen in the video above, sitting in the clearance bin at a local store. He snatched it up for about $5, despite not needing an alarm clock, and promptly set to work finding a way to repurpose it. He explains:

In the end I decided to turn it into an ambient device, connected to the internet and capable of alerting me when things happen. Right now I’ve got it firing up with a new message arrives in my Gmail inbox, but really it could do anything – flag up Twitter replies, indicate the chance of rain or even, paired with one of my previous projects, act as an additional ringer for the doorbell.  I’ve added a row of LEDs (three red, three yellow) to give it some more feedback options.

Every time I get a new email the clock moves from side to side and does the classic Space Invaders sound, then lights one of the LEDs to give me an idea of how many unread messages there are.  There’s loads more that could be done with it, but I was happy just turning it into something more useful without destroying it in the process.

Hit up the link below for his schematics and project code.

Space Invaders Email Notifier [via Make]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/8/12

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