With the advent of a highly digitized society, many of us spend our waking hours filtering information from numerous blinking, colored screens. From the smartphone that wakes you up, to the GPS in your car that tells you where to go, to the computer screen you turn on as soon as you arrive at work, most of us have busy lives and multiple ‘machines’ to maintain — and all the while, we are being bombarded with a variety of text and email messages.
We are a society obsessed with technology based around organization and efficiency, so doesn’t it make sense that you would possess one item to assist you with priorities in communications and assignments? Most of us don’t have the luxury of a personal assistant to go through our e-mail for us and prioritize, or just answer everything that needs to be addressed. The creators of E-mail Watch, based in Italy, are smart about technology and managing time, and they want to share it with the rest of us.
What a relief it can be to suppress all the dubla-dinks and pings and dings, and just check out altogether without the feeling that you need to be listening or checking in compulsively for that one email that may or may not arrive in the hour — or even the day. E-mail Watch requires only a quiet glance when you choose to look away from current activities.
With the small, 3D printed box lodged on your desk, four different hierarchies of color can be set up to blink, according to priority status of emails coming in to Gmail, which can be easily assorted due to level of importance. It’s recommended that you assign categories to your items like finances, personal, and work, and weed out items that might not need immediate attention like social media notifications or your everyday pesky spam.
Very serious information can arrive by e-mail, but with that also comes an onslaught of junk and miscellaneous notifications — very much like what we used to call ‘real mail,’ that comes from a human mail carrier, on foot, and goes in your physical mailbox outside your home. Now, there’s a quiet way to know when something important is coming down the pike that requires you either to drop everything and deal with it immediately, or just keep in mind what’s going on.
E-Mail Watch allows you to assess incoming information in a second. The top left indicator lets you know what priority email just came in, while the ‘special box’ lights up if something you most likely need to look at right away is waiting for your attention.
Categories are highlighted by blue, green, purple, cyan, and yellow. Red and blue are indicator lights specifying, respectively, errors and successful connections. Yellow also works as an indication of a temporary problem.
Made of a compact 3D printed box, the E-mail Watch is:
- MicroUSB powered
- Supported by Spark Core for electronics
- LED illuminated with four multicolors
- A stand-alone device
- Wi-Fi connected
Prototypes have already been successfully created, tested, and are currently running, with plans to make the device compatible with all e-mail servers. The company also plans to have notifications delivered even faster than 45 seconds within an email hitting your inbox.
E-Mail Watch is an open-source design, so the technologically savvy can improve up the design and/or programs running it. Some customizations to hardware are possible as well. As it stands initially, you have a number of options for running the E-Mail Watch. The first and easiest option is to use the program provided and allow your PC to communicate with the device. You can also though, at the suggestion of the creators of E-Mail Watch, sign up at Pythonanywhere and use that cloud-based platform to run the E-Mail Watch script, provided to you. You can of course use other cloud-based servers, or even your own webpage for notifications. More technical, and code, details can be viewed here.
With an Indiegogo campaign running right now, in hopes to raise €3,500 (just over $4K US), with rewards, based on the amount of pledge, that are all different versions, basic and advanced, of the E-Mail Watch. The fixed-fund campaign is scheduled to end on January 20th. This is a fun product to check out — not to mention a great gift idea if you are looking to light up the ‘special’ star for a certain someone on a daily basis. With a top pledge of €99, you receive the full 3D printed E-Mail Watch product with all the accessories, to include a 3D printed color cover with your name on it.
Do you think a product like E-Mail Watch would help you be more efficient on a daily basis? Does an open-source design like this interest you? Tell us about it in the 3D Printed ‘E-mail Watch’ forum over at 3DPB.com.