What a cute project! Being able to see what’s now playing on an Amazon listening device that has a screen is one of the very few uses of said listening device’s screen in my household… her version seems particularly nice because it’s got embellishment with personality.

I wonder what similar projects might be fun. Remote controlled flameless candles that light when a group chat is active…


I’ve always loved e-ink displays. No real reason why, they just seem so fun to play around with, like this kind of project. I’ve always wanted to have an e-ink display in my house that shows where I am at in a list of specific locations at any particular moment, like the Weasley’s clock. Seems like a privacy nightmare, though.


Why? you could build it yourself


That’s the hint I needed!
I’m designing a little battery-powered screen to hang out of my door for my parents to see, since I had a few run-in during lessons.
I would use it to tell them when I’m occupied or not.

It’s a perfect excuse to put together an ESP-01, a battery, study the mqtt protocol and move my lazy ass from the chair once more (seriously, since this friggin thing started, I feel my back more and more chair-shaped).
Since it’s battery powered, I’ve been picking components to consume the least current. That and making the ESP run each tot minutes (10 minutes is probably a good compromise) to talk with the mqtt broker, should guarantee me a fair bit of duration.

The problem is (was, since I settled on e-ink displays) that no matter what I tried, both lcd displays and led matrices consume too much current (according to popular models datasheets) to run on battery for more than three days.
E-paper solves that. If I get a waveshare one, the standby consumption is perfect.

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