Nobody likes a meeting that drags on forever. But how to keep people on topic and the meeting moving along? Circuit Playground to the rescue!
This simple device allows you to increase the efficiency of meetings by putting a countdown timer in the hands of the speaker.
This talking stick gives warnings of increasing urgency as the speaker's time runs down, and an alarm goes off when they've run over their allotted speaking time.
A 60 second countdown starts when user presses the A button. At 30 seconds it beeps and the onboard NeoPixels illuminate yellow. At 15 seconds it turns orange and beeps again, and at 5 seconds beeps again and goes red. The countdown can be paused by flipping slide switch to the left, and can be restarted by flipping switch back to the right and pressing the A button again. When the countdown hits 0 it beeps and flashes continually until it's tossed to the next speaker (basically shaken), at which point the countdown automatically restarts.
This project is an extension of the "talking stick" concept, except this talking stick provides active feedback, limiting the amount of time the holder has to make their point and ensuring everyone equal opportunity to speak (other examples of this concept also exist elsewhere on the internet).
You may want to enclose your Circuit Playground Express somehow and make it easy to toss around. These two enclosures are both good options. The enclosure has a screw mount which works with the adapter for making a handle.
In addition to the Circuit Playground Express, you will need some way to power it so you can use it without being attached to a computer. Choose an option that works best for you.
If you choose to use a LiPo battery, be sure you have a way to charge it.