“An Android Things-powered clock that allows the user to actually READ the time!
What about a clock that speaks the user own language? Here it is!
The core concept of this clock is that during the day, only the letters needed to create the current time in words will be on, while the others will be off.
The first thing to do is to create a layout with all the letters and have it laser-cut of the right size to fit inside the picture frame and with every letter at the same distance between each others as the LEDs in the strip are.
Speaking about the LEDs, the project will both work with WS2801 and WS2812B strips. The only difference is that WS2801 LEDs will work directly with a Raspberry Pi (or other Android Things compatible board), while WS2812B LEDs will require a separate unit to control them (I used an Arduino Nano connected to the Android Things board via USB serial connection). The source code for the Android Things app in the repo will provide two variant, one for each LED format and the relative schematics.
We need to cut and re-assemble the LEDs strip so that it will form some sort of zig-zag pattern. That will be placed behind the letters layout, each LED responsible of lighting one single letter.
We need to be sure that the light from one LED will be directed towards a single letter, and not spread to adjacent ones. I solved this problem by drilling some holes in a piece of wood, one for each letter, wide enough to include the whole letter.”