Build a FocusSpace

Do you ever have trouble focusing? Find it hard to stay on task? Suffer from a bad case of procrastination, or its close cousin, I-don’t-care-and-this-is-boring-astination? Well, never fear, gentle slacker readers, for we are here to help!




The FocusSpace is a relatively easy project that you can do to create a DIY focus aid.

The system is simple. A single, high-intensity LED strip placed at the top of your work communicates with a special pen (just a pen with a button embedded in it) through a microcontroller, and when it senses that you have not been “working” (using the pen) for a certain amount of time (mine is set to 10 seconds), it turns the LED strip on, bringing you back on task!




The whole rig costs about $100 (assuming that you have none of the programs or materials to begin with), and utilizes the chipKIT WF32 and LabVIEW, (it is cheaper if you purchase them together in the Physical Computing Kit) along with a few other common electronic components and an LED strip.

Originally, I was planning on rigging up the system to deliver a light yet encouraging shock to the user when the ten seconds has elapsed, but was forced to reconsider my idea by the resignation of my test subjects and a quick review of my local legislature.

However, even without moral ambiguity and electroshocks, the project still serves its purpose well with just the LED strip.

If you’re interested in this project and possibly building it yourself, please check out the full instructions on Instructables!



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About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

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