Graduate student Bibin Parukoor Thomas is developing a focus-tracking device, dubbed the Ritual Cube (RiCu), which he hopes will help those finding themselves suddenly working from home maintain a healthy work-life balance.
"The RiCu is a white six-by-six centimetre cube that is connected via Bluetooth to a computer application I created using the design platform Invison," Thomas explains in an interview on the project with IEEE Spectrum. "The RiCu consists of a spatial orientation sensor that analyzes the cube’s position, a haptic sensor that senses the user’s touch, a Bluetooth module to communicate the cube’s position and status to the connected computer, and an Arduino microcontroller that acts as the system’s brain."
The idea behind the RiCu is that it assists with setting goals for both work and personal life, set at the start of each day in an application and tracked during their execution. Each goal is given a "ritual" in the form of a sticker attached to one side of the cube, activated by double-tapping and marked as complete by flipping the cube over. The time taken on each task is tracked, and shared with the user at the end of the day.
Thomas sees the RiCu as an alternative to more invasive tracking systems employed by companies to monitor remote workers, helping to preserve individual privacy and to help ensure "personal satisfaction [which can] yield more productivity for the organisation."
More information on the project is available in the IEEE Spectrum interview.