Looking to add a touch of whimsy to your halls? This Muggle-made Whereabouts Clock would make Arthur Weasley proud.
Worry not, muggle, this DIY project lets you use the magic of technology to track your loved ones just like the Weasley’s Whereabouts Clock first seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. You’ll need an old clock, a few pieces of hardware, and a Twitter account for each person. Twitter? That’s right. The clock (pictured below), uses a seeeduino microcontroller board and a wireless router to monitor the Twitter feed. If a location on the face of the clock is mentioned in the Twitter feed, the corresponding clock arm lines up, or the hands rest at “read me”.
The creator, a father of two known only as Brad, describes how it works:
“The clock uses a wireless connection to retrieve four Twitter feeds, parse them, and decide where to set the hand. It then passes the information to an arduino board which drives four motors to turn the hands”
While the clock is one of a kind and not for sale, Brad has hinted that he might sell kits to make your own version at home.
A group of students at the University of Munich weren’t waiting for kits to come out when they used similar technology to build their own. Their version used its own server in place of Twitter and can be set to track the GPS location of those on the clock.
For directions on how to make your very own Weasley Whereabouts Clock, you may be on your own. While the clocks above are totally wizard, the muggles who made them haven’t left the directions laying around. John McKerrell of Blog What I Made made a clock of his own using similar wireless technology and Google maps, though it is slightly less aesthetically pleasing. His detailed tutorial is available at the link above.
With the easy to use arduino wireless hardware and a little imagination you’ll know just where your family is and whether or not they are up to no good. A great addition to any wizarding home this gift giving time of year, for Gryffindor and Slytherine alike.