Playing with the Invisible Calendar from Invisible Computers

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Style Pass
2024-02-11 22:00:06

Invisible Computers is a German start-up. They make an e-paper product, with a black and white, non-backlit screen, like a Kindle but with no interactivity. Instead, it displays a calendar or other information. I love e-paper and devices that are open to customisation, so I couldn’t resist getting one to try out.

The wooden frame and unlit screen do look genuinely homely; much better than a glowing LED panel. The build quality is nice with no rough edges or big gaps.

A mobile app must be used for configuration, and there are two options for getting information onto the screen. The most user-friendly option is providing credentials for a Google Calendar to be displayed. The second allows you to provide a URL which serves an 800 x 480 bitmap image.

My initial idea was to write and schedule a script to screenshot a couple of webpages and serve the resulting image. I had a spare Raspberry Pi to play with - so this seemed perfect. It’s been quite a while since I did a Pi project similar to this, and despite R being my default choice I had a vague memory that it took me a while to get running on the Pi last time, so I just went ahead with Python. I think it would have been no more effort to write in R: there is a Selenium library for R, and image libraries like magick and imager.

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