Magically low-cost Weasley watches

For those unfamiliar with Harry Potter’s extensive work of fiction, it introduces a few ideas that have really stuck in the collective consciousness. Besides having a few instances of time travel done right and introducing a fairly elaborate magical physics system, the one thing that seems to have made the biggest impact here is the Weasley family clock, which shows the locations of several characters. . We’ve seen these made in non-magical ways before, but this latest build looks to significantly reduce the price tag of one.

To do this, the build relies on several low-cost cloud computing solutions and smartphone apps to solve the location-finding problem. The app is called OwnTracks and is an open-source location tracker that can report data to any of several services. [Simon] MQTT sends data to a cloud-based solution called HiveMQCloud, but you can in principle send it anywhere. To handle the location tracking, he turned to some very inexpensive Arduino to control the stepper motor that points to the exact position on the clock face.

Although the build relies on a 3D printer for some of the inner workings of the watch, it keeps the cost down significantly compared to other options. Especially when compared to these Weasley family watches that were built on much larger timekeeping equipment, having an alternative to such a low-cost location-tracking watch face is certainly welcome.