Gratitude is the key to happiness. Though this may be age-old wisdom, it has lately been in the news everywhere from Brainpickings to The New York Times. But incorporating a gratitude practice part of your daily routine is easier said than done. A firm believer in cultivating gratitude, designer Gahee Kang has created a smart lamp to support this habit. “Good Night Lamp” will only turn off once you’ve completed an entry in your gratitude journal, thereby encouraging you to end your day by reflecting and writing a note of appreciation before going to sleep.
A motion sensor activates the Good Night lamp as the user gets ready for bed, and the light remains on until a journal entry is submitted via smartphone. Once submitted, the lamp turns off, and the user can place the phone on the base of the lamp where it will wirelessly charge overnight.
An effective way to establish a new habit is to build it in to an existing routine. “Nearly three-quarters of Americans finish their day using a smartphone in bed,” says Kang, “and the last thing they do before closing their eyes is plug it in to charge overnight.” Acknowledging this close connection with our phones, Kang saw an opportunity to use a little code to enforce a daily practice of gratitude.
The nighttime routine begins as a user approaches the lamp. Programmed with Arduino, a motion sensor activates the light as the user gets ready for bed. The light remains on until a journal entry is submitted via smartphone. Once submitted, the lamp turns off and the user can place the phone on the base of the lamp where it will wirelessly charge overnight.
Good Night Lamp adds functionality to the traditional bedside lamp while echoing its familiar form. Kang’s working prototype is made of one carefully molded sheet of vinyl, with a circular metallic inlay in its base to allow the charging function. The PIR motion sensor, WiFi micro-controller and Qi transmitter are housed inconspicuously behind the lamp’s stand.
Kang looks forward to refining the lamp and sees potential for a whole line of products that could support positive habit-forming through a similar mechanism. Says Kang, “It was really exciting to see how simple it was to connect an object to the Internet—the possibilities are endless!”