MultiPass Weather Display

MultiPass Display

Raspberry Pi Zero with InkyWhat display built to resemble a MultiPass from 5th Element.

No problem to solve with this one. Not even a real goal in mind. I had an Inky wHAT display sitting around and I think I had just watched 5th Element. I saw the display and thought that it was the perfect size for a MultiPass. I didn't need a MultiPass. I don't even really know what I would possibly do with a fictitious high tech ID card. But I wanted to make one regardless.

The Inky is meant to work with a Raspberry Pi. I attached a Pi Zero to it and began to design the case around it. The bulk of the case is made of three layers, top face which covers the borders of the screen, a middle layer which contains the mount points for the display, and the back layer which provides the main cavity and mounting for LEDs and power input.

Exploded view render

I had wanted to make the round yellow part a functional button, but I didn't have anything on hand that would work well. I also didn't really know what to make it do. I opted to just put an LED behind it along with one in the yellow bar on the side. The side bar is simply a power light that is on when the device is plugged in. The button light is tied to a GPIO pin which I'm blinking whenever new data is on the screen.

Of course the first thing I put on the display was LeeLoo's ID card. Neat!, but not very functional. I decided to turn this into a weather display that would sit on the shelf in my office. I wrote a Python script that would grab the current weather and render out a new screen. A cron job just refreshes every 20 minutes or so.

Even though I had no actual use for this thing, I wanted to design it as if it could be a functional ID card of some sort. Because the e-ink display retains the last image when power is removed I decided to not include a battery. Instead I built in a magnetic power port that would make it easy to connect/disconnect just by placing it on the dock. The thought was that while docked it could be online and be 'programmed' with current information, and then you could grab it and use it with the programmed ID. It was a fun enough idea to motivate me to finish the project.