App that says the time out loud every half hour
March 8, 2020 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Looking for an app that will audibly announce the time every half hour or so. It either needs to be an Android app that will work when the phone is locked, or it needs to be a Windows 10 app. Open to lower-tech solutions too.

Partner is ADHD and was already pretty time-blind. Partner has acquired a VR headset within which time no longer has any meaning. They want something that will audibly announce the time to them at regular intervals, preferably every half hour. They have a Google Pixel and Windows 10. Obviously, if it's through the phone, it should work even if the phone is locked--they don't want the screen on draining battery for hours. If it's through Windows 10, it would be helpful if it had adjustable volume, so that they can make sure it's neither too loud nor too quiet in comparison to their game sound. They'd also be open to some sort of gizmo that could sit on their desk. Does something like this exist?
posted by brook horse to Technology (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This kind of thing is pretty easy to whip up in PowerShell.
posted by flabdablet at 12:29 PM on March 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Does it verbally have to announce the current time each time, or just alert them that 30 minutes has passed? Would they want to turn it off like an alarm, or do they just want the reminder? Would they be able to reset it themselves for another 30 minutes or does that need to happen automatically?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:30 PM on March 8, 2020

Response by poster: Preferably announce the current time, just a reminder (hard to turn off an alarm while in VR), and doesn't need to be reset (for the same reason). However, an app that alerts them every 30 minutes would be better than nothing if the aforementioned doesn't exist.
posted by brook horse at 12:47 PM on March 8, 2020

Best answer: I've had this app! I think it was this one. If not I'll dig out the device which has it on and post back. I have it for ADHD too.
posted by lokta at 12:48 PM on March 8, 2020

Speaking clocks that verbally announce the time at intervals do exist. Amazon has tons of them; a search for 'speaking clock for blind' will make them come up. Most of them, however, say the time at hourly intervals.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:53 PM on March 8, 2020

Create a 24 hour long audio file with time announcements whenever you want, then put it on repeat playback. You can use something like Audacity (free) to do this. Will work on literally any device that has MP3 capabilities. (You'd have to skip ahead to the correct time when starting it the first day, of course.)

For your use case, you could just make one that's like 2-3 hours long that announces the elapsed time by the half hour then towards the end gets a little more fine grained and then "hey it's time to get up, re-engage, maybe pee, stretch your legs" etc. They start it when the headset goes on.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:08 PM on March 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Take this and modify it a bit: A fun little script to announce the time along with a random quote : PowerShell.

Then use the job scheduler to run it every 30 minutes.

I do something like this on Linux and use it as a speaking timer to remind me to get laundry or watch my TV show using a text-to-speech thingy and the `at` job scheduler. Somebody who knows Windows will have to figure out those details.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:51 PM on March 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You should be able to do this with Tasker on the Pixel. You could probably even "wire" up a home screen widget to enable/disable the periodic task.
posted by wierdo at 3:39 AM on March 9, 2020

Response by poster: Lokta's app does exactly what they wanted! They used it yesterday and they were able to get out of VR on time to go to the family dinner we had scheduled at 6. :) The only downside is it requires an extra step to start the speaking clock (instead of starting automatically when you open the app) but it's still very easy. If it does for some reason become an issue, we'll try wierdo's suggestion!
posted by brook horse at 10:41 AM on March 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

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