Track the number of hours you spend at your computer.

Similar projects worth following
WhenVirtual detects, logs, and displays the number of hours you have spent at your computer.

It can be challenging to stay energized and motivated while working from home or remotely. There are no spontaneous conversations with coworkers who were just walking by, no easy ways to celebrate with the team after a big success, and rarely any opportunities to unexpectedly learn something new without making a conscious effort to do so. When you work from home or remotely it is all up to you to plan the right flow of activities to keep you happy and productive.

Knowing how long you are spending at the computer every day and realizing when you should take a quick break to refresh is incredibly valuable information towards developing a healthy work from home environment. WhenVirtual displays the number of hours you have spent at your computer so you can better understand and improve your work from home experience. 

The WhenVirtual device was developed to explore questions like:

  1. How long have you been at the computer today without stepping away for a least six minutes?
  2. What was the longest continuous period of time you spent at your computer desk in the last twelve hours?
  3. How long have you been at the computer in the last twenty four hours?
  4. For work or otherwise, do you spend over sixty hours at your computer in a week?

If you have access to a 3D printer, you can build your own WhenVirtual for less than $30.


3D model of WhenVirtual cover for 3D printing. 0.2mm layer height, 0.6mm wall thickness, 30% infill

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 468.40 kB - 07/13/2021 at 04:37



3D model of WhenVirtual case for 3D printing. 0.2mm layer height, 0.6mm wall thickness, 30% infill

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 345.63 kB - 07/13/2021 at 04:37


  • 1 × Waveshare 2.9in e-paper display module, 296x128 pixels, black and white
  • 1 × Arduino Nano
  • 1 × HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor
  • 1 × WhenVirtual 3D printed case
  • 1 × WhenVirtual 3D printed cover

View all 8 components

  • Working Great, New Detection Indicator Proposed

    John Opsahl07/24/2021 at 15:26 0 comments

    I have been using the WhenVirtual device for the last ten days with great results. It has been a useful tool to track my goals of no more than 3 hours a the computer without a quick break and no more than 10 hours in the last 24 hours. 

    Presence detection using the ultrasonic distance measurement feature has been more reliable than I would have expected. The slight upward angle of the device ensures that most items on your desk are not in the detection range of the device. Though, if you put a coffee cup in front of it will make a false detection. I have just been using this as another good reason to keep the top of my desk a little cleaner. Most surprisingly, it does not falsely detect the back support of my desk chair when I push it up to my desk at the end of the day. 

    I am currently considering a small improvement to the detection method to help the user prevent false detection of objects on the desk. The current detection threshold is a distance less than 100cm. When an object is detected, a black dot is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen to communicate to the user that detection has occurred. I am thinking about adding a different display indicator for objects that are detected closer than 50cm. Anything less than 50cm is likely some object on the desk that is obstructing the line of sight between the ultrasonic sensor and the user. The plan then would be to display a triangle in the upper left corner of the device to indicate that a false detection is occurring.

View project log

Enjoy this project?



Ahron Wayne wrote 07/15/2021 at 02:45 point

One of those things that would be a cool product! you could also do something like with a pressure sensor under your chair, maybe. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 07/12/2021 at 23:27 point

Oh, I really don't think I want to know the answer to this question...

But I do appreciate the cool build.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates