Simply place the timer with the face with the time interval you want uppermost, and let it be. In the allotted time, a sound, light or shake alerts you to the elapsed time.
For the ThingWeek hackathon, I implemented a version on the Electric Imp to take advantage of connecting it to a connected home, in this case a light bulb. So now, when the time expires, not only does the buzzer sound, but the desk lamp blinks, as well. Or any number of possible actions - for now, and for cool demo purposes, the light blinks...
Once the electronics stabilize a bit, they will all be enclosed and if we can solve the power and recharge puzzle, perhaps even hermetically sealed.
For the prototype we ended up with a hodgepodge of components and not enough time to redo earlier developments - like the Bean was great as it had the accelerometer onboard, and easy programming with the Arduino and the Bean loader. Meanwhile, I created a beautiful orb out of a 30 LED strip
But we did have code on a MSP430 Launchpad board in our kit bag that could drive it. So we ended up getting the Bean to signal when the timer was stable and which state it was in. We had some more ideas about what else we could signal between them, but there was this deadline, see, and , well, in the end we got what we had...
In the schematic I show a NeoPixel ring, but this was not used in the prototype.
A classy wood implementation - executive desk bound.
I now have the code for face orientation done, and am tweaking the sensitivities for the various states.
This audio only version needs a more powerful amplifier and interior speaker solution, and audio files to play. I have ideas, just not enough time to allocate to this project...
Next is coming up with a snap-together translucent enclosure, and coming up with an energy efficient light show.