Events Clock is an experimental visualisation for your Google Calendar. It shows your upcoming events as coloured slices around a traditional clock face.
The visualisation shows where the hour hand on the clock will be when each event is in progress. The calendars shhown will match the your existing selection of visible Google Calendars. The colours are taken from the colour you have selected for each Google Calendar, with the exception of events in the past, which are shown in grey.
If there is any doubt as to where the 12 hour period begins and ends, a dotted line is shown. Clicking on the events will send you to the page on google.com/calendar for that event.
To add Events Clock as a gadget on your iGoogle page, click here.
The idea came from the desire to see at a glance what I was supposed to be doing over the course of the day. The original idea was for a mobile phone application. However, once I’d developed a Flash prototype, I discovered iGoogle Gadgets, and the two seemed an ideal fit. I adapted the visual design for the smaller area and it seemed to work well.
As an iGoogle gadget, you’ll see an instant pictorial representation of your day’s events whenever you navigate to your Google homepage.
Accessing Google Calendar data
Events Clock uses a method called AuthSub. This enables it to get access to your Google Calendar data, with no possibility of access to anything else from your Google account. When you click to grant access, a new browser window is opened pointing at a page on Google.com. Here you can allow access to Events Clock. If you have to enter any passwords you are informing Google.com. My site will never see this information. It can’t even see your user name, or email address. All it gets is a token from Google that allows it access to your calendar data. This token is stored, encrypted, as a cookie in your browser.
Note that the Google authorisation screen warns that Events Clock has not been configured for secure access. I have in fact developed secured access, but a possible bug in App Engine appears to be blocking the secure authorisation requests.
I used Google’s new cloud computing platform App Engine to host Events Clock. This is possible now that App Engine supports Java. This allows my app to benefit from the scalable, and of course free, hosting. The development went reasonably smoothly, although there were some teething problems with the Google Data access.
Events Clock is a concept application, so I’d be very interested to hear your feedback, or reports of technical issues. Please leave comments on here on this blog.