PagerDuty Blog

PajamaDuty: PagerDuty Alerts Right In Your PJs

arup_pjduty_FINAL_smallEvery month at PagerDuty, we try to one up one each other during our Hack Day. This month was no exception when a team of PagerDutians consisting of three of our engineers, Div Shekhar, Arup Chakrabarti, Evan Gilman and our designer, Joyce Croft, were striving to come up with a better way to alert you while you’re sleeping. Their determination and oneupmanship spawned PajamaDuty. They have effectively future-proofed PagerDuty for the ever growing wearable computing industry.

This Hack Day project combined PagerDuty alerts with electronics and clothing, eliminating the need to have your phone on your nightstand or stashed under your pillow to know about incidents that occur in the middle of the night. Our team used a Bluetooth-capable microcontroller, combined it with other electronics and stitched it into a plain T-shirt.

When PagerDuty sends you an SMS alert, your phone talks to the board which then makes your T-shirt vibrate and light up. When the wearer wakes up, they can acknowledge the incident by tapping their shoulder 3 times. Requiring 3 taps ensures that an incidents is not acknowledged by an accidental tap, pressure from rolling over or a significant other vying for a cuddle.

To make your own pair of PagerDuty PJs here is what you will need:

  • IOIO for Android
  • 9V battery pack
  • LED
  • Electric motor
  • Conductive fabric & thread


All of the electronics were assembled, tested and soldered together before being stitched into pouches on the inside of the T-shirt. The acknowledge button on the shoulder was made using 2 pieces of conductive fabrics touched to close the circuit. The conductive thread was then used to connect the fabric to the electronics in place of wires to make it lighter and more flexible. Finally, the electric motor was housed in a plastic case and rigged to rattle the case to achieve sufficient vibration to wake up the wearer.

But, of course, plain T-shirts are boring and with the convergence of technology and fashion it’s important to think about how we’re going to look. That’s why we also prototype’s a pair of PagerDuty pajama bottoms to wear with your alert-response t-shirt.


Other notable Hack Day projects of December and January: Webhooks that automatically start a GoToMeeting created by our Product Manager, David Hayes, and an On-Call Dashboard created by our Support Lead, Ryan Hoskin.