Three Things that Raspberry Pi Puts on the Net

“Raspberry Pi” by Matt Wareham, used under CC BY 2.0

Few innovations have caused such a stir among the makers in recent years as Raspberry Pi. Since it was launched a large number of projects have taken shape, including in the Internet of Things. All about M2M presents three of them.

"While I was studying for my Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, I also worked for the university as the Director of Studies, organizing undergraduate studies. Every year we got fewer people applying to study computer science, and every year the sorts of things incoming students knew how to do got less impressive." That is how Eben Upton described his motivation to construct Raspberry Pi in a Wired interview.

 

In 2006 today’s Executive Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation began to develop the single-board computer with his colleagues. Six years later they launched the first model on the market. More than five million have been sold so far. They can be connected in the normal way with a display and a keyboard and used as a computer, as a media center, or to realize ideas for the Internet of Things. All about M2M has taken a look around the scene and here presents several exciting projects:

 

The Smart Doorbell

 

Classic doorbells have a serious drawback. Residents must always be within hearing distance. If, say, they are in the garden or turn up the volume of their music, the visitor will have to wait. For people with impaired hearing or who are deaf the situation is even more difficult – and that is why Daniel Garden has connected his doorbell to his smartwatch. Here is how he outlines the project on Twitter:

Project doorbell complete. + @adafruit PiPlate + @cammakespace lasercutter + + PC speakers = :-D

 

 

If somebody rings the doorbell Raspberry Pi automatically sends a message to a terminal device. Garden used his Pebble smartwatch, which draws attention to itself by vibrating and emitting a message sound and indicates on the display that somebody has rung the doorbell. This is how it looks in practice.

 

If you now feel interested in connecting your doorbell by means of Raspberry Pi, take a look at the instructions on Garden’s blog.

 

The Magic Mirror

 

What most people see when they look in the mirror is their own mirror image, but the Dutch hobbyist Michael Teeuw sees more. His connected mirror shows the latest weather forecast, the day’s news headlines, and his upcoming dates.

 

 

To convert the mirror into a connected display Teeuw removed a flat screen from its frame and mounted it behind a “spy mirror,” a one-way mirror that lets light through in one direction only. Teeuw has published a detailed description of the design process in his blog. A slight challenge that he faced was to find a monitor that did not have its connections on the back. He needed one to keep the distance from the wall to a minimum.

 

 

Teeuw connected Raspberry Pi to the monitor by HDMI and a USB WiFi adapter provides the connection with the Internet. The single-board computer boots Raspbian automatically (Raspbian is a Linux-based operating system based on Debian Linux), and once it starts it automatically shows a browser in full-screen mode. The target website is stored on an Apache Web server that also runs under Raspberry Pi. The website retrieves the data requested via various APIs and arranges them in an attractively designed interface.

 

Internet of Toilets

 

It may sound made, but the digital revolution has even made its mark on the bathroom. Visit instructables.com, for example, for instructions on how to connect your toilet to the Internet. A user by the name of e024576, for instance, documents automatically on a Google Drive spreadsheet significant events such as flushing the toilet or changing the toilet roll. Why does he want to know all of that in such detail? Because it can be done, he explains on instructables.com.

 

 

To record the toilet flush the user repurposed the filling-level sensor of an aquarium. A photocell in the holder registers the changing of a toilet roll. The two sensors’ signals are relayed wirelessly to a Raspberry Pi that uses the Python API gspread to enter the event data in a Google Drive spreadsheet. On this basis, for example, the consumption of water and toilet paper is easily calculated. Interested? Then listen to this 31C3 lecture by Tobias Preuss.

Tags: Internet of Things , open source , Raspberry Pi , Developers , Python , Linux

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