Spice up your life – 6 exciting applications for Raspberry Pi in your home

The Raspberry Pi is a wondrous little computer you can use to create a wide range of DIY electronics projects. Such is its versatility, the Pi could even help to ease various aspects of your day-to-day home life – from making food to watching TV.

Here are just a few neat little home devices you could make with a Raspberry Pi.

Media centre

When tucked behind your TV, this Pi-powered media centre can quietly get on with running multimedia files, allowing you to watch high-definition TV shows and films on the screen.

Once you have chosen suitable distribution software like Kodi, OSMC or LibreELEC, install the image for it onto an SD card, as opensource.com explains. This SD card can then go into the Pi itself so that you can boot up the software on this miniature computer.

CCTV camera

In setting up a camera module for your Pi, you could create a home security camera capable of capturing full HD photos and video footage. You could even give the camera an infrared LED that would let the lens capture intricate imagery in the dark.

With this DIY camera, you could simply keep an eye on your indoor pet or monitor one of your outdoor areas – in which case, your Pi could also need a waterproof enclosure.

Smart microwave

Fancy a Pot Noodle – or, well, any other microwavable food? You might not have realised that, with a Raspberry Pi, it’s actually possible to create a ‘smart’ microwave integrated with a touchpad and voice activation functionality.

You could even equip the microwave with a barcode scanner it would be able to use to look up the optimal length of cooking time for your particular food.

IoT litter box

If you have a cat, you could feel particularly inspired by this idea from Joe Karlsson, a developer advocate for MongoDB.

Joe enthuses to The Enterprisers Project: “This project will help track your feline friend’s health by measuring its weight every time it sets foot on the litter tray, and monitoring its urination patterns.”

He adds that the litter box “can be connected to a companion smartphone app that displays the relevant data in an easy-to-understand graph format”.

Music creation machine

To make this with a Raspberry Pi, you can use Reaper – an example of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software for which a modern Pi unit would have sufficient speed and memory.

After downloading the Linux ARM version of Reaper onto the Pi, you can install audio plugins and then connect a USB audio interface, MIDI keyboard, drum pad or USB microphone.

Multi-room music streaming system

Though Slimdevices Squeezebox music players are no longer in production, the media software for them continues to be maintained by a dedicated team of developers.

George Gillies, VP of operations for Insightlink Communications, tells The Enterprisers Project that, in the absence of a Squeezebox, “you can build a really great substitute with a Raspberry Pi and a few other components” – like mini external USB stereo speakers from The Pi Hut’s Maker Store.

Claire James
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