The Raspberry Pi is one of the most acclaimed inventions of our days – a credit card sized computer with the potential to improve our lives in an incredible variety of ways, and educate a whole new generation of hardware and software engineers. In honor of the recent Pi Day (March 14th, or 3/14) and the recent launch of Raspberry Pi 2, here are five of the most interesting (and sometimes weird) innovations we could find that were built using the microcomputer of the future.
1. Picrowave by Nathan Broadbent
According to his website, Made by Nathan, the web and mobile developer Nathan Broadbent first thought of a smarter microwave after reading a post on Reddit about how food should come with QR codes that tells the microwave what to do with them. He built a better microwave using the Raspberry Pi, with better sounds and a redesigned keypad, automatically updated clock – with voice commands, a bar code scanner, and the possibility to control it remotely using a smartphone.
A microwave for the future, don’t you think?
2. Pi-Powered Mirror
The idea of creating a magic mirror that would not just show you your visage, but also shows the weather, the time, the day’s headlines and similar useful stuff while you groom was though of by Michael Teeuw, a developer and designer of “stuff”. According to his blog post, he used a semi-transparent mirror, used the display panel from a 24″ monitor and built the two into a wooden case, adding the power cables and the Raspberry Pi to the mix. After adding all ingredients and building the interface (and, of course, overcoming shortcomings and fixing bugs), the finished product was created, opening the way for the magic and smart mirrors of the future.
3. The Intelligent Doorbell
The entrance to an intelligent house has to be intelligent, too – this must have been the idea behind the doorbell designed by a team at the University of Birmingham for the 2015 Pa Consulting Raspberry Pi Competition (and they won). They have built a wireless, internet-connected doorbell that can perform various tasks whenever somebody rings it: call your phone so it can be used as an intercom, text you, email you with a photo of the person who is at your door, tweet you or live stream HD video locally and on YouTube. This invention could be used in care homes when an elderly patient requires assistance from a nurse, or in an ill person’s home, they could contact the nurse directly and quickly for instructions.