Unless you buy all your appliances from Sharper Image, chances are your home doesn't integrate seamlessly with all your fancy new technology. Turn your house into a futuristic tech haven this weekend with these projects.
Beef Up Your Existing Tech
You already have some technology in your home, but it could be a lot better. After all, most older TVs don't stream Netflix or have video games built-in, and your telephone probably doesn't use the internet to make calls. Take all your low-tech devices and make them high tech with projects like this:
- Create a play-anything media center out of an old computer, a newly-built one, or aRaspberry Pi
- Turn your TV into a retro gaming station with XBMC or a Raspberry Pi
- Tell your TV to automatically mute when overxposed celebrities come on
- Turn your landline phone into a VoIP line with an OBi Adapter
- Turn your webcam into a streaming, motion-detecting surveillance system
- Upgrade your wall outlets to charge USB devices
- Control your microwave with a Raspberry Pi
- Use your home's electrical wiring as an ethernet line with Powerline adapters
Gadget-ize Your Furniture
What? Your end table doesn't charge gadgets, and your coffee table doesn't play video games? What is this, 1820? Okay, we're just kidding—but these things are possible with the right furniture hacks. Try on these projects for size:
- Turn your nightstand into the ultimate charging station (or build inductive charging right into it)
- Create a tech-infused retro arcade coffee table for your living room
- Build a computer (or media center) into your desk for easy upgrades and hidden cables
- Hack a cheap side table for sliding remote storage
- Mount a tablet in your kitchen cabinet door (or just hang it on the wall with some hooks)
Of course, we've shared a ton of furniture hacks over the years, so check out our past Weekendhacker on the subject for more.
Automate Your Home with the Help of Technology
We've talked about the magic of home automation before, as well as how to get started. There's nothing like controlling your home with your voice, or having your blinds automatically move themselves based on the time of day. If you'd like to turn your house into a true house of the future, these more advanced projects are what you're looking for.
Dear Lifehacker, I love technology, but in my attempts to keep up to date I feel like I'm in a constant struggle with my home. I've got bad … Read…
- Control all of your electronics with your smartphone through the Belkin WeMo (and theWeMo light switch)
- Control everything in your home with Siri or Android voice commands
- Turn on a table lamp with a wave of your hand
- Get alerted when you receive new snail mail in your mailbox
- Automatically close your window blinds during hot days
- Feed your pets with a Raspberry Pi-controlled dish
- Get alerts when your dryer is done with the laundry
In last week's Hacker Challenge, we asked you to share your home automation hacks. We received some great entries, but the winning hack shows us … Read…
These are far from the only home automation tricks out there, but they're a selection of some of our favorites. Check out our arduino and home automation tags for more.
Have a good weekend!