Build a smart home entertainment system
Smart homes have many benefits, and it’s not all about convenience, security, and chores. Entertainment is a big part of what we do at home, and smart technology can help us maximize our enjoyment of our home entertainment systems and manage them more easily.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways smart home technology leads to better entertainment, and we’ll share a few examples of home entertainment projects from the Arduino Project Hub that you can try.
The benefits of smart home entertainment
- Smart entertainment systems are easier to control and navigate. Smart tech makes it easier to change the volume, switch between systems, and get more out of your entertainment device’s features.
- You can sync entertainment devices with other gadgets like voice control tools and even exercise machines to create a more user-friendly and feature-rich experience.
- With smart tech you gain more control over your devices, allowing you to monitor things like screen time and use, and keep younger family members safe by banning certain sites and apps and monitoring activity.
Some smart entertainment project examples
Exercise and entertainment can be a perfect combination, with devices like the Peloton gaining lots of popularity in recent years. Connecting an exercise machine to your home entertainment system can be a great way to make your workouts more interesting and engaging — especially when your entertainment acts as an incentive to work harder.
Arduino community member Roboro built this project where he connected a stationary bike to an Arduino Nano, allowing him to control the streaming of Netflix on a PC.
When you set up the device, it will open Firefox and start playing Netflix. The bike will monitor your speed according to a routine you designed, and if you fall below your desired speed for too long Netflix will pause until you speed up again. You don’t have to use Netflix — the same setup should work with any streaming service with a few small tweaks.
Pravin Desai built this simple project to allow users to change the channel on their TV using their voice. Voice control is a popular tool in many homes today, and devices like Amazon’s Alexa now make it easier than ever to control the technology in our homes simply by telling it what to do.
Desai’s project works by using a Bluetooth-controlled voice TV remote with an IR transmitter. An app called BT voice control converts voice input to string and sends it to Arduino to make your command a reality.
Jose Luis Bejarano Vasquez built a project to help users control their TV, DVD, and audio system using Arduino and an Android app. It’s fairly easy to replicate and requires only a handful of components.
The good old-fashioned pinball machine is a tried-and-tested form of entertainment, a staple of arcades and bars the world over. In your home, a pinball machine can be the perfect way to entertain guests or even just keep yourself busy.
Arduino member Frogger1108 had always wanted a pinball machine but soon discovered that fully-working pinball machines in good condition do not come cheap and require a lot of maintenance and knowledge — especially the older electromechanical (EM) machines.
Frogger1108 spent some time looking up how to build a pinball machine and found various homemade projects using Arduino. Instead of buying their own pinball machine components (which was expensive and time-consuming), Frogger1108 bought an old pinball playfield on eBay and used it for its parts.
The end result was a fully functional pinball machine controlled by a single Arduino Mega 2560. It cost significantly less than a new or even slightly used machine and is every bit as entertaining and fun.
Create a more entertaining home with Arduino
Building a better home entertainment system with fun games, easier control of your existing gadgets, and even more fun exercise options is easier than ever with Arduino’s tools. You can now build a home that is more enjoyable to spend time in for you, your family, and any guests you have over.
Visit our home page to learn more about how Arduino works and the many different projects you can build with our solutions.