Impress Your Friends With These Creative Uses For Tech In Your Home
Having a high tech home is something that can bring a lot of geeky pleasure, and it’s a great feeling when anything opens, closes or lights up automatically demonstrating how technology has given you dominium over all you survey.
Even better is when these high tech setups require a little bit of ingenuity on your part. That way you can impress guests not only with the obedience and functionality of your home, but also with your smart thinking and your unique setup.
Here we will look at a few tweaks and additions you can make to your home that will give it that cool high-tech feel and that will impress your guests.
Using Your Android
An Android phone or tablet can be used in many ways to get more from your home. One great use is to buy yourself a Bluetooth receiver that plugs into your stereo’s headphone jack. Now whatever you broadcast from your phone in terms of entertainment will be picked up by that receiver and played through your speakers – which means that you can walk through the house and have each room start playing the music you’re listening to as you get there.
There are likewise many ways to get what’s on your phone onto the television – whether you choose to use Chrome Cast, or to use a HDMI connector. Either way this is brilliant for sharing holiday photos with friends when they come around or just watching YouTube. You can also use the IR port on your phone to change the channel when watching regular TV.
Better yet, your Android device can be used to control the other utilities in your home and even to turn on and off your light switch. For this you’ll need an app and accompanying hardware that listens for the signal and sits between your utilities and the mains. You can find more tips at XDA Developers…
If you have enough basic knowledge about electronics to pass a GCSE exam, then you can enjoy a lot of cool hacks around the home using just some basic IR sensors and pressure pads. This way you could light up your desk draw with LEDs when you open it, or have the lights come on when you step into the room by using pressure pads. These things are pretty basic and easy, but you’ll find it’s the fact that you thought to make them that really impresses guests.
And these don’t all have to be practical – you can just show off too. I once made a set up that allowed me to play a clapping noise on my CD from my Android phone. This then set off the ‘clap-on/clap-off’ lamp that was next to it, which in turn set off a motor that turned on the TV. Pretty pointless, but it was a conversation point…
Devices in Unusual Places
Another way you can impress your guests is to provide technology in parts of the home where they don’t expect it. Got an old Xperia Z lying around? Well the fact that they’re water resistant makes them the perfect devices for leaving in the bathroom for guests to read. Something like this will be even more successful too if you put on your own software to nudge them towards a suggested use – like reading the paper.
Another nice touch is to make use of older technology such as ZXSpectrums and Amstrads. With a bit of rigging these can become cool type-writers, or even just ambient displays. I know someone who turned their MegaDrive into a fun musical instrument, so really this just comes down to your imagination and your skill level.
Something a little more mainstream which you can make quite easily is a fountain. All this really requires is a water pump which are generally cheap and easy to install, and from there you can then go about setting up rocks and other ornamentation for it to flow through. Again this comes down to imagination and creative flair – why have a rock fountain when you could make a fountain out of old wine glasses and crockery?
So don’t just think of technology as something cold you use for work. Recognise how it can make your house more impressive and more fun and you’ll impress your guests a great deal in the process.
Nancy Baker, the author of this post, is a freelance blogger. She writes for NY City Blinds, providers of motorized window treatments in NYC. She likes to paint and is passionate about collecting works of art by American artists. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.