The Raspberry Pi roundup is back from its winter holidays, and boy, has it ever been nerding out. There’s nothing like being back at the old homestead to make you read well-loved old classics like the Harry Potter books.
Appropriately, then, for the first Raspberry Pi roundup after the festive season, we’ve got a copy of the Daily Prophet that does what a wizarding newspaper is supposed to do, thanks to the technical wizardry of Piet Rullens. (And the always excellent Raspberry Pi Foundation blog for bringing it to our attention.)
Rullens turned a trip to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando into an attractively designed and authentic-looking Daily Prophet poster, thanks to a cunningly placed Raspberry Pi 3 and some skillful cutting. An IR distance sensor, when tripped, fires up the screen, which plays a clip of Rullens at the amusement park.
For the next version, we’re hoping for multiple video windows, and maybe a way to get the eyes in the pictures to follow the nearest person around the room. Oh, and Quidditch scores.
Help for Alzheimers' sufferers
Somewhat more seriously, maker David Penney has created a Raspberry Pi-powered touchscreen that reminds Alzheimer’s sufferers what time it is, along with the day of the week – a sadly common issue that can induce a lot of anxiety and distress. Using about 1,200 lines of Python, TimePeace offers a much-needed temporal prompt to those affected by the disease, easing the load on them and their family members.
(H/T: The Guardian)
Home sweet home
Back in more light-hearted territory, YouTuber and developer Estefannie De la Garza – who says that she explains it all, and I, for one, do not doubt it – has created a smart gingerbread house, using an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, servo motors, and the approximate annual sugar output of Brazil.
But it’s worth it, since the smart gingerbread house can make its little gingerbread inhabitants dance, flip the door open and closed, and even put on a fancy light show. Observe!
Letting your creativity express itself and making something truly unique is always a lot more fun with plenty of candy on hand.
(H/T: Raspberry Pi Foundation blog)
Finally, we check in on the burgeoning field that is Raspberry Pi-alikes, and find a new entry in the form of the Chip Pro dev kit, which is a Pi-ish housing for the credit card-sized Chip Pro that allows developers to prototype devices using the full range of ports and interfaces available to it.
The $50 dev kit is pitched at people who want to do something a bit more complicated with their devices, particularly if they’re looking to create a large number of little automated gadgets for industrial or display purposes. It’s an intriguing product.