Giving Siri the keys to your house

We haven’t really covered many hacks having to do with Apple’s newest iPhone feature Siri. We’d bet you’ve already heard a bunch about the voice-activated AI assistant and here’s your chance to give it the keys to your house. This project uses Siri to actuate the deadbolt on an entry door in a roundabout sort of way.

This is really just a Siri frontend for an SMS entry system seen in several other hacks. The inside of the door (pictured above) has a servo motor mounted next to, and attached via connecting rod with, the lever-style deadbolt. An Arduino equipped with a WiFly shield controls that servo and is waiting for instructions from the Google app engine. But wait, they’re not done yet. The app engine connects to a Twilio account which gives it the ability to receive SMS messages. Long story short; Siri is sending a text message that opens the door… eventually. You can seen in the demo after the break that the whole process takes over twenty seconds from the time you first access Siri to the point the bolt is unlocked. Still, it’s a fine first prototype.

There’s a fair amount of expensive hardware on that door which we’d like to see converted to extra feaures. [CC Laan] has already added one other entry method, using a piezo element to listen for a secret knock. But we think there’s room for improvement. Since it’s Internet connected we’d love to see a sensor to monitor how often the door is opened, and perhaps a PIR sensor that would act as a motion-sensing burglar alert system.

Don’t need something this complicated? How about implementing just the secret knock portion of the hack?

Comments

  1. macona says:

    RC Servo, not servo motor.

  2. Regulus says:

    That’s ridiculous, and now I need to attach something like this to my local hackerspace’s door.
    “I swear it’s not a bomb guys, here’s the source!”

  3. Chris G says:

    You can also offset the cost of the cost of the wifly shield by using an XBee shield and a RN-XV Wi-Fi Module. You lose some of the speed that the SPI interface of the Wifly shield offers, but I suspect in this type of situation you wouldn’t miss it.

  4. rasz says:

    Lacks two more arduino boards, one for blinking a led, another one for playing sound file. Bonus points for using them as a dump IO connected to real computers.

  5. Nick Johnson says:

    The product is called “Google App Engine”, not “the Google App Engine”, just like it’s not “the Google” or “the Windows” or “the Hack a Day”

    -Nick Johnson, Google App Engine Developer Advocate.

  6. Ben wright says:

    I have never compliained about grammer before on HaD but this article is just plain hard to get through.

  7. N0LKK says:

    In the event you need the toilet in a bad way, best send the command as you are making the last turn to home. A good solenoid would make short work of the task. Giving a satisfying thunk as it does about it, not the weaselly sound of a servo. Then again another would consider the sound of a servo, the sound of refinement, over the bigger hammer sound of a solenoid

  8. CG says:

    I can’t even get Siri to remind me about something, let alone understand anything I say, and I speak extremely clearly. And why do I have to hit the button EVERY time I want to say something to Siri, when it’s already open? Why doesn’t it just listen after it asks me a question.

    Siri has a long way to go to get up to a even mediocre level.

  9. digi_owl says:

    About the only thing Siri does here vs using a normal sms is take dictation. No special program interfacing with the Siri system at all.

    Now if he could say “Unlock the door”, without having to mess with send or such it would be much more impressive. That is, until it came back with “sorry, can not do that”.

  10. GigiAUT says:

    Useless, impractical, overcomplicated. Just some hipster showing off his 4S claiming it can do “anything”.

    You people really need to get over iPhone. There’s a lot of better hardware out there that isn’t locked down by iOS.

  11. myHalici says:

    What is it for? Why the iphone sent sms?
    He says arduino hasa wifi shield on it.
    Sent command over wifi.

  12. citizenjapp says:

    If you have to press a button anyway, why not just have two buttons?

    An ‘Open Door’ button, and an ‘I said OPEN DOOR, you lousy piece of…’ button?

  13. Motorcyclist says:

    I don’t have the new iphone but had a chance to play with Siri the other day. It’s not exactly perfect. :) I had to repeat multiple times, even for simple words sometimes. Makes me wonder why apple doesn’t include some kind of phoneme-aware learning utility like the old Bell Labs learning kit (but in reverse) IOW, allowing the apple user to pronounce pre-defined pieces of words at a prompt, storing them and improving the recogntion rate dramatically…

  14. Mark A says:

    My house is on fire and I wish to escape.
    “Open door”, waiting, waiting, waiting….
    Door is now unlocked and your dead body can be removed from the burnt out flat.

  15. blue carbuncle says:

    It seems like the more ways in, the less secure a place would be. Good job on the build. I’m sure we will be seeing more of these type of builds :)

    LOL @ the Google grammar dust-up. That is getting printed out for the fridge. I would like to thank Nick and Google for continuing to give us sweet stuff to tinker with. And for the Nick naysayers, I would guess he is immensely useful with debugging code :) Keep up the good work!

  16. eonasdan says:

    so why bother with the SMS and twillio? put a wifi shield on it, connect phone to wifi, ????, profit?

  17. midnight says:

    I sure hope he can open that lock the old fashioned way just in case it fails.

    I’ve had automatic locks since I was a kid and they ALWAYS fail at some point.

    We once had to tear a wall down because of a built in safe with automatic locked panels failed to open.

    Also it’s slow and why does he have to push a button after the voice command?

    Wouldn’t it be easier to have it dock on the wifi and MAC address would unlock the door after an codekey was sent ?

  18. Leopold says:

    Relying on iPhones and Arduinos to keep your house secured. It’s like you are asking to get robbed.

  19. antechno says:

    nice guy’s :)

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