There are things and there are Things. Hooking up an Internet-connected doorbell that “rings” a piezo buzzer or sends a text message is OK, but it’s not classy. In all of the Internet-of-Things hubbub, too much attention is paid to the “Internet”, which is actually the easy part, and too little attention is paid to the “Things”.
[Moris Metz] is a hacker in Berlin who has a bi-weekly national radio spot. (Only in Germany!) This week, he connected the ubiquitous ESP8266 to a nice old (physical) bell for his broadcast over the weekend. (i”Translated” here.) Check out the video teaser embedded below.
Never mind how important it is to have your gadget look good for a radio show, this thing sounds fantastic. And loud, which makes us question the wisdom of giving the IP address out to listeners while trying to broadcast a live radio show. But the show must go on, despite over 424 individual rings from 135 distinct IP addresses ringing his bell within ten minutes of announcing the IP address.
Let us go officially on the record here. As a literal doorbell, this is silly. You don’t need to host a webpage on the public Internet on a doorbell, and millions of super-cheap 433 MHz radio doorbells available in home stores worldwide bear this out. However, when you need to be scared out of your skin by a loud alarm bell triggered by a friend in a different city, the Internet is your best bet, and whipping up a quick webpage on an ESP8266 is good fun.
But what we liked about this project was the “Ding” itself, as they say in German. Old hardware paired with new brains is the new hotness. What’s the oldest or most unlikely Thing that you’ve seen given a modern brain transplant?