Whistle Controls For You Home Electronics

You know how to whistle don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow. But do you know how to make the electronics around you react to your whistled commands? Well [Befi] figured out a system that allows him to assign a whistled command to various home electronics.

He’s using a set of RF remote control outlets to switch power to various devices like a desk lap, or a turn table. The board you see in the image above is the remote control that came with the system, but that chip is an ATmega8 which he added to give round-about USB connectivity using a serial-to-USB converter. The technique is simple enough that we’d bet you can get this to work with an ATtiny2313 and the V-USB project but that’s another story.

The additional piece is the use of embedded Linux to detect and process whistled commands. In the video after the break [Befi] explains that he’s using a Dockstar along with a microphone to capture audio input. It uses a Fast Fourier transform algorithm to process the clip and pushes commands to the remote control after processing is complete.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpZeG4NNxx0&w=470]

19 thoughts on “Whistle Controls For You Home Electronics

  1. Pretty useful, I’ve been thinking about automating my lights like this.
    I’m pretty sure you could get this identical operation by using nothing but a few bandpass filters and a monostable 555 timer, no need for digital logic at all.

  2. Whistle control for you electronics
    Whistle control for your electronics

    Might make a good April fools joke. Modify it to respond to an inaudible frequency, then tie an emitter to random objects to turn things on and off.

  3. The NBA uses something similar to this for their shotclocks…A precision timer is tuned to listen for the exact frequency of the referee’s whistle when its blown, and the shot clock will be reset upon hearing said whistle

  4. I may be paranoid, but the fact that he’s talking so quietly seems to imply that the gadget is sensitive to more than just whistling. I get the feeling he was trying very hard not to have it activate with the sound of his voice.

    1. I understand that it could look like that. But it’s just my way of speaking ;)

      In fact, there is absolute no amplitude threshold in the system. Due to that it makes no big difference if I am speaking loud- or quietly.

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