Simple MP3 Player Hides Home Automation Brilliance

Like bubble wrap or the corkscrew, plenty of everyday objects have lost almost all ties to their original purpose. It could be that the original product had no market but was able to find one in an unexpected place, or simply that the original use case disappeared. We think that this MP3 player for children might arrive at a similar fate as a home automation controller thanks to a recent project by [Sebastian].

The MP3 player is known as a Jooki and works by using small figurines (and a few buttons) to control the device. Different figurines cause the MP3 player to change playlists, for example, but it turns out that the device is capable of communicating over MQTT. This means that [Sebastian] was able to use the MQTT messages from the Jooki to do all kinds of things beyond its intended use with openHAB, an open-source home automation system, such as dimming the lights and closing the blinds when he puts his son to bed.

This platform has considerable potential for hacking thanks to the lightweight communications system it uses under the hood. The Jooki is a little pricey, but if you happen to have one around, it’s an impressive tool that can go well beyond its original intended use.

7 thoughts on “Simple MP3 Player Hides Home Automation Brilliance

      1. The corkscrew thing seems tenuous, steel worms were used for cleaning guns, and corkscrews were adapted from that design. You could just as tenuously say that springs were originally for cleaning guns, because their both metal helixes.

  1. Interesting results after trying to find the price on one of these. First, that thing is huge. It doesn’t look so big in the picture, but it’s about the size of a medium sized bowl. Second, it was a kickstarter project that originally went for 120 euro. Hard to even find them now, they don’t seem to be available anywhere. I did see one on Japanese Amazon for about 400 euro, but it’s one of those parallel import scams that hopes some sucker with too much cash and not enough sense will over pay for something.

  2. So if I’m reading this right, this thing is super insecure? you can just spam its broker with messages. I’m all for open, hackable hardware but if companies like this ever actually expect to see market penetration they need to build in at least some basic auth for stuff like this.

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