On-Air Sign Helps Keep Your Broadcasts G-Rated

Like many of us, [Michael] needed a way to let the family know whether pants are required to enter the room — in other words, whenever a videoconference is in progress. Sure he could hang a do not disturb sign, but those are easy to forget. There’s no need to worry about forgetting to change status because this beautiful wall-mounted sign can be controlled with Alexa.

Inside the gorgeous box made from walnut, curly maple, and oak is an ESP32, some RGB LEDs, and three MOSFETs. [Michael] is using the fauxmoESP library to interface the ESP32 with Alexa, which emulates a Phillips Hue bulb for the sake of using a protocol she already knows. [Michael] can change the color and brightness percentage with voice commands.

The sign is set up as four different devices — one default, and one for each color. Since talking to Alexa isn’t always appropriate, [Michael] can also change the color of the LEDs using sliders on a website that’s served up by the ESP. Check out the full build video after the break.

Need something quick and dirty that works just as well? Our own [Bob Baddeley] made a status indicator that’s simple and effective.

7 thoughts on “On-Air Sign Helps Keep Your Broadcasts G-Rated

    1. If they wanted easy, I’m sure they could have found an On Air sign on Amazon or Etsy. This way they get experience working with the ESP32 and they get to make a case from scratch. Something… something… journey is more important.

  1. We started working on similar idea, but we were hoping to find some way to pick the status automatically.
    3 statuses, a-la traffic light:
    – Green – no meeting (enter the room freely)
    – Orane – meeting in progress, audio only (enter the room, but keep quiet)
    – Red – meeting with video (don’t enter the room)

    On a Mac it’s so-so, as you can tell by processes if Zoom is on a meeting. But you can’t easily tell if the meeting is on video. On Windowz it’s hopeless. On linux I’m sure it’s more straight forward.

        1. I would like a software only solution, but thought about using the LED indicator on the camera. My camera doesn’t have a simple red LED, but has a more a white glow around it which makes “clipping” on a light sensor a little hard. It might just come down to cracking open the camera case and solder some wires to the LED.

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