Our smartphones go pretty much everywhere with us, and we use them for more things than we even realize. From literally the very moment we’re startled into life in the morning, until the one final doom scroll through social media before bed, our phones are with us.
It makes sense, then, to think about ways to connect your smartphone to your Arduino projects, adding another layer of user-friendliness and convenience. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best tips and hacks for bringing your phone and your home automation projects closer together, and we’ll share some examples from the Arduino community.
Arduino Cloud is the perfect companion for building automated projects, and the IoT Cloud Remote mobile app makes things a lot easier. In this article we’ll see some companion apps and you can check out more compatible projects in our Home Automation website.
Use the iRobbie app
The iRobbie app is designed specifically to connect your smartphone to your Arduino projects. It’s actually a fairly simple concept, using Bluetooth to connect your phone to the Arduino board. Once connected, you can access a ton of features like object recognition and tracking, all via the phone’s camera. iRobbie allows your Arduino projects to recognise and track over 60 objects.
Other features include:
- The ability to find objects with iFinder
- Voice Control prompts to control your robot more easily
- A responsive touchscreen joystick on your phone to move your iRobbie around
- The ability to play music via your robot
You can learn more about iRobbie and how to get started with it here.
Notification IoT Using NeoPixel and Smartphone
If there’s one thing phones are good for, it’s receiving updates. But what about when you miss important updates? What about when your phone is on the other side of the room, or the TV is playing loud, or you just missed that vibration?
Speaking of vibrations, wouldn’t it be cool if there were a slightly less annoying way to get notifications from your phone?
Well, step forward Arduino user notiduin, who used NeoPixel and Arduino to find a solution. This project allows you to get notifications in the form of LED lights of different colours. By combining HC-06 Bluetooth, Arduino Uno, Neo Pixel and an Android App, it’s possible to have all your phone’s notifications sent to an Arduino where they can turn on different colours of LED.
You can even assign a certain colour to each type of notification. For example, a Facebook notification can light up the blue LED, an SMS message can trigger the yellow light, and a new email can cause the red light to flash — it’s entirely up to you. The project works with any of the apps on your smartphone.
More user projects
3D printed smartphone camera slider
Getting the perfect smartphone photo can be a tougher task than it first appears. Stores across the world now have their shelves lined with tripods, stands, and other gadgets to make snapping that perfect shot more manageable than ever… but sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands.
That’s what Reddit user u/careyi4 did. He 3D-printed his very own smartphone camera slider, powered by an Arduino, to make it easier than ever to line up pro-level smartphone photoshoots. Check out the video for more information.
Make any Arduino smartphone-controlled with just a few lines of code
You don’t need to be a programming genius to make your own Arduino projects smartphone-controlled. Reddit user u/TylerTimoj used just a few lines of simple code to make their projects easily controlled from their smartphone, and anyone can emulate it.
Did you know that your phone is an IoT device?
The Arduino IoT Remote app (available for Android and iOS) was created to enable you to remotely manage and monitor your devices through the Arduino Cloud dashboards, offering complete control at your fingertips from anywhere you are. Arduino has gone a BIG step further and enabled you to use the app as an IoT device, utilizing some of the sensors in your mobile phone such as accelerometer, GPS, microphone, compass or barometer to collect data and transmit it to the Arduino Cloud. This feature automatically creates in the Arduino Cloud everything needed to monitor the sensors (the Device, the Thing and a dashboard) and share the data with other devices.
Starting to play with real hardware can be tricky for non-experienced users, so this feature enables users to get familiar with the Arduino Cloud device management environment using their own phone. Easy, right?
But you can also use the data from your phone sensors in your projects. Imagine the endless possibilities using that information. For instance, you can use virtual geographic boundaries for geofencing to initiate actions based on your location. You can also automate home-based tasks such as turning off lights when you depart and turning them on when you return, securing doors, and adjusting home climate control. Moreover, you can track your loved ones with geofencing and receive immediate notifications if they leave a designated area. The accelerometer in your phone can also be utilized to detect accidents or falls, and you can even use your phone as a remote control for games or robots.
Only your imagination sets the boundaries of what you can do with this new feature.
If you want to learn more about the “Phone as Device” feature, don’t miss this article on the documentation.
Unlock a whole new side to your smartphone
With Arduino, a few basic components, and a bit of knowledge, anyone can bring entirely new capabilities to their smartphone and start doing a whole range of new tasks with it. I mean, if it’s going to be with you all day, you might as well get as much out of it as possible, right?
Check out the Arduino Home Automation page to learn more and get started with your own projects.