Get In the Spirit of Halloween With Spooky Smart Home Technologies
Halloween is right around the corner. Our favorite Halloween specials are on-air, candy has infiltrated the aisles in our local supermarkets, and I’m playing Monster Mash at work.
Halloween is naught without creepy costumes, strange sightings, and stories of the paranormal. To get in the spirit of Halloween, we went searching for all things spooky and smart tech. We weren’t disappointed.
A Haunted Smart Mirror
Youtuber Ben Eagan created this haunted smart mirror using Alexa, an Alexa custom skill, a two-way mirror running on Raspberry Pi, and lighting effects from Philips Hue. Asking Alexa to tell a ghost story makes the lights in the room flicker as an eerie ghost is seemingly projected onto the two-way mirror. This screenshot doesn’t do this project justice so we suggest checking it out here. And if you’re looking to build a haunted smart mirror of your own this Halloween, instructions have been provided on the creator’s website.
The Talking Skull with Alexa Smarts
Meet Yorick, the talking skull hacked by Youtube user ViennaMike. Yorick was made compatible with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant to deliver news, music, and just about anything Alexa can do, except with a hanging jaw and eyes going every which way. It’s a pretty entertaining sight to be telling a talking skull to turn off the lights. Until it turns on in the middle of the night by itself.
A Strange Visitor
Not a spooky smart home innovation, but spooky nonetheless. A reddit user posted this photo from their Vivint smart camera after receiving a notification that someone was detected at the door. The image has since received a wide range of coverage and commenters made sure to ask the poster if he was okay, or alive. The poster has confirmed that he survived this strange sighting, and that the person has never returned.
Smart cameras are a great way to keep watch for incoming trick-or-treaters, and hopefully you won’t run into this guy.
Spook Your Friends
Since you have the power of automated lighting at your disposal why not have some fun? Say you have a stubborn roommate who swears he isn’t afraid of anything. Outfit your lights with smart bulbs, plug in some smart plugs to attach your Halloween decorations to, pick a creepy sounding track, and bring it all together in a mood setting that’s triggered by motion sensors at the front door. When he walks in, the lights will flicker red, skeletons plugged into the wall will come alive, eerie music will play, and just as he reaches the end of the corridor, you jump out with your loudest ‘BOO’.
A Customized Spooky Scene
Those with smart lighting, a SmartThings hub, smart plugs and IFTTT capability will be able to use Alexa to turn your home into your very own haunted house. Just create a custom set of actions to occur on a certain command, and watch your creation come to life. For more information and more spooky things you can do with Alexa, check out this comprehensive post by Cnet.
Creating your own Halloween themed smart home setup can be a fun DIY project that doesn’t necessarily require all the expertise to hack a skull. Picking up a couple Philips Hue bulbs to use with ghostly sounds that start when movement is detected is enough to create a creepy vibe. Even more complex creations can be made when motion sensors, smoke machines, smart speakers, and smart lighting are combined to create a truly immersive experience.
Happy Halloween from the Alana Home team!