Following the latest updates from the gadget world is always exciting, especially when you consider the number of new devices and technology we have today. Even phones get refreshed every 6 months or so, and there are always new features to admire.
New gadgets aside, there are also many new ways to create your own devices. DIY projects and ideas for gadgets that you can build yourself are easy to find thanks to the wealth of online resources we have today. In this article, we are going to take a look at a handful of cool gadgets you can make yourself.
Retro Game Console
The easiest and perhaps the most exciting gadget to build is a retro game console. You can build anything from an old arcade game to a classic Nintendo Entertainment System without breaking the bank. All you need is a Raspberry Pi and some additional modules.
If you want, you can go a step further and customize your retro game console. Some makers use the latest Raspberry Pi 4 to enable dual-display gaming. Others use Gumstix, who provide custom boards and a way to design your own using its proprietary board design tool, Geppetto. However, you can also use tools like protocase to build custom cases for their own machines. If you want to take your retro game console to the next level, you can certainly do that with Gumstix.
Speaking of custom boards from Gumstix, another thing you can create with modules from the company is a smart speaker. The Gumstix Chatterbox W5G module for Raspberry Pi is specifically designed to enable Alexa-like smart speaker features.
You can assign your own wake-up command, which means you can easily have a smart speaker that responds to, “Hey, Jarvis.” More importantly, the flexibility of Raspberry Pi lets you customize every aspect of the smart speaker including the software.
Adding native support for Spotify and other streaming services becomes easy once you have the base speaker set up. You have the option to take the project a step further by converting an old phone into a dedicated smart speaker rather than using Raspberry Pi as the primary board.
While the Raspberry Pi 4 is designed to be immensely capable, it is not the best board for mobile, wearable devices. If you are interested in developing your own smart glasses, you may want to take a look at the Raspberry Pi Zero W instead.
There is a project called PiGlass that you can adopt. It basically combines the Zero W with Pi Zero Spy Cam to create a tiny computer that can be attached to a pair of glasses. You can continue tinkering with the base PiGlass to add your own features and design ideas.
This is one of the more advanced projects to tackle. Complete this one, however, and you are ready to take on any advanced project and make sleeker, more functional gadgets. A pet feeder, your own mesh Wi-Fi network, and even an AI-powered VR headset are just a few assemblies away once you know how to make your own cool gadgets.