A Raspberry Pi is one of the best gadgets a DIYer can own, as it is capable of everything from being a smart home hub to acting as the brain for an autonomous robot.
If you have one of these versatile mini-computers, it can serve as a great project for the holiday season.
Many of these boards feature both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality, greatly increasing their potential for DIY projects.
If you are looking to dust off your Raspberry Pi, or buy a new one, and attempt to tackle an interesting project, we have outlined three ideas below.
Spotify only became available in South Africa in 2018, but has quickly cemented itself as a serious competitor in the local market.
One of the best features offered by Spotify is the ability to remotely play music via compatible devices.
This functionality is based on the Spotify Connect protocol and is compatible with many TVs and connected speaker systems.
Using the Spotify app as a remote, users can control playlists, volume, and more from their smartphone.
If you have a great speaker system which is not outfitted with any new connectivity technologies, you can use your Raspberry Pi as a gateway for Spotify Connect.
An open-source librespot library named Raspotify allows you to implement Spotify Connect functionality on your Raspberry Pi.
Installing the client can be done in a few terminal commands, following which all you need to do is connect your speakers to the Pi via the 3.5mm connection or HDMI.
For more information on setting up your Raspberry Pi as a Spotify speaker, read our full guide here.
You can also set up your Raspberry Pi to act as a Google Home speaker.
This project can be accomplished thanks to the public availability of the Google Assistant SDK, which you can implement on your Pi board.
To provide an experience similar to a conventional Google Home speaker, however, you will require a USB microphone and a standard speaker.
You will also need an active Internet connection to the Pi, through either Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Setting up your Pi as a Google Home requires setting up a Google Developer Project through the company’s cloud portal.
After this, you can open up the Pi terminal and install Google’s Assistant SDK for Raspbian, adding wake word detection and voice recognition as preferred.
While this is a more complex project, it can still easily be completed with minimal developer knowledge.
For more information on setting up Google Assistant on your Raspberry Pi, read our full guide here.
Wi-Fi access point
If your home Wi-Fi connection is stretched a bit thin and you don’t have any spare range extenders, your Raspberry Pi can fill the gap.
This project is easy to complete and requires only basic hardware and software knowledge.
Additionally, there is very little permanent hardware required aside from the board and the peripherals for initial setup.
There is more technical work required for setting up your Pi in this way, however.
Users will need to follow a step-by-step guide on how to set up the correct traffic routing settings on their Raspberry Pi.
This allows for greater customisation, as users can determine whether to share the Pi’s Internet connection or simply have it act as an access point to the network which does not dispense Internet access.
Like many other Raspberry Pi projects, this can be completed with the standard Raspbian operating system installed.
For more information on setting up your Raspberry Pi as a Wi-Fi access point, read our full guide here.