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Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Guest


Smart Home Security with Raspberry Pi

Ah, burglary. There’s nothing worse than setting up a new home, just the way you like it, filled to the brim with various devices, only to return one day and find the door hanging open and your precious laptop and tablet gone. While burglaries aren’t a rising trend, they are still a serious issue in many parts of North America, and you can never be too careful. For those technologically inclined and of a do-it-yourself bent, rather than building steel walls around your property or buying pricey off-the-shelf security systems, there are a variety of budget options that you can put together in the comfort of your own home workshop. And at the heart of it all sits the Raspberry Pi.

Home Solutions

Before we get to that though, let’s review possible security features you might want to implement, and that you can already buy a bunch of off-the-shelf equipment to take care of. Motion detectors are pretty straightforward, and there are a variety of models that can detect twitches in curtains or window blinds, or outdoor versions that can intelligently determine whether there is a threat (rather than being activated by the weather or free-roaming animals). Also, for many years now, timer systems have been popular to give the impression that someone is at home by switching the lights on and off as required. Something a little newer is the smart surveillance camera, which comes equipped with facial recognition algorithms and the ability to make decisions about who and what to track. With early detection, easy verification and continuous tracking, this is the pinnacle of current security technology.

Of course, in today’s smart home, you need something to control all of these systems. If you network your devices and buy the right kind of package, many companies offer tailored security solutions that will take care of things for you, monitoring your home and automatically allowing you to unlock doors and windows, adjust the thermostat, or turn the alarm on and off from your smartphone. The problem is that once you start to buy various gadgets the cost starts mounting, and with the most basic home automation security systems starting at $20/month, it can quickly get very expensive. This is where the Raspberry Pi comes in.

Sounds Tasty

So what’s in a Raspberry Pi? Originally developed to teach children about computer science, this credit-card-sized single-board computer has been popular since its launch in 2012, with projects spanning from home automation to robotics. The great advantage of the Raspberry Pi is that it  is inexpensive and very easy to program, making it ideal for a budget home security system. And not only is it cheap, if you’re that way inclined, it’s a lot of fun too!

Here are a few ideas for projects:

  • Treasure Box: use your Raspberry Pi camera to make a treasure box that only locks when it recognizes your face, making it safe to store your valuables in your own home.
  • Firewall and intrusion detection system: protect your home network and ensure that your data and devices are safe and unhackable. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
  • DIY home alarm: a simple, easily configured alarm system that you can monitor through your smartphone or computer.
  • Facial recognition surveillance camera: control a smart camera with your mobile device for an extra layer of security. It’s easier than you think.
  • Smart doorbell: program your Raspberry Pi to send a signal to your smart watch when someone rings the doorbell. Never have problems with missing a visitor again!
  • Electricity control: switch your lights and appliances on and off whenever you need to, for example to give the impression that people are still at home, or to operate your     washing machine, radiators, automated window coverings, etc.
  • Smart car: no, not one of those smart cars. You can make a car alarm that texts you when it detects movement, sets off the alarm, turns off the ignition and locks the doors.

Really the possibilities are almost endless. If you’re serious about security, and equally serious about not wanting to break the bank, you might want to think about investing in a Raspberry Pi.

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