Hacking Inside the Boxes

As we all know, Thanksgiving weekend is a time for avoiding all retail outlets, staying home, and focusing on maker projects.

At long last, I made a magic mirror:


This is the simple version. It involves my outmoded cell phone, an app called Home Mirror, an Ikea picture frame, and a specially ordered piece of 2-way acrylic plastic (which acts as a mirror when you put something opaque behind it). So now I have a clock that will tell me the time, the date, the weather, and the state of my facial stubble.

Also accomplished this week: an AIY Voice Kit, or as I call it, Magic Google Voice Box.


This kit gives you the components and instructions needed to construct a nifty cardboard cube that works with Google Voice Assistant. (Raspberry Pi not included.) You end up with a kind of origami Google Home. I enjoy pressing the old-timey button to summon the power of AI.


The AIY kit and the Raspberry Pi come to a total of about $60, which is (annoyingly) more than it would cost you to purchase the device it apes. But I prefer the Magic Google Voice Box — I put it together, and that made me just a little bit smarter.







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