With all the talk about the Internet of Things and how now/soon you can control everything with your smartphone, to many people, actually setting something like this up with a device that’s not built for remote control isn’t that easy. Perhaps you’re familiar with setting up an IR emitter/receiver to do your bidding, or even more advanced IP solutions. But at the same time, if you’re just starting out, this isn’t exactly trivial.
One clever solution is the WonderBeeps. This little guy is able to take sound signals from any source, including via this iPhone application. It can then respond with one of 16 outputs. Sound signals are transmitted at 8Khz, so humans, for better or worse, can hear it. This concept is actually used in several consumer products, like the Amazon Dash Button for getting the hardware onto your WiFi network from a smartphone. WonderBeeps brings that functionality to anything you can build.
I could see quite a few interesting applications for something like this. The WonderBeeps listing mentions syncing a video art project to activate other devices—perhaps a robot or two. It would seem that you could also pull off very long distance control with any television application that “mirrors” sound from your device on your TV, and there are probably many other control schemes that aren’t immediately obvious for this type of technology.