Adafruit is here with yet another interesting development board, that too in a shape of a house this time. The FunHouse WiFi Home Automation development board, based on the ESP32-S2 Wi-Fi MCU, lets you easily automate your house. Be it tracking the humidity and temperature of your kitchen or sense if a window was kept open, this IoT-focused board allows you to do all of that. With its color TFT display and a wide variety of onboard sensors, the board makes it one of the best development boards for quickly developing IoT-based home automation projects.
A look at the Adafruit FunHouse board’s main highlights
The FunHouse development board is built around an ESP32-S2 MCU running at 240 MHz, which comes with the advantage of low cost and power. The ESP32-S2 is the next generation of the ESP32 series of MCUs that now have native USB support. This allows you to make the chip act like a mouse/keyboard, MIDI device, disk drive, etc. Along with this, the Adafruit FunHouse development board comes with 4 MByte of flash storage and 2 MByte of PSRAM. Thus, you have plenty of space for any kind of data processing. One of the downsides of this development board is that this chip does not support BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). So if you’re looking for some Bluetooth-supported development hardware, then you might have to look for an alternative like the in-house Feather nRF52840 express development board. Otherwise, the Wi-Fi support of this chip is more than enough for several IoT-based projects.
Coming to other highlights, the board features a 1.54-inch color TFT display of 240×240 pixel size. This tiny 16-bit IPS display has a viewing angle of 80 degrees beyond which the colors appear to be distorted. The board also features three capacitive touchpads and five elements capacitive touch slider. These touchpads are cleverly hidden beneath the goth-styled silkscreen design of this board. The three crows on the top left side are the touchpads, and the tree on the right side is the slider. All these things make the board stand out in terms of aesthetic looks and the unique house-shaped PCB. Apart from the touchpads, there are three tactile buttons onboard for selecting different modes.
What about hardware and software support?
The Adafruit FunHouse board features a DPS310 barometric pressure and temperature sensor and AHT20 relative humidity and temperature sensor. These sensors are placed on the extreme edge of the board with PCB cutouts around them. This is done so that the sensors are not affected by the heat or noise of the Wi-Fi SoC. There’s also a plug-in socket for a Mini PIR sensor at the top, enabling the board to detect movements. Additionally, a front-facing light sensor is also provided.
Talking about the peripherals, the Adafruit FunHouse board has three STEMMA 3-pin JST connectors for attaching NeoPixels, speakers, etc. On top of that, there’s also a STEMMA QT port through which you can attach all sorts of I2C devices. There is also an on-off power switch which is very convenient for battery-based projects.
To make the board more interactive, there are five mini RGB DotStar LEDs on top. These lights can be used for animations or as notification indicators.
The Adafruit FunHouse development board comes with a form factor of 85x56mm and weighs around 27 grams. The mounting holes on the board are exactly the same as that of a Raspberry Pi. This extends its capabilities to use it as a HAT where Raspberry Pi will be your main controller and FunHouse board will handle all the sensing parts. Otherwise, you can even attach it with any of the Raspberry Pi accessories without much effort. A USB-C port is provided, which acts as a power and data connector for this board.
Finally, for programming the Adafruit FunHouse development board, you can use Circuit Python, thanks to the native USB support. There’s also the Espressif Arduino Library, which can run most of the ESP32 projects as-is. These two, along with Adafruit’s strong development tool, make it easy for anyone to start using the board.
Adafruit FunHouse Wi-Fi development board currently retails for $34.95 on its official product page.
The product page is also the source of all information and images used.