Last January, Niklas Roy created a privacy curtain that drew attention to his studio rather than stop people staring in. In all seriousness, curtains are sometimes the trickiest part of a interior design automation project to wire up. So, this new Arduino-based curtain idea by Jamie Zawinski may be a useful hack to you.
Arduino is an open-source circuit board system that allows you to hack together electronics to be controlled by your computer or phone relatively easily. It's part of a real-world hacking culture that we think's going to be big in 2012.
Jamie automated his bedroom curtain because he figured given the large size of his window, the sudden movement of the curtains in the morning letting the light in may actually wake him up. The curtain works wiring Arduino Ethernet and DCHP to a Seeed Relay Shield. The ethernet port reacts to basic command such as open, close and toggle, plus, when Jaime doesn't want to use a computer to control the curtain, a big toggle button. The blind cord is pulled up by none other than an Add-a-Motor Model 80 Drapery and Blind Controller, something that's a bit more readily available than the other parts.
While Jamie is pretty pleased with his newest home automation addition, the downside is that it was one of the more fiddly and frustrating hardware hacks he attempted. In addition, he has no videos or full images of the curtain doing it's thing just yet.
However, you can check out his blog to see more close-ups of the various parts needed for the project if you would like to give it a go yourself.