Create an information center with the Raspberry Pi Pico W and Python

Pocket Sized

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

Article from Issue 277/2023

You don't need much to create a smart home information center – just a Raspberry Pi Pico, an ePaper panel, a battery, and some Python.

People want a variety of information presented in the same place. On the road, a smartphone plays a central role for most. At home, you might have legacy displays for heating control, an alarm system, a weather station, and so on. A common display is useful for grouping data from different sources without the need to call up different apps or read the data in different places. A Raspberry Pi Pico W lets you build your own model.

A home automation solution already collects many useful values. For this sample project, I added news and a weather forecast through a connection to the Internet. To make the device compact and mobile, it has a battery. The display and controller need to be frugal in terms of power consumption, which is where the Pico W comes in handy. It connects to the WiFi network, collects the information, and displays it on a small screen (Figure 1).

I deliberately kept the controls as simple as possible. Three screens show the news, weather, and home temperatures; where needed, screens branch out into submenus. I did not want to switch the various actuators of the home automation system – simply display their status.


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