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Tired of rummaging for your remote every time you get up from the couch? This Arduino project pauses and plays your TV automagically!

I’m often tired when I sit down to watch TV at the end of a day, so I want the experience to be as easy as possible. One simple improvement I’ve dreamt about is having the TV notice when I’ve got up so it can automatically pause the current show, and then resume it when I return. I decided to prototype this using one of our Person Sensors, together with a Circuit Playground Express board from Adafruit. This guide will show you how to build one too, with no soldering required!

The video above shows how the final device works. When no face is detected for five seconds, an IR signal is sent to the TV emulating pressing the pause button on your remote control. When a face is detected again for at least one second, the code for play is sent. It’s definitely still a prototype, with lots of rough edges to be smoothed out, but I’ve had fun playing with it myself and demoing it to other people. I’d love to see a commercial product like this, so I hope it sparks someone’s imagination.

You need to make sure you get the “Express” version of the Circuit Playground board, because this is the only one with a built-in IR transmitter and receiver. You can probably adapt this to other boards with external IR modules, but you’ll need to figure out how to interface them with the Arduino IDE. The slightly more expensive base kit includes a CPX board, and also some nice extras like a battery pack and cable. I also like the official transparent case, you can see it in the photos and videos.”

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