Monday, 12 October 2015

Surprise Someone with Scary Halloween Sounds using a Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

This is a quick and easy Halloween tech project that uses items you might already have or could use for other purposes. You'll need a smartphone or tablet plus a compatible wireless bluetooth speaker.

Kids will be able to remotely play scary sounds on a mini speaker using a phone or tablet.

We've got a cheap speaker that is intended for use in the shower and has a sucker on the back. This makes it ideal for mounting outside and using to scare (or delight) trick or treaters who turn up at the door.

Warning: Please encourage kids to be responsible with who they scare.

Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Just charge the Bluetooth speaker (via USB) and then it with the phone or tablet. This is a good thing for kids to know how to do so why not let them have a go if they haven't done this before (tweens and teens are probably experts already!)

Find a Scary Sound App

Then find a Halloween sounds app and install in on your phone. We recommend using an app rather than a website so that the project works even when you don't have wifi. Scary sounds available as music tracks would also work if they're downloaded to the device.

We used Halloween Spooky Sound Box on iOS. There is a free version of this app with (lots of) ads which is rated 9+ and has a smaller selection of sounds or a paid version which is rated 12+ and has more sounds.

Check the sounds first to make sure they're suitable for your child - all kids are different.

Halloween Spooky Sound Box App: Free | Paid

Now kids can remotely play scary sounds for a Halloween surprise.

Stick the Speaker Outside

Now place the speaker outside. The shower speaker is perfect for this as it has a big sucker and it's water resistant. Stick it somewhere near the front door but not too obvious. We stuck ours on a nearby window. (Don't forget to bring it back inside later.)

Hide and Get Ready

Now hide somewhere where you can see or hear people approaching the front door and get ready to play scary sounds. My kids had great fun scaring their Dad when he came home.

Or, Use the TinyBop Everything Machine

Another fun option is to use the TinyBop Everything Machine iOS App to generate sounds. The Everything Machine is a brilliant app that allows kids to connect up the sensors and outputs on their iPhone or iPad to create their own machines.

You could even automate the effect using this app by using the Motion Detector. Ideally you'll want to keep your expensive device safe inside the house but place it where it can detect movement from Trick or Treaters. (The Everything Machine also has a Face Detector and Sound Detector which you can experiment with.)

Or, Use Scratch on a PC

If you can connect your PC to your Bluetooth speaker then that gives you lots more options. Kids could record their own Hallween sounds and trigger them from a computer. Less portable than using a phone or tablet, but fun for surprising trick or treaters from inside the house.

We've got our Shower Speaker working with our kids laptops so that gives them lots of options for generating sounds.

Halloween Costume Effects

You can also use a Bluetooth speaker to add sound effects to a Halloween costume. These can be controlled by the costume wearer from a phone or for younger kids by a parent. 

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