Antique Second Life: Smart Home Wall Mount Rotary Phones & Bluetooth Toasters!


Phonos – A Wall Mount Phone retrofitted with a C.H.I.P. to Voice Control your Smart Home.

Hardware hacker jezra has two rad C.H.I.P. projects primed for a weekend build: a Bluetooth toaster and a wall mount rotary phone for smart home voice commands.

Hacking hardware with C.H.I.P. is a favorite Next Thing Co. past time, from Ruxpin to the Alex ‘n Say to pretty much anything PocketC.H.I.P. There was a collective woooweee passing through the NTC office when we came across forum user jezra‘s recent C.H.I.P. projects: a voice control input system housed in a wall mount rotary phone and a Bluetooth speaker disguised as an antique toaster. While they may seem like surprising choices for a hack, we can’t find any fault with his reasoning.

“All devices eventually speak, and they always say the same thing. Sometimes their words are a deafening roar, and sometimes they whisper ever so softly, but their message never changes. Take me apart! Who am I to ignore such a plea? :)” Well said indeed, jezra.

Phonos: The Smart Home Rotary Phone


Hey! You could put a C.H.I.P. in there!

Rotary phones must speak to hardware hackers in a deafening roar. Like Dial-a-Grue earlier this year, Phonos packs a C.H.I.P. with the Blather voice recognition software into a wall-mount phone. Resurrecting the phone into second life required soldering wires to the cradle set and rewiring the handset with a new speaker and puppy-chewed microphone.


The entire Phonos process is given a great two-part write up on jezra‘s blog (Part 1Part 2). For those interested in getting meta, hear jezra’s own words on this Hacker Public Radio piece about Phonos recorded on Phonos.

Life Beyond Toast: A Bluetooth Toaster Story

Antique Toaster, complete with mood lighting

Antique Toaster, complete with mood lighting

When an antique toaster came into his life, there was only one course of action: transform it into an audio playing web accessible thing. On his blog, jezra gives an entertaining run-down on the process (complete with code!) to empower the appliance to be a Bluetooth speaker, a web accessible text to speech device and a Muttonchip audio player.

Hey! There's a C.H.I.P. in the Toaster!

Hey! There’s a C.H.I.P. in the Toaster!


If you have a C.H.I.P. project, we want to see and share it! Snap some pictures, record some video and tweet your projects to @nextthingco, post in the NTC forums, or write them up at!

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