…or false alarms for that matter. That’s because Matt Richardson’s project only involves a sensor that detects when his mailbox is opened, whether or not important mail or any mail is put inside. But it’s still a neat hack, and will be quite useful if you frequently forget to check for snail mail.
The project involves using an Arduino board, an Arduino Ethernet Shield chip, a snap-action switch and an iOS push notification app called Prowl.
As shown in the video, Richardson’s hack only works on the iPhone, and requires you to set up a PHP proxy server. But you can bypass both requirements by using Twitter instead of Prowl to send you notifications. And if you don’t care about your snail mail, you can simply place the sensor on some other door – on your fridge, garage door, your kids’ room’s door, maybe even your car’s door. Check out MAKE if you weren’t able to watch the video; the wise commenters on the site were also the ones who suggested replacing Prowl with Twitter.