Help with Project Idea

Hi everyone,

I’m making an interactive installation and am looking for the right software, I’m wondering if the Arduino will do what I need. I want a video to play on a monitor in an art gallery that is activated through sound only, and then the video turns off when sound is stopped. So basically, people would speak into a headset and then a video and song would play. Can anyone help at all???!! It would be greatly appreciated!!!


An Arduino does not have the processing power to handle video.

I would think you might be able to do what you want with a Raspberry Pi. A Pi has an HDMI output that can go to a monitor and GPIO pins to take input from a sensor. I would imagine it could play a video clip based on sensor input.

Here is a tutorial about making a Pi control some lights and a couple of other links. Look at these and see if it looks totally beyond what you would want to attempt or something you could do.

Whereas it is true that an Arduino does not have the capacity to process videos, it can for example, control a PC based video player through keyboard shortcuts.


So the monitor would be connected to a PC. An Arduino (it must be a Leonardo or a pro micro (ATmeg32U4 chip) to emulate a keyboard) could be connected in place of the keyboard and issue commands to start and stop the video player.

You'd have to check the commands required for the operation you want to perform on the chosen video player. Maybe pause/play is enough from your description. You'd also have to check that these key sequences could be emulated with the Arduino.

Getting an Arduino to detect sound is simple with the correct module eg link and some programming.

Thank you both so much! I have hope that this might actually work! I’m very grateful for your responses.

Ideally, the video would pause when the participant stopped talking, so it only ran when there was sound to activate it...does that sound possible?

Can you then use a PC to play the video to the monitor ?

I’ve just tried the P keyboard command in the “Movies & TV” application on my Windows 10 PC and it toggles between “PAUSE” and “PLAY” so it could work like that.

What I can’t see at the moment is if the Arduino Leonardo can issue a keyboard sequence P. I have little experience of this aspect of the Atmega32U4 processor and it appears that not all keyboard modifiers are supported. Maybe someone else can help here.


I’ve just found this and the code example appears to show that the program issues a A combination :;'a');

So, if the cursor focus is on the Video player application, I see no reason why a P should not work.

Thanks! Ill credit you in the exhibition :wink: you’ve been really helpful.
Only one way to find out really, have to get one don’t I.
Which model is it that you are talking about?

You need an Arduino with an Atmega32U4 chip for example:


Or something smaller:

Pro Micro

Use a retailer of your choice.
The more common Arduinos such as the Uno etc. with ATMEGA328P chip are NOT suitable because these do not support PC keyboard emulation through the USB cable.