Top 6 ESP32-S3 Projects Revolutionizing IoT: From Smart Devices to Security Innovations

The ESP32-S3 is not just another microcontroller; it's a beacon of innovation and versatility in the world of IoT projects. Designed by Espressif Systems, this highly-integrated, dual-core microcontroller stands out with its advanced 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity, exceptional security features, and a plethora of peripherals supporting various interface protocols. Built on the TSMC ultra-low-power 40 nm technology, the ESP32-S3 is particularly notable for its neural network acceleration capabilities, making it apt for lightweight AI applications. Its developer-friendly nature, combined with ultra-low power consumption, solidifies its position as a top contender for pioneering IoT applications, from wearables to smart home solutions.


To highlight its diverse applications and immense potential in ESP32-S3 projects, we're thrilled to introduce a range of engaging DIY projects that harness the power of the ESP32-S3 microcontroller. Delve into our curated collection that features a custom smartwatch, a plant growth monitoring system, a smart plant monitor with swappable probes, a real-time camera robot, a two-factor authentication device, and a live security camera setup. Each of these ventures exemplifies the boundless opportunities provided by the ESP32-S3 in contemporary IoT scenarios. Embark on this journey with us to explore, learn, and innovate!


Keywords: ESP32-S3, IoT, DIY Projects, IoT projects, ESP32-S3 projects


MutantW V2 - DIY ESP32-S3 Smartwatch


Hardware and Software Components:

1 ESP32-S3 IC
1 1.7 inch IPS LCD display (non-touch, SPI, st7789)
1 1.69 inch SPI LCD st7789 2 x Push buttons (SMD 3x6x3.5mm buttons)
2 Printed PCB
5 3D printed case parts
1 44mm x Front Outer Glass of Apple Watch 5
1 Various resistors, capacitors, inductors, and ICs
1 Connectors and headers
1 Li-ion 302530-200 x 200mAH battery
1 Vibration motor
1 USB C female connector
1 UV loca glue and t700 glue
1 Watch strap compatible with Apple Watch

- Firmware for ESP32-S3 (can be flashed via Arduino IDE)
- Various supporting software tools like excel/spreadsheet for part references



The MutantW V2 is an open-source DIY smartwatch built around the ESP32-S3 IC. It features a 1.7-inch IPS LCD display, WiFi, Bluetooth, and other functionalities like RTC, gyro, and vibration. The smartwatch has a 1.7-inch display, bright enough for daylight usage. With a size of 44mm and a depth of 12mm, it is designed to fit comfortably on any wrist. The device is made to be easily customizable with support for a variety of watchbands and a scratch-resistant front glass. The MutantW V2 also includes two customizable hardware buttons, a vibration function for notifications, a wide range of changeable watch bands, and an update mechanism via OTA from mobile or PC.



DIY Plant Growth Recorder using ESP32-S3

1 ESP32-S3
1 Temperature & Humidity, Pressure, Ambient Light, and UV Sensor
1 Fermion: 1.54" 240x240 IPS TFT LCD Display
1 Gravity: Analog Waterproof Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensor
1 3.7V Polymer Lithium Ion Battery
1 3D-printed Housing
1 Switch


This project aims to create a DIY plant growth recorder which allows monitoring the growth process of a plant, from seedling to maturity, while simultaneously tracking the environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, pressure, ambient light, and UV levels. The idea is to identify the conditions affecting plant growth to optimize care. The ESP32-S3 serves as the central controller, interacting with environmental sensors and the display. The camera captures images of the plant at set intervals, storing them on an SD card. The data can be viewed in real-time via a WiFi connection.




DIY Smart Plant Monitor with Swappable Probes


Hardware and Software Components:

1 ESP32-S3
1 TP4056 charging circuit
1 Small e-ink display
1 AHT20 IC for air humidity and temperature
1 450mAh battery
1 Bare PCB probe with connector
1 Thermistor (optional)
1 3D printed case
1 Small solar panel (for expansion)


- Programming code available on GitHub



This project is a DIY solution to create a smart plant monitor with swappable probes. The technology used includes an ESP32-S3 chip, a TP4056 charging circuit, a small e-ink display, an AHT20 IC for air humidity and temperature. The device uses a probe that measures soil conditions by the ESP32's built-in capacitive touch pad reader. The probes, made from bare PCBs, are cost-effective and easily replaceable. Optionally, a thermistor can be added for soil temperature measurement. The power supply is handled by a 450mAh battery that provides up to 11 days of battery life, and can be extended through a small solar panel. A 3D-printed case houses the entire device. All the code, schematics, and STL files are available on GitHub for anyone interested in replicating the project.



Camera Bot using FireBeetle ESP32-S3


Things Used in This Project:

1 FireBeetle ESP32-E IoT Microcontroller with Header (Supports Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)

Software Apps and Online Services:

- Arduino IDE



The project demonstrates how to create a live camera bot using the FireBeetle 2 ESP32-S3 board. The ESP32-S3 is equipped with 16MB Flash and 8MB PSRAM, providing ample storage for data. With built-in capabilities such as neural network acceleration and signal processing tasks, it's ideal for tasks like speech and image recognition. This board also has a built-in camera interface and a GDI connector for display purposes. Moreover, an onboard battery management system ensures uninterrupted streaming of camera data, making it apt for low-power IoT and ML applications. The primary function of this camera bot is to take pictures and send them in real time through Telegram.



2FA Sidecar: A Convenient Tool for Streamlined Two-Factor Authentication


Hardware and Software Components:

1 A row of Cherry MX key switches
1 Tiny TFT display (part of an ESP32-S3 Reverse TFT Feather)
1 USB HID interface


- Programming code to generate time-based one-time password (TOTP)

- Simple web configuration code



The "2FA Sidecar" is a project that aims to make using two-factor authentication (2FA) more convenient. The device incorporates a row of Cherry MX key switches, a tiny TFT display as a part of an ESP32-S3 Reverse TFT Feather, and a USB HID interface. With a press of any of the five keys on the pad, a new time-based one-time password (TOTP) is generated and sent over USB as keyboard characters. The TOTP can also be displayed on the TFT for manual input. For security, the ESP32 only connects to network services to sync up the time for accurate TOTP generation, and to serve a simple web configuration page where users can type in the TOTP salts and service names to associate with each key. Discussion on the possibility of protecting the ESP32’s flash memory by burning the e-fuses, including its pros and cons, is also included as part of the project.



Live Security Camera built using UNIHIKER and FireBeetle 2 ESP32S3


Hardware/Software used in this project:


1 DFRobot UNIHIKER - IoT Python Programming Single Board Computer with Touchscreen
1 DFRobot FireBeetle 2 Board ESP32-S3 (N16R8) AIoT Microcontroller with Camera (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth on Board)


1. Python OpenCV library

This project involves constructing a live security camera system using the UNIHIKER single board computer and a FireBeetle 2 ESP32S3 microcontroller. UNIHIKER is a compact Linux device capable of image classification and other computation-dependent tasks. The FireBeetle 2 ESP32 S3 microcontroller is a small device with the facility to capture and transmit video via WiFi. The core stages of the project involve setting up a WiFi video stream using the FireBeetle, display the video stream using Python OpenCV, and implementing the video feed in the UNIHIKER.

The project also features a TimeLapse camera system which captures photos at a specific interval then creates a video out of them. This system utilizes Python's OpenCV, time libraries, and os operations.

In summary, this project demonstrates how to use OpenCV, Python, and two pieces of hardware to create a system that monitors and processes video feeds in real-time.



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