Monday, June 2, 2014

Home Automation - Really

I am moving into a new place in a few weeks. I've started pre-programming my home to have some automated features tied to it for personal security and convenience. I thought I would share what I have been building. It has been an interesting learning experience and one that will allow me to automate basic features for home.

In gaming, there are rules and physical components of the game system. I use those elements to describe what I am doing in order to program my world around me to react using my things connected by the Internet (IoT). In the same way that games have location-based systems (the board or video game space), artifacts (game pieces or objects), and variables (rules, interactions), I use these to define what happens when these elements all collide.

Exiting home
Entering home

Artifacts - connected in my home 
Video displays
Video players
Security camera
Window/Door locks

New tools:
iBeacons:  - location based programmable hotspots
Nod - ring for connecting to devices and managing them.

Time of day
Opening/Closing doors
Playlists used
Tasks completed

1. I will carry my smartphone when I leave and enter my residence.

2. My vehicle has Satellite/Internet-connected WIFI capability

3. All Internet-connected devices have the ability to connect and share data in similar silos.

4. All devices can be programmed with time settings for turn on/off.

So here's what we have on our menu of automated delivery in the Adkins' home.

Lights - programmed lights will light or dim automatically either by programmed time or when smartphone (Bluetooth ID) is in or out of range of wireless router.
*Would be interesting to have location-based system of car or phone to home to turn on/off home features as I am driving home.

Music - Satellite radio or Beats Music playlist continues from smartphone in car to home Sonos system. Apple and Beats working on developing more integration between playlists and curation to tie music to "emotive characteristics" posted online by users. Could be a way to tag home automation to apply to emotive context. Meaning: I tweet I am happy before getting in car, then car playlist and home playlist complies to emotive context.

TV - TV powers on with home screen of latest headlines and content downloads from day's events on TV main screen. With Xbox One, command access features with voice commands. Program TV to view daily tasks from synchronization with email and task lists.

AC - Home temperature is usually programmed but could have added function to turn on when smartphone bluetooth is on same WIFI network.

Security system - Webcam and motion detectors turn on when smartphone exits range of WIFI. Also can be programmed to turn on automatically at set day/night times. Motion detectors on windows/doors also turned on.

At some point, I will have an Internet-connected refrigerator tied in with grocery apps to help me track the contents of my fridge with tasks to replace consumed items. Those prices need to come down a bit and the interfaces need to be accessible by open source APIs.

But the hack around that is to use apps that let you track your food intake matched with a task generator list with reminders built-in to serve as a predictor over time of when you will need to replace something. For example, entering in that you purchased six eggs and a reminder in six days that you will be out of eggs is a way to automate your store shopping experience.

And that is the Internet of Home Things for my house. It is my personal Jetson's home and my own version of Tony Stark's Jarvis.

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