Lecture: The Perfect Home
Using a Computer to Optimize Your Environment
In this talk I will argue why Python offers a perfect environment to develop an automated home system to control devices and present customized information. I will present my personal home system and discuss my experiences during its development and usage. It gathers information from various sensors (temperature, fine dust, humidity) and the internet which are used for many purposes like an alarm system and air quality management. It also allows control over a media system and other devices using voice, web and mobile messengers.
Letting a computer take control of the environment is an idea as old as computers themselves. One challenging problem is the variety of tasks which needs to be covered and this makes a universal solution difficult. However, combining the growing number of web services with the many Python modules allows one to implement complex features with little effort. I will discuss my personal system and the experiences I gathered during the development in the last years.
It allows communication over voice, web and various messengers, and supports access and control to devices, sensors and information gathered over web services. The sensors include multiple temperature and humidity sensors connected over radio, a camera and a fine dust sensor. These sensors work on various Arduino micro controllers and communicate with a Raspberry i which runs the main part of the system. This setup can be used in various ways: for example an intruder alarm or keeping the air quality on a good level. It is connected to web services of Wiener Linien reminding one to leave for a bus or train. It has access to email and calendar as well as full control of a home media system. Other information, like weather forecast and water temperature, is collected by the system and displayed on a screen. All these features can be implemented with a small budget and with little coding effort.