Most people build home automation systems in an attempt to simplify their lives. When I first started building my system, I had no such illusions. Given the amount of time I’ve spent troubleshooting programs, installing switches, and crawling around in the attic with spools of wire, my system could hardly be considered labor saving.
However, convenience isn’t the only reason to build a home automation system. Although computers are becoming increasingly powerful by the day, most of our interactions with computers still involve flat, one-dimensional data. Our computers can tell us the temperature in any place in the world, and they can even show 3D, zoomable, scalable images of that place, but in the end, information is the only thing that’s being exchanged. Our computers can present us with any kind of information imaginable, but in these interactions, nothing really happens.
Home automation, however, is a totally different ballgame. By allowing a computer to control an actual physical space, we open a huge number of doors. Once a computer can make real changes to an environment, it’s not limited to just gathering and presenting data;it can act on the information that it has. Given the massive amounts of data that modern computers can access, the possibilities are endless.
And also, let’s be frank; turning on your lights by yelling at the ceiling is just a cool thing to be able to do.
Although I’ve tried and successfully completed everything on this site, I can make no guarantee that any of it is safe, responsible, legal, or otherwise a good idea. Do not undertake any project on this site unless you fully understand and are willing to accept the risks.