Monday, January 28, 2013

The next project: a Raspberry Pi light switch.

I'm a big fan of the future, in general, and 'The Internet of Things' in particular.  As connectivity gets cheaper, more and more common 'things' will get connected.  The more of them that can communicate with each other, the greater the network effect, and the more value we can get from them all.

But regarding actually implementing this stuff in my house I'm somewhat ambivalent.  

George Jetson is expected to invent the Internet of Things
sometime in the late 21st Century based on advanced
Spacely Sprockets technology.
I have an Internet connected thermostat, but I still use mechanical timers on lights in my house.  I have an Internet connected phone system, yet I have a dedicated/stand-alone sprinkler system. I have an Internet connected TV but my garage door opener uses wireless connectivity from the 60s. (And I still don't have a flying car...)

I've been reluctant to buy into the various connection schemes like X11 and the like, thinking that a more generic connectivity (via 802.11) would be a better long-term bet.

Now, with the availability of an 802.11 connected computer for $35 (a model A Raspberry Pi and a $10 WiFi USB nub) it's getting to the point where dedicated devices like this are actually affordable - particularly compared to Internet connected lightbulbs for $60...

So, my next project will explore a web connected electrical outlet.

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