WHY did I built my own smart-home-solution?
In 2012 I decided to build my own house and therefore I wanted to use technology to make living comfortable and save energy at once. So I took a look at the market and there were various smart home solutions. Then I thought about the lifespan of such a smart home. Well, let's say 20 to 30 years, maybe longer. OK, what happens in case of some defect after 10 years and the manufacturer stopped the support of your type of hardware of your smart home or even does not exist anymore? You probably have to change the whole system!
OK, you can say there are now enough solutions that are compatible with each other with some kind of standard and some manufacturers will produce devices in future. But what is about the data safety? Only OpenSource software can guarantee that your data is not (mis-)used by companies.
And another reason for building it was the price: The overall costs of my smart home prototype hardware are about €1200,- (of course only the smart home devices itself, without LED-Lamps,...). So you can expect that it will be the most cost efficient smart home solution available. Another big advantage is, that you can change only the defective parts on the circuit boards and don't have to change the whole board or even more.
What is the situation today and why should you support this project?
There are various smart home solutions on the market, some of them are a closed system with no possibility to customize, some use open protocols and free software to communicate with the devices. There are also some projects, that want to combine all different protocols to work with each other, but in my opinion the main problem is the hardware as mentioned above.
This project should help to create a platform that has OpenSource software and hardware and everyone should be able to build and repair the hardware at home (DIY) or buy the hardware from various places.
On the software side, you can be sure that no one uses your data for his own purpose. It's OpenSource, so you can see where your data is and you have the full control over it!
Everything you can think of (wireless controllers, voice recognition,...) can be developed and extended in the community and of course by yourself as part of it.
Long story short: With a successful funding of this Kickstarter-Project you would give me the ability to make my working smart-home-prototype OpenSource and usable, customable and affordable for everyone.
Details of the already working smart home:
The smart home solution consists of hardware and software designed and assembled by myself for my own house. So it's already fully functional and well tested since March 2015.
The main part is the server software that runs on Linux (and Windows) systems, but I would prefer a Raspberry Pi3, because of the low power consumption. On the server runs XAMP and connects the smart home hardware with the UserInterface (App, Webinterface). The complete power consumption for a house with about 250m² and >30 controllers, >80 sensors and the Raspberry Pi is about 10W to 15W. The yearly costs are therefore very low and a well configured smart home saves lot more energy than it needs.
Here is a overview how it works:
Features already working:
- Android App
- Webinterface (HTML5 work in progress)
- Door bell with IP camera
- Garage and garden doors
- Light (with electronic dimmer, 16 brightness steps)
- Shutters (with relais, manual or automatic modes)
- Heating and cooling (automatic with data of weather forecast, it also controls the shutters and closes them on direct sunlight if the temperature is predicted to get too high)
- Underfloor heating (control of each circuit)
- Ventilation (manual or automatic depending on CO2 and humidity)
- Air cooling (magnetic vessel control)
- Range Hood (Siemens with 433MHz remote control)
- Temperature sensors
- Relative humidity
- CO2 sensor
- Light sensor
- Air pressure
- Wind speed and direction
- Motion detector
- Intrusion sensor
- Smoke detector
- Mobile phone (e.g. Nokia 8210 with gammu) to notify you if any alarm appears (alarm is also sent with Google cloud messages to the app, so it's 2-Way notification)
- Manual light switches
- Smart Meter (with IR Interface)
- Photovoltaic via Ethernet (Kostal Pico 5.5)
What are the main tasks of this project:
There are a lot of things to do, to make everything usable for the community:
- Hardware has to be revised (design of circuit boards) to be shipped as a kit or fully assembled.
- Software needs some modification to be readable for everyone and uploaded to e.g. github.
- Language packages are needed
- A forum and wiki has to be created to have a platform for discussions and exchange of ideas and new development.
The goal is, as mentioned before, to make my idea of an OpenSource-smart-home-solution available for everyone and this could be a realistic time-line to do so:
What can be developed with the community in future:
Everything else you can imagine is possible!!! For example:
- iPhone-App and/or HTML5 website for all platforms
- control of home entertainment systems (partly working)
- wireless extensions to upgrade older houses
- single radiator control (wireless, wired is working)
- extensions for automatic watering the garden (my next goal in my garden!)
- voice recognition
- self learning algorithm for more comfort