Alan Graham shares how he used the device to recreate a personal user-interface for his automated home.
Author and community liaison Alan Graham recently wrote an inspiring article on Boing Boing about how he programmed a number of automation features into his iPad to control different parts of his house.
Admittedly I’m a first class dork, and I have been writing about home automation for many years. From climate control, to music, to hard core energy savings (vampire devices not allowed), I use automation to make my life a little better. For example I’ll be heading out on vacation in July and while I’m gone, lights will turn on randomly at night, outside motion detectors will make people think someone is home, plants will get watered, chicken coop doors will go up and down, cameras will keep an eye out for the pet sitter, water mains will be watched, and I’ll be able to login remotely and check that all is well and the house hasn’t burned down.
The one hitch in my system for years is that since I’ve been building my own UI’s for controlling the house, I’ve been limited because touch screen devices were either too expensive or limited by functionality and screen size. I’ve had a touch monitor, Nokia N800, and even an iPhone mounted to my walls. However as soon as I got my iPad home, I knew that I’d found the perfect touch device and started to rebuild my UI from scratch.
Home automation has often been seen as something for the richest of the rich, and out of the grasp of most people. Graham’s use of the consumer-friendly iPad provides an notable blip on the radar indicating possible widespread use ahead.