Today we have more and more devices in our lives, and as the technology progresses we will be able to communicate with them, monitor their state and control them. The “smart home” expression has been a trendy buzzword for years, but it is not a widespread technology, although the costs of building a smart home is just a small fraction of the costs of redecorating a house or building a new one. Automating the devices in one’s home is not an easy task for an everyday user, however it saves time and money. The main hindrance being the complexity of creation of automation rules and configurations. The devices are optimized for easy installation, not easy configuration. The management of rules resides in another layer, in fact it is the responsibility of the controller. In the controller, however, the administration of the rules is basically a programming task, which is way too complex for an average user.
Ideally, we should be able to control our homes using an intuitive, user-friendly interface. It should be possible to access it from any distance, even from our smartphones. The controller is a small, cost-efficient device, which is able to communicate with a wide range of devices, and is able to monitor and control them.
In my thesis I am trying to find a solution to the above-mentioned problems, by assessing the solutions available on the market, and creating a home automation which has an easy way of managing the rules, using open source software and cost-efficient devices. My controller will be a Raspberry Pi computer, which will run the open source openHAB home automation framework. The user will be able to set up simple rules by accessing a user-friendly web application. The application itself will be developed in the open source Django framework, and will be hosted on Google’s App Engine platform.