2016 Holiday Gift Guide, IoT edition

By | Internet of Things, IoT

Dip your toes into the 21st Century

Maybe you have been thinking about trying to make your life a little “smarter”, but don’t want to spend the time researching the difference between Zigbee and Zwave. Maybe you just want something that works. Here are some products to get you started that won’t break the bank. These also happen to make excellent stocking stuffers for those of you interested in dipping your toes into IoT for the Holidays!

Wemo® Switch ($30)

wemo, IoTThis is probably the best place for someone to start – the Wemo® Switch offers the simplest integration: just download an app, point it to the right WiFi, and you can turn on and off an outlet (1 socket) with the flip of a Wemo® Switch. The Switch also lets you set rules to control the device and this combination makes the Switch versatile, allowing it to turn on and off your indoor holiday lights at certain hours of the day or that space heater you always forget about.

There are some drawbacks – the Wemo® Switch app looks pretty dated on Android and isn’t the most stable and the plastic encasing will almost always block the entire outlet.

Tips for tinkerers:

Even though you can always use IFTTT or SmartThings hub to interact with a Wemo® Switch, it’s nice to know you can have a bit more control. An unofficial Python API  allows you to set up a small server and interact with switches on your terms.

Read More

Always On Home Security

By | Ideas For Your Business

With the impending arrival of Google Fiber in my neighborhood, I can’t contain how happy I am to finally have an alternative to Xfinity. I am not sure why I am forced to have a landline when I do not even own a phone, but that is a separate blog within itself. One service that Xfinity offers is their Xfinity Home service for security and remote home management features. Since a comparable service is not available with Google I see this as an opportunity to put together a solution leveraging a few technologies that I have been wanting to dive into.

  • Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Digital Fingerprinting / Identification

As most of you are aware by now, if I can tinker around and create something myself, I am going to try. While working on a couple of retail based POC’s for client projects at BlueFletch I got the idea for creating a home security system. The source of my inspiration were these two proof of concepts:

  1. Tracking and identifying customers in a retail location from the devices and/or applications they would have.
  2. A device that could manage other smaller beacons in a retail location.

Read More