Most of us, even though we carry and use plenty of "smart" devices every day, live in "dumb" houses, with little to no automation or monitoring, other than maybe the sprinkler system or security lights or a programmable thermostat.
Part of that might be the fact that while we are always using our personal mobile technology throughout the day, we're probably not always thinking about what's happening at our home (and let's face it, having the latest iWhatever in hand seems way cooler than telling people your home is run by sensors and smart devices).
It also may be due to thinking that moving toward a smart home requires a serious investment of money for hardware, and the skills to put it all together.But with the spread of an affordable little powerhouse of a computer, the $35 Raspberry Pi, it's getting easier (and cheaper) all the time, especially with this new software, RaspLogic.
RaspLogic aims to provide a simple, affordable, method of implementing home automation, using the Raspberry Pi as the platform, and supplying an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for setting up logic and feedback loops:
"The software is written in C# language on .NET so it works on any operating system. However, to take one example, say you want your MP3 player to start playing when you get up in the morning, you need some reference on a common platform and Raspberry Pi is the only one common platform where people can do this without spending too much money. For $25 you can have a common platform that’s already distributed in every place around the world." - Dario Tolio, RaspLogic
At its simplest, RaspLogic could enable the automation of outside lights or a sprinkler system, but it could also be used for more complex operations, such as sending you an SMS or email alert when someone rings your doorbell, and allowing for a virtual conversation with your visitor from wherever you are, or setting up irrigation rules that are weather-dependent (i.e. if there's rain in the forecast, don't water today).
RaspLogic also allows for feedback and logging of events using Google Docs, which can be used for things such as tracking energy use or temperatures or trends over time. The program offers a variety of different components, such as a timer/sequencer module that uses Google Calendar for scheduling, a garden lights and watering controller module, and a thermostat, as well as an app that can turn your smartphone into the remote control for your home automation system.
RaspLogic is not quite ready for release yet, but if you want to be one of the first to know when it is, sign up at the website to be notified of updates.