Open Hardware Summit - Georgina Voss


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Presentation for the Open Hardware Summit 2010, NY - Talking about Homsense open hardware, user-led design and DIY smart homes.

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  • - Unfortunately, personalised technology for the home hasn’t progressed at the same rate; a kettle with a choice of colour options doesn’t really count. The nearest thing we have is ‘bling homes’, which in a way are the antithesis of smart homes. - ‘Bling homes’ are the homes which, around the festive season, are massively overdecorated with fairy lights and flashing lights and light-up trees. They aren’t smart by any means, but they are extremely enthusiastic - ‘Woo! Christmas!’ - a little like the tipsy aunt who gives you a big hug at the family get together. I [Georgina] think that they’re great - they’re so personal and overexcited. You can decorate your house any way you want; fairy lights are cheap (although the cost of electricity may not be). But - so far, they haven’t been very smart.
  • - It wasn’t meant to be that way. By 2010 we were all supposed to be living in dream homes that would technologically fulfil our every need. - This is a dream kitchen from part of the GM Promotional Fair in 1956; a ‘Kitchen of Tomorrow’ designed to showcase Frigidaire’s technologies, well before the ‘Internet of Things’ ever came on the scene. - There are punch-card recipes from IBM; a dishwasher that will wash dishes with ultrasonic waves; what appears to be some levitating bacon; probably even the hostesses skirt is wired up to the kitchen in some way.
  • - Homes should be safe and personal places where you feel comfortable and in control of your surroundings, not the other way around. - I don’t want to go to my fridge to get some milk and have it tell me ‘I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Alex’. - There’s an excellent short story by Isaac Asimov [I think] about the fear of what smart homes might be. A family, sometime in the future of the 1950s, decide that they all want to go on a diet together. So, with the help of their smart home, they control what they eat, how much exercise they do, and after a month or so of this regime they decide that they’ve slimmed down enough. So they tell the house ‘Hey, we’ve finished our diet, can we get some ice-cream out of the freezer?’ To which the house replies, ‘No - you could do with losing a bit more’, and ends up starving them to death. Multiple users and backgrounds Top-down design Specific use-scenarios Rigid technology infrastructures
  • - Every story needs a hero: ours is Stirling Moss, racing car driver. - In early March 2010, he fell down a lift shaft in his house in Mayfair, a fancy part of London, and broke both his ankles. Not a young man, this wasn’t an easy thing to recover from. Stirling Moss is the human face of the failure of smart homes. - Rewind 40 years: Stirling Moss started to make his name and money in racing cars. He’d always been interested in gadgets and tinkering, so he bought up some land in Mayfair and started to build his own smart home fro scratch. - Lots of gadgets in it: first prototype washing machine; a remote control that let him run his bath, letting him know how long it would take to fill; a chute between his secretary’s study on the second floor and his on the first, so she could pass letters down to him; and a lift between all 6 floors, where the doors would only open when the lift was there. - In early March 2010 Stirling was waiting on the top of his house to take the lift to the bottom. The doors opened, he stepped in - but the mechanisms had failed that day, and the lift wasn’t actually there. He fell down the lift shaft and broke both his ankles.
  • - These are examples of smart home technologies and gadgets that have already been built by Arduino enthusiasts [mention Homecamp community]. - Top left: ambient orb, detects weather. - Bottom left: Botanicall, lets your plants tweet when they want to be watered (and thank-you afterwards). - Top and bottom right are basically the same thing, but with different use scenarios. Both detect entry and exit into the home, and tweet about what has happened. - Bottom right is for cats, so you know which of your pets (or those of your neighbours) have come into the house, so you know how much cat food to put out. - Top right is a burglar alarm, so you have the choice of calling the police or hiding in your room with a baseball bat. - But these have still been made by enthusiasts; we interested in what people who don’t necessarily alrady know about this stuff will make, based around their own personal experience of their homes. - [Details of being paired with experts who will support but not lead them]
  • - …so what does this mean for smart homes? Instead of living in ones that have been designed by other people, we will help you design and build the smart home that you want to live in.
  • - …so what does this mean for smart homes? Instead of living in ones that have been designed by other people, we will help you design and build the smart home that you want to live in.
  • - Why? Firstly, homes have several users, each of whom experience and use their home in different ways. -
  • - Why? Firstly, homes have several users, each of whom experience and use their home in different ways. -
  • Open Hardware Summit - Georgina Voss

    1. 1. TO BUILD A (SMART) HOME Georgina Voss @gsvoss Open Hardware Summit New York, September 23rd 2010
    2. 3. “ Smart” homes ^^ Foolstopzanet
    3. 4. < < “smart” home Future homes? v v
    4. 5. < < Dream Home
    5. 6. This is not my beautiful smarthome
    6. 7. << open hardware
    7. 8. Communities of the home ^^ Communities around the home & open hardware
    8. 10. >> Homesense >> DIY smart homes >> Giving households kit, training and expert partners >> Open research
    9. 11. >> Tinker London >> EDF R&D >>> Edouard Siekierski & Charles Delalonde >> Lancaster University: HighWire >>> Natasha Carolan & Richard Wood
    10. 12. HOMESENSE >>
    11. 13. ResearchKit >>
    12. 14. Partnering ^^
    13. 15. Bekathwia What will your home say?
    14. 16. <ul><li>Thank-you! </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>