A typical day under the supervision of Alice

    Recently a new version of the MajorDoMo complex was released, about which there was a review article on Habré , and I decided that it would be nice to show with a living example how it works. Take the most common weekday and see how the Smart House behaved in its course.

    A picture to attract attention

    To begin with, I will introduce you to Alice. Alice is a character who was invented so that communication with the Smart House would be, let's say, somewhat more humane. Alice’s personality, so to speak, is quite simple, but, nevertheless, my three-year-old son perceives her precisely as a person, endowing her with those human qualities that, of course, do not exist in reality, but at times are successfully imitated - for example , care, courtesy, frugality.

    But back to our day ... So, a country house, a family of three, the beginning of the day.

    00:51 Alice: I think nobody is home ...
    00:51 Alice: Although most likely everyone is sleeping :) The night is!
    00:51 Alice: I switch to economy mode
    00:51 Alice: The temperature is higher than desired, I close the heating valve

    Using several wireless motion sensors, the house monitors the activity of the inhabitants and after a while, it concludes that there is no one at home, well, or everyone fell asleep :) This event triggers a scenario of disconnecting unnecessary consumers (now it is a hot water boiler and the associated circulation pump) , and also changes the settings of the desired temperature in the house. The latter, in turn, leads to the fact that the heating controller closes the valve so as not to waste energy on unnecessary heating.


    05:33 Alice: Internet is not available
    05:38 Alice: Internet access is provided

    Unfortunately, the Internet at my place is only 3G, so crashes sometimes happen. In night mode, it’s just a record for the story and Alice doesn’t announce such things to the whole house, although if there were some emergency situation (for example, exceeding the permissible temperature in the heating circuit), the notification would be at least spoken aloud.


    06:30 Alice: Soon the owners should wake up, warm up
    06:30 Alice: I leave the economy mode
    06:30 Alice: The temperature is lower than desired, I open the heating valve

    At 6:30 there is a timer for forced exit from the economy mode - you need to take care in advance to achieve a comfortable temperature.

    07:39 Alice: Motion detected.
    07:39 Alice: Good morning!
    07:39 Alice: Now 7 hours 39 minutes
    07:39 Alice: I also remind you of missed tasks. 1. Take out the trash.

    The alarm rang and an awakening was detected by a motion sensor in the hallway. In the bathroom I find out that, as usual, I forgot to take out the trash yesterday. Music began to play - a random folder from favorites added to my media collection.

    08:27 Alice: It should be getting light ...
    08:30 Alice: The temperature outside the window is 3.3 degrees Celsius. It seems pretty cold to me. Sunrise today at 08:57, sunset at 16:54.

    Morning bustle, breakfast, fees. In between, we learn what is on the street and how to dress a child. Walking along the corridor, I glance at the terminal screen - an unnamed Android tablet that is constantly on and showing basic information about the status of home systems, weather, home temperature, and events. The same information is available from any other device both at home and outside it (the latter is password protected, of course). Honestly, although this is always always available, I like it better when you don’t need to go anywhere - if the house is called “smart”, then be kind enough to manage it yourself.

    By the way, such a weather station installed on the roof monitors the weather conditions.


    I had to tinker a bit to get data from her into the system, but in the end Alice got additional sensory organs.


    08:39 Alice: Attention! Entrance gate opens.
    08:39 Alice: The gate will be closed after 1 minute
    08:40 Alice: The gate will be closed.

    Time to work. We leave the house, start the car, open the “home” control menu on the phone, select the item “Temporarily open the gate”, and leave. For some time I stood next to the house, waiting for the gates to close - the automation did not fail, but, as they say, "safe ..."

    08:57 Alice: The sun rises
    09:00 Alice: It's 9 o’clock at exactly
    09:05 Alice: Sergey left home
    10:46 Alice: Sergey drove up to the office

    Do you think you can get rid of the supervision of a caring Alice by leaving home? No matter how! The phone periodically sends the GPS coordinates of the owner to the home server and Alice monitors who-where. When you exit or enter a specific hot-spot, an event is triggered that you can somehow react to.


    10:00 Alice: Now 10 o’clock exactly
    10:16 Alice: I think nobody is home ...
    10:16 Alice: I switch to the economy mode
    10:16 Alice: The temperature is higher than desired, I close the heating valve

    Alice discovers that she was left alone - why not save a little while. By the way, in the first month of testing the economy mode, I paid 30% less for electricity, so it makes sense.

    11:00 Alice: Now 11 hours exactly
    12:00 Alice: Now 12 hours exactly
    13:00 Alice: Now 13 hours exactly

    In the afternoon, Alice entertains herself with the signals of the exact time :)

    13:35 Alice: Attention! Entrance gate opens.
    13:35 Alice: Attention! Entrance to the garage opens.
    13:36 Alice: Driving in the garage.
    13:40 Alice: The garage is closed.
    13:42 Alice: The gates are closed.

    The usual episode - I’m sitting at work, my wife’s brother calls:
    - Seryoga, I want to take you a lawn mower, will you open the garage?
    - Yes, come, of course.

    A few minutes later he called and said that he had arrived. I start the “home” page from the working computer, through the menu I open the entrance gate, garage. With the help of network cameras, I look at what is happening in the yard, so that I can close everything later.


    14:00 Alice: Now 14 hours exactly
    15:00 Alice: Now 15 hours exactly
    16:00 Alice: Now 16 hours exactly
    16:54 Alice: The sun sets
    17:00 Alice: Now 17 hours exactly
    17:24 Alice: On the street it should be dark already ...

    We take the time of sunset and dawn from the Internet, as well as other useful information. The Internet is a universal info-sensor.

    17:30 Alice: Soon the owners should come home from work, warm up
    17:30 Alice: I leave the economy mode
    17:30 Alice: The temperature is lower than desired, I open the heating valve

    The same forced exit from the saving mode, as early in the morning.

    18:00 Alice: Now 18 hours exactly
    18:14 Alice: Attention! Entrance gate opens.
    18:15 Alice: Motion detected.
    18:15 Alice: The gate is closed.

    A wife and child usually return home before me. In passing, I notice this event while reading my Twitter feed, where I have Alice’s account in my “friends” (non-public, of course), where she regularly writes about all events.

    19:00 Alice: Now 19:00 exactly
    19:32 Alice: Sergey left the office
    19:55 Alice: Sergey passes the Neighbors store
    19:55 Alice: I go to the standby mode of arrival
    20:00 Alice: Now 20 hours exactly
    20: 00 Alice: I switch to night mode
    20:03 Alice: Sergey drives through the auto market
    20:12 Alice: Sergey drives up to the house
    20:12 Alice: The gate opens automatically.
    20:13 Alice: Attention! Entrance gate opens.
    20:14 Alice: Sergey is already at home. Gate can be closed.
    20:14 Alice: The gate is closed.

    This is me coming home. Firstly, when driving through several Hot-spots, I fell under the pattern of behavior described in the system and Alice put herself in standby mode for my return. The latter meant the automatic opening of the entrance gate when I approached the house - a trifle, but terribly convenient, especially when you return on a motorcycle and have to pull off your gloves “manually” to open the gate, look for where you put the remote control from the gate drive this time. In addition, the system unequivocally determined that it was I who came, because a constantly working bluetooth device scanner detected my phone within the range by the MAC address and it was decided that the recently opened gate should be closed.

    21:00 Alice: Now 21 hours at exactly
    22:00 Alice: Now 22 hours at exactly
    23:00 Alice: Now 23 hours at exactly
    23:30 Alice: Alice wishes you good night. Remember to ventilate the room before going to bed.

    That's all. The day was not overshadowed by some emergency situations, all systems worked normally.

    PS I take this opportunity to talk a bit about the news of the MajorDoMo project , on the platform of which all of the above was implemented.

    Firstly, as I already mentioned, a new version of the system has been released with a whole bunch of not dramatic, but important changes and corrections. Despite the fact that the assembled versions are released quite rarely (once every few months), the system is constantly being finalized, which can be monitored through GitHub . In addition, the latest version has a built-in update mechanism, which allows, if desired, to pull all the freshest directly from GitHub.

    Secondly, and most importantly, a community is forming around the project - on the forum you can see how the system is being implemented by others, which (and how) devices are being assembled, problems that are being solved, and experience exchange on setting up and programming. The community is still small, but very active :)

    Thirdly, for, let's say, educational and enlightening goals, I put together a prototype of the Smart Apartment kit. It consists of several basic modules, each of which is described in one form or another on the pages of the project.


    More details here .

    PPS You can consider advertising, but the following message is directly related to the project :) In one of the articles on Habré, I saw a mention of Nootechnika company - a Belarusian manufacturer of home automation devices. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with them, as they are, like me, in the city of Minsk. So, at the moment they have a product line, which allows you to introduce basic automation of load and lighting control using wireless modules and remotes at home, but, as you know, I’m more interested in devices that can be integrated into the general management environment of Smart Home and I was very interested in the information that Nootechnika plans to release devices control your modules using a USB stick connected to a computer. In general, I was assured that a prototype of this device is about to be released and I will be one of the first to receive it for testing :) So, if everything goes according to plan, then soon another budget will be integrated into the project device for wireless lighting control.

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