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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


"Domotics" is apparently the word some hipster has given the technology of "smart homes." Many years ago - about 10 by now - I lived in a two-story townhouse. I had, as always, dozens of computers - most of which were all but worthless. Some of these were mere husks, as I'd pulled the best components from them all to Frankenstein one box. Unfortunately, that box was capable of running only Win95; again, we were already on Win98 and you really couldn't do much with 95, but you could definitely do what I wanted: Create a "Smart Home."

I had a friend whose hobby was electronics. He had purchased one of those DIY laser-pointer contraptions from Radio Shack a few years earlier and showed me how he'd hacked it into a kind of laser disco ball device that could be set to the music, manually controlled, or set to randomly display. It had given me the idea of laser "tripwires" which would control the lights in the rooms - basically turn them off and on as you walked in and out. Of course, you might have to walk back and forth a couple times if it somehow got switched-around. Pretty much everything else was to be controlled vocally.

Needless to say, I never got far with the project, but the idea has always remained.

Now, Mark Hamblin - creator of the original iPhone touchpad - has setup a new business called Touch Revolution. Hamblin's goal is to create and install touchscreens on basically every control and appliance in the home, making them controllable by smartphone or possibly some kind of universal remote, even your browser. The app runs on Android.

While the project is still in the development stages, you could reasonably expect some actual, working model by 2015 (purely a guess on my part, but a reasonable one, I think).

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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