Hi. My name is Anthony, and it’s about time I make this confession . . .
I’m a huge home automation geek. I didn’t mean for it to happen this way, but I can’t hide it any longer. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you how this all started . . .
In the Beginning…
In the beginning, I never meant to teach anybody how to automate their homes. I didn’t even start out trying to automate homes or anything.
I just wanted to sleep in. Or more precisely, I wanted my college roommate to stop hitting the snooze button on his alarm clock.
You see, he was one of those people who set an alarm for an hour before he actually intended to get out of bed. Every morning, his alarm would go off. He reached over, hit the snooze button, and rolled back over. The process repeated every nine minutes, every single day.
And it drove me mad.
Now I was mostly good-natured about it, because it gave me license to do the same to him every once in a while (mostly when I got up early to cram for exams).
But one day I snapped.
I’d really had enough. So I sat down and sketched out a Rube Goldberg-esque anti-snooze system. There was no way that his awful habits would persist if I installed this. Here’s what it consisted of:
- Bright lamps (100W) directly over his head to turn on at alarm time
- Loud music turns on at the other side of the room, so he has to get up to turn it off
- Coffee maker turns on 10 minutes before alarm time so there’s a fresh pot of coffee ready (pre-load before going to bed)
- A mini-fridge stocked with Red Bull next to the bed (well…that was already there)
- A spring mechanism to throw him out of bed if he wasn’t out within 15 minutes OR a bucket of water suspended over his bed
I quickly realized that everything in the design (except for the last part) was doable. Finding a lamp, speakers and coffee maker was easy enough. But how would I get it all to turn on at the right time?
I took to Google to find out.
Fifteen minutes later, I had stumbled onto something equally fascinating and infuriating.
It was called home automation.
So that was how I was going to get everything to turn on at the right time. But the little information I could dig up about it was so fragmented, convoluted, and even contradictory, I wanted to give up.
But I didn’t.
I was in full-on battle mode.
By the time I figured out how to make my system work, I was furious. How could something so amazing, so useful and so simple be so inaccessible and hard to understand? What should have taken me fifteen minutes to figure out took several days.
Something needed to be done.
Nothing gets me more fired up than inefficiency and broken systems. If I see someone wasting effort (or worse, if I find myself in a run-around) I get really pissed. And once I identify what is wasting my time, I go all-out.
Now before I go on, there’s something you should know about me… it’s that I have been frequently called the hardest-working lazy person on the planet. That’s probably a fair assessment. I can’t explain why, but I have an irresistible urge to improve things. Most of the time, it means I end up spending a ton of time and effort so that I don’t have to spend time and effort.
I had already spent hours decoding the techno-babble, translating it into plain and simple English, and organizing it. It was clear to me that someone needed to aggregate all the information about home automation into one location.
So in July 2008, I registered the domain smart-home-automation-guide.com, uploaded my notes, and gave home automation, well, a home.
Fast-forward a few years…
Since then, a lot of things have happened. If you told me three years ago that I would still be working on my home automation project today, I probably would have laughed at you.
To be honest, it’s so crazy to think that in the past few years, my guide and tutorials on home automation have helped tens of thousands of people, and that you are here because you want to learn something.
If I do say so myself, I’ve done a pretty decent job pulling the basic information together into one resource. But I’m not done yet.
Far from it.
I’ve had the great opportunity to meet some truly amazing people who are passionate about their homes. I’ve answered hundreds of questions from beginners, and have had three-hour-long discussions with seasoned experts about the crazy systems in their home (and believe me, they are incredible).
You wouldn’t believe how much about home automation I’ve learned just from talking to people. But if there is one thing that I’ve learned over these years, it’s this:
We are a rare breed.
It’s amazing how few people even know what home automation is. We’re light years ahead of everyone.
Think about your own neighborhood. If you’re lucky, you know one or two other guys who you can chat about your home automation system. Maybe you even help each other install things, or you’re competitive and try to out-do each other with more and more outlandish features.
But if you’re like the vast majority of people here, you’re reading this because you don’t know anyone like that in your community.
I know it can get lonely. In the three years I’ve been playing in this space, I’ve met a grand total of two people in my neighborhood who have even heard of home automation.
But every single day, I receive emails from people who are excited about their home automation projects. The home automation community exists, and it’s right here.
Your neighbors might not understand your home automation system and why you’re even interested in it… but we do. We can even help you with it and give you suggestions if you need them. And when you’re finished, you’ll have us to show off to.
My mission is to develop that community and to make it strong and vibrant. Home automation is a hell of a lot more fun when you’re doing it with other people.
Together we can make it happen. Will you join in?
How you can join the community
Sign up for my email newsletter, if you haven’t already. I’m planning big things for the site and community, so you’ll want to stay up to date.
Like Home Automation Geek on Facebook and introduce yourself on the wall.
Email me at homeautomationgeek @ gmail . com and say hello…I respond to each email personally!
A favor please? Some feedback…