SparkLabs To Launch Its Internet Of Things Accelerator In South Korean “Smart City” Songdo

Very exciting.


Raspi Z-Wave Automation is Automated



Home automation keeps popping up here at Hackaday, so [Cristian Zatonyl] decided to share his Raspberry Pi-based system with us. This build takes a firm stance on the “automated” side of the automation vs. control debate we had last week: no user input necessary. Instead, [Cristian] relies on geofencing to detect whether he has driven outside the set radius and automatically turns off the lights and locks his door.

The build takes advantage of Z-Wave products, which are your typical wireless remote-control gadgets, but tacks on a third-party “RaZberry” board to a Raspi to give it control over off-the-shelf Z-wave devices. The final step is the integration of a custom iOS app that keeps tabs on the geofence boundaries and signals the Pi to control the lights and the front door lock.

[Cristian’s] tutorial covers the basics and admits that it’s a proof of concept without any security…

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In home electricity consumption monitoring with Kill-a-Watt

This project originally came for Ladyada’s Tweet-a-Watt project, and was adapted for the RasperryPi by Drew Fustini of Element14. It currently calculates the cost and KWatts/hour aggregates, as well as current Watt usage for each of the three data collection points. It then pushes that data to Xively’s data-viz website. I’ve added to the project by updating the code to: accommodate for Cosm’s change over to Xively,  include two more Kill-a-Watts, and scraping my local energy companies website for the current cost of electricity every five minutes.



Developing Intelligent and Adaptive Building Systems for a Digital Ecology


Our world is being changed by a dynamic digital presence. The marriage of virtual and physical represents an ecology which has become intertwined with the lives of nearly everyone, fundamentally altering how our society functions. While we have evolved in this sense, the built environment has become outmoded and strains to meet emerging occupant requirements. To correct this, it has become necessary to develop environments that are capable of intelligently responding to shifting requirements. As curators of the built environment, architects are responsible for seeking out and engaging new mechanisms to achieve spaces that occupants find desirable. An experiential summary of the architectural-digital-hacking process will be given. A more traditional research method was followed when possible while engaged in this learning process. This research focuses on utilizing readily available digital tools that are capable of simultaneously mitigating issues associated with occupant requirements and energy consumption. It will also address shortcomings related to occupant comfort and energy consumption observed in our buildings by producing a series of working prototypes that will be tested and analyzed. Results will be presented, and will consist of components used and how they were used to serve as a reference for future development.

Full Paper PDF

Giving digital calipers Bluetooth


[Fede]’s wife uses a pair of digital calipers to take measurements of fruits, leaves, and stems as part of her field research. Usually this means taking a measurement and writing it down in a log book. All things must be digitized, so [Fede] came up with a way to wirelessly log data off a pair of cheap Chinese calipers with a custom-made Bluetooth circuit.

Most of these cheap Chinese digital calipers already have a serial output, so [Fede] only needed to build a circuit to take the serial output and dump it in to an off-the-shelf Bluetooth module. He fabbed a custom circuit board for this, and after seeing the increased battery drain from the Bluetooth module, decided to add an external battery pack.

In addition to etching his own board for sending the serial output of the calipers to a Bluetooth module, [Fede] also put together a custom flex…

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WiSee: Whole-Home Gesture Recognition Using Wireless (not Kinect!)

Here’s a gesture recognition project from the Computer Science department at The University of Washington, Seattle. Unlike the Kinect, and similar devices, WiSee uses the WiFi signals already present throughout your home. Additionally, it requires no line-of-sight and can detect gestures through walls and other non-transparent obstacles. Results from the proof-of-concept project indicate that WiSee can identify and classify a set of nine gestures with an average accuracy of 94%.

Home security hardware makes you the monitoring service



[Nick] and [Simon] both have home security systems with a monitoring service who will call whenever an alarm is tripped. For [Simon] this ends up happening a lot and he wanted to change the circumstances that would trigger a call. Because of company policy the service is inflexible, so he and [Nick] went to work cutting them out of the loop. What they came up with is this custom electronics board which monitors the security system and calls or texts them accordingly.

They started with the self-monitoring alarm system design we looked at back in September. This led to the inclusion of the SIM900 GSM modem, which is a really cheap way to get your device connected to the cellular network. It also uses a DTMF touch tone decoder to emulate the phone line to keep the security system happy. [Simon] highlights several changes he made to the design…

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Would you believe that this beautiful light fixture is actually a hacked together home automation project? Okay, so this wire mess is the second of three versions that [Christian] built. It replaces a light fixture in the room, but if you look closely you’ll see that there is a compact fluorescent bulb included in the build. The laser-cut frame acts as a bit of a lamp shade, while providing a place to mount the rest of the hardware.

The final version cleans things up a bit, and adds a footprint for the PIR motion sensor that he forgot to design into this version. The idea is that each lamp monitors motion in the room, switching the light on and off again as necessary. A light-dependent resistor ensures that the bulb is only powered up if the room is dark so as not to waste electricity during the day.


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Kindle weather and recycling display

I only wish it had color…



We’ve seen a fair number of hacks like this one that reuse a Kindle basically just for its ePaper display. [HaHaBird] has this device hanging on his refrigerator to display the weather and remind him about recycling day. It kind of make us wonder why we’re not seeing cheap ePaper modules on the hobby market?

The concept isn’t new, but [HaHaBird] does move it along just a little bit. He started by following the guide which [Matt] wrote after pulling off the original Kindle weather display hack. It uses a separate computer running a script that polls the Internet for weather data and generates a vector graphic like the one seen above. The Kindle then loads the image once every five minutes thanks to a cron job on the rooted device. But why stop there? [HaHaBird] tweaked the script to include a reminder about his municipality’s irregular recycling…

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