Internet of Things

Hello BIMfans,
While my draft Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) is out for consultation I wanted to talk another related project I have been working on; trying to make my home a little smarter.

Before we moved into our house I daydreamed about the kind of ‘smart’ things my house would do.  So when we moved in there was obviously a purchase I needed to make straight away; I got myself a Nest thermostat.  The house had no thermostat at all, meaning that I would have to control the heating by punching the boiler’s clock guessing when I’d need the house heated.  Now I am able to program my heating either directly through the thermostat or through its mobile app; meaning on a chilly day I could switch the heating on while I head home, or make sure it isn’t heating while I’m away.

The real value however is its ability to be part of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).  IoT is a data exchange network of connected devices, software, and sensors allowing data from one influence another.  For example I have been using IFTTT to allow my house to speak to me.

I’m sorry Dan.  I’m afraid I cannot do that

IFTTT (If this then that) is a simple automation service allowing products, sensors, and services to trigger actions.  For instance, since setting it up last week I have set up a number of recipes:

Home Reporting:
I currently have the following recipes set up using smart devices in my home.

  • If (Nest Thermostat Temperature > 24°c), then (let me know)
  • If (Nest Thermostat Temperature < 15°c), then (let me know)
  • If (Nest Protect Battery Level = low), then (let me know)
  • If (I’m near by house), then (turn on mobile wifi)

Automatic Reporting:
I also have the following recipes set up using data from outside of my house.

  • If (Time = 07:00), then (report the weather forecast)
  • If (Time&Date = Monday, 21:00), then (remind to put the bins out)
  • If (Weather = Rain), then (let me know)

In a moment of genius madness, I decided that the best method of having this information exchanged was over twitter, meet Ty Crempog (@TyCrempog):


After joining twitter last week, my house has already gained 16 followers, and has automatically sent me over twenty tweets including daily weather reports, a reminder to put the bins out, and this message to let me know my living room was getting quite warm.

I hope to expand its ability by integrating other smart products and services when I deem their automation useful.  For instance, I’m going to be getting myself a Phillips Hue starter set this week and using IFTTT to set up a few automations such as having my hall lights switch on at sunset.

The most important thing for me to consider is the value and risk of automation. I could for example have my living room temperature tweeted every degree change, but that doesn’t provide any value and would allow someone to see when I am not home.  So for now I will stick to trying to improve my home, one smart choice at a time.

So now that I have had my respite, let’s find out how my Employer’s Information Requirements fared following it’s review…

2 thoughts on “Internet of Things

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