Smart Apartment Communities

I am getting a new apartment and am going to move-in in October!  This time it is a fancy one, not a basement of a house, but well it is still technically in a basement (subterranean as the apartment office calls it).  It is fancy in that it is part of an apartment complex.  The best part though is that I will be moving in there with my then to be wife, Leslie :).

So, last night Leslie was on her amazon because she was checking the shipping order for one of her friends wedding gift.  I was watching and she accidentally scrolled down too far and I saw what she got me for my Birthday!  She got me a Raspberry Pi 3!  So, it is a bit early for my birthday, but I don’t care.  I’m getting a raspberry pi!!!

This got me thinking of multiple ideas of what to do with it…  From making the whole kitchen into a smart kitchen.  Where we have smart outlets, automatic faucets, lights that turn on when you walk in or off when you leave, and automatic alarms that go off if the oven has been on for longer than you set it for, sound system controller, humidity regulator (since a basement probably will need a dehumidifier), temperature controller. dishwasher monitor, voice controlled kitchen timers…. I mean the list just goes on and on and on!

This got me thinking that apartment complexes would be the ideal candidate to start renovating for smart living spaces!  Essentially a smart community.  They could operate on there own smart/micro grid, have there own micro water plant (because why don’t we operate water and sewer like the micro-grid?  I mean that way the entire water system is not so easily polluted by a single source.  Also, that means a more exact amount of water is able to be cleaned etc.  idk but seems like a cool idea right?), also there would be solar panels installed on all the roofs (or at least those that make sense).  Then they could also renovate the apartments themselves.  Of course the more you pay the more the automation and the higher end the appliances etc are.  Of course you would want the smart house to be easily able to integrate the apartment resident’s devices and personal augmentation.  That way they could add more automation themselves if they desire.

So, that is a lot up front.  But, if the complexes start offering for a significant rent increase the basic smart house, they could start to increase there revenue and start to renovate the communities and start to make there company stand out.  Eventually they would have the dream of my last paragraph.  Of course if they are building a new community they might consider doing this from the start.

So, that was a fun idea I had.  I think that this would be a fun business to get into.  Contracting with apartment companies to renovate their apartment communities.

 

Autonomous Mixer

Ingredients 🙂

  1. 3D printer
  2. Motors
  3. Touchscreen with Raspberry-pi
  4. Leap Motion (for gesture recognition)
  5. Pressure Sensor (to know when the bowl is on the turn table)
  6. Kinect (for facial response feedback, mixing monitoring)

So, this would be the coolest mixer everrr (lol)!  Would 3d print the housing and the mixing blades.  Would self-clean (maybe) and automatically mix the ingredients using the right speed and mixing blades without a mess.  Could use learning from demonstration to teach it how to mix different ingredients.  Then could eventually optimize it for minimizing different things like number of turns etc to mix depending on the ingredients and end product.  Would automatically stop when finished mixing of course.  Leap Motion so you don’t need to touch any buttons.  Connected to the internet to share learning data and settings.  Learn to print new mixing blades.

I have a ton more ideas but I’ll come back.  This seems like it should be on Kickstarter.  Most mixers are very lame and need you to touch them to be able to adjust settings etc.  This could be easily automated and keep the machine clean.  They are also very very expensive for some of the “nice” ones (around $400).  So, could sell this for a lot less and have a ton more features.

Automatic Dependency Injection

We need a source code analyzer that looks at the includes, imports, requires etc. in the source code and the functions that are used is able to extract the correct dependencies in order to compile and run the program.  This would save a ton of time in open source development.  I think this is possible too.  This could also be used to help developers to move to new versions of their dependencies.

Then in the future for dependency injection, users would not even need to specify the specific libraries or versions.  Could be inferred from how the methods are used in the code.  I think this is essential for more complicated programs.

Pdf to Mp4

Kevin and I were exercising and we came up with the idea that there should be an app that will take your pdf or book and make it into a mp4 video that will scroll through your document that you want to read.  It will do it at a pace that is at your reading speed.  If enough people have read the book you could get their average read speeds for various sections and set the speed accordingly.

I just had the idea that if we had a head/iris tracker we might be able to guestimate where on the page you are at and move the page accordingly.  They have it on Galaxy S4.  However, I’d imagine that if you are walking or running basing it off of your head or iris will be difficult as your head will be bobbing.  Also, you might scroll unintentionally.

Autonomous Smart Faucets

So, i want to make a device that will turn on and off the bathroom sink for me…

Basically I’m too lazy to turn off the sink while i’m brushing my teeth. So,
I want to connect a RP to a Kinect/leapmotion to a couple motors that can move the knobs.

Then it would be cool to train it… Like to know i want cold water when i’m brushing my teeth i want hot water when washing my hands i want cold water when i’m filling by water bottle when to turn off the faucet etc.  Might be able to integrate HiTAB somehow so that the end user can develop new behaviors like hot and cold…  Essentially come up with different applications that I haven’t thought of yet.  It could also estimate water usage and sync with your phone to let you know that your children have brushed their teeth etc.

This would save soo much water too.  Therefore, it would be cost effective…  Really I could sell this and if you have a somewhat large family then you would see the savings…

Builder Broker DIFM

So, one of my old ideas of the automating the contracting of building buildings is starting to seem more of like a good idea.  I just read an article on TechCrunch about the Do It For Me (DIFM) company is actually something that is a viable startup idea.  However, I believe that with the DIFM model my builder broker idea should work.  The current software solutions require a lot of manual work and data entry.  There are many many small business building contractors.  I think I need to think about this idea more…  I will write soon.

A similar tool is Angies List they provide detailed reviews of handymen and other services and provide a “storefront” for them.  However, they only provide a list.

https://www.thumbtack.com/ is very similar to my idea, however they were smart and generalized and made it for anything you want done.  Basically you can get quotes from general contractors if you want a large job done.  Or you can hire a dj or a photographer etc.

What my idea I think was proposing is the elimination of the need for the general contractor.  That they would be replaced by my system.  However, I believe that they would be useful in other respects.  I wanted something that could scale to large scale contracts.  That is also something that I don’t think that thumbtack or angies list could offer.  However, I’m not sure I could either.  Most of the information is social.  You need contacts, you need to know what sort of permits are required.  A vision for the overall plan is required.

 

There are sites that monitor the permit offices that people submit building permits to so that builders can find jobs!!!  www.constructionmonitor.com  The system that I would build would eliminate the need for such monitoring.  We would come to you.

Travel and Architecture

  1. There should be an app that will tell you your personal expected travel time at any user given day and time not just the current conditions and average driving time given speed limits etc.  It could be based off of your past history of driving.  So, basically it would need to be a phone app that could record things like acceleration and time to arrival vs the expected average time of arrival.  History of traffic from google (those yellow, green, red lines), speed limits, weather history and weather predictions.  All of this can easily directly affect the travel times of people.  This could be used when you are in a new city that you haven’t driven in before.  They might be able to recommend easier routes.  I have found that TomTom has a terrible web app that claims to do some of what I outlined above, but their user interface is the worst.  Also, Google shows the typical traffic at a particular day and time, but doesn’t give you the option to get directions based off of that information.
  2. Now a variation of this idea I think is probably on my blog already but I again experienced the need for it.  Builders create blueprints which they take to their clients for review.  This is a long and iterative process due to miscommunication between the client and the builder.  Automating this process and obtaining the specs from a client to create a structure seems similar in principle to that of building a piece of software.  Which we are taught, as computer scientist, is a difficult venture that requires a lot of time talking with the client to obtain the specs and their ideas.  Unlike with software I think a lot of the issues with architecture version of the problem could be automated and prototyped in front of the client.  Leading to a faster return time and thus greater revenue from happy customers.  I found this journal, Automation in Construction, it looks like they have been exploring this problem (http://www.journals.elsevier.com/automation-in-construction/).

I’d like to see both of these applications created.  I might in the future discuss in more detail how I would go about implementing them.

Chocolatey (package manager)

Chocolatey is a package manager for windows.  This is something that I think all windows users should consider getting.  Even if you don’t use the command line there is a GUI to interact with it https://chocolatey.org/packages/ChocolateyGUI.  You can add new packages to chocolatey.org and take advantage of their automatic packages to make it so if you update the package the users that have it installed will automatically be updated.  Awesome.  So, if I ever have to manage a bunch of computers I think this is the first thing I’ll install on all the windows machines.

Would be nice to have program that would connect to all of the chocolatey computers and ask them for the packages that chocolatey is managing and also request that particular packages be installed on those machines.  This would make chocolatey perfect.

https://puppetlabs.com/ does that!  And its open source http://puppetlabs.com/puppet/puppet-open-source (at least for the non-enterprise version).  However, there are a bunch of alternatives http://alternativeto.net/software/puppet/.  Which is cool.  Might be a better/easier/free alternative.

fun autonomous vehicle ideas

Would be cool in the future with autonomous cars we will be able to have events where instead of having stations in a building that you walk to you would be in cars.  And whenever you switched you would change cars.

 

Bathroom car!  Would be too cool to have an autonomous bus/car that just drove around the city and people could request it and you would be able to go to the bathroom in it.  It could connect to the back of your car and you could walk into it.  Sensors would be able to monitor when you needed to go to the bathroom so that those vehicles could be positioned appropriately.