Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Technology holds the key to automating many of the repetitive and arduous tasks associated with housekeeping. It’s why products such as Nest, an intelligent thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature in your home, have proven so popular.
The next phase, it would seem, is building a human interface based on voice commands. Being able to simply walk through the front door and say, “turn the sprinklers on outside” would be pretty useful, but what if your house could also talk back?
Tom Coates has taken the first step to realizing this utopia by building a Twitter feed for his San Francisco home. The ‘House of Coates’ account now posts regular tweets based on the temperature, lighting and weather, or if a plant needs watering outside.
Just so you know, the Bedroom Light is now on.
— House of Coates (@houseofcoates) May 24, 2013
It even mentions Tom when action needs to be taken. One example includes the line: “Hey @tomcoates, I just noticed some movement in the sitting room. Is that you?”
Now, this setup isn’t designed to give Coates the ability to issue new commands and tasks. Instead, it’s just a rather novel way of receiving notifications about the state of his home, or chores that need to be completed. What’s really clever is that it uses conversational language; something that anyone can understand and interact with.
It’s just hit 68 inside – that’s rather lovely. I’m pretty sure Tom will be happy about that.#Twine
— House of Coates (@houseofcoates) May 23, 2013
Coates has a number of sensors scattered around his home to help identify and track all of this information. These include several Belkin WeMo switches to help control the lights, as well as a Twine device to track temperature and moisture.
He then programmed all of these gadgets to trigger automated online actions using If This Then That (IFTTT), a free Web tool that can react on Facebook, Evernote, LinkedIn and a whole host of other services based on rules pre-set by the user.
It’s not just brilliant, but a great bit of fun too. Even if you dislike the idea of having your own personal Jarvis from Iron Man, the Twitter feed is well worth checking out. We promise it’ll put a smile on your face.
Image Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
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