Home Automation/Presence

I’ve been thinking about home automation a bit recently, and I realized that what I want as a big part of a system is some sort of generic presence-system. I’m imagining something along the lines of:

  • Small/cheap nodes that can be plugged in around a house/space
  • The nodes would form a mesh and talk to each other
  • Nodes would determine the strength of a signal (Bluetooth LE?) and “discuss” it amongst each other to determine which one you’re closest to, and thus roughly “where” you are (triangulate your location based on signal strengths)
  • Nodes would all connect to a server/service (could be locally-hosted), where they would broadcast your current location somehow. Maybe something like a Socket.IO server, so that other services could connect and receive live updates of location changes?

I wonder if this could be hacked together from iBeacons somehow, or if it’s too much the reverse of what they’re intended for? Does this already exist? Is there a better/simpler solution already available?

Proximity Detection on a Mac

I get really annoyed when I find myself having to do things over and over that a computer could easily do. I am also really bad at remembering to do small things that don’t seem that important.

The latest intersection of these 2 things is that I’ve been forgetting (or not bothering) to set my status as “Away” or “Back” on all the communications apps I have running when I leave the computer. This is something that a computer should be able to do itself, and something that I’m horribly bad at remembering to do.