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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Smart Susan

  • On April 7, 2018

The best interface is no interface” – Golden Krishna

The landscape of smart home automation today is utterly cluttered. Small and big players are struggling to get a foothold in the exponentially growing industry. The hype is very much real.

But if you are one of the enthusiasts who has managed to set up your own version of “smart home”, you know how complex and disorienting the whole system is. Installation and maintenance of a smart home is a colossal├é┬átask and most consumers eventually get rid of it. There is no denying that there are a lot of benefits of going through the trouble, but is it really worth it?

Inspired by Michael C. Mozer’s adaptive house, I am trying to design a decentralised home automation system, which works locally and requires minimal input from the user. ‘Smart Susan’ is my first step towards that direction.

It took a while to get it working since this is a completely new direction for me. But now that I have some grip on the algorithm, I intend to branch out and try it out with a variety of hardware and environment. Another focus is to let a dozen of these gadgets share data and see if they can handle the sophisticated string efficiently.

There is a lot to explore in this direction, and I am still a little unclear what specific direction I should take. Something which excites me a lot is Smart Furniture. It is the perfect combination of hardware and software. And I can definitely see a viable business around a portfolio of smart furniture products. More on that later.

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