A tweeting, speaking, IMing house

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My house tweets. It speaks. It sends me jabber messages. This seems to be a constant source of amusement for guests. This ‘house of the future’ was built with a small amount of DIY electronics and some software hacking, on a shoestring budget.

Over time I’ve added more systems to the house and it is interesting experimenting with novel ways to surface this into a more interactive house.

The first system online was a weather station (an Oregon Scientific WMR100). This records inside/outside temperatures, etc. and produces historic graphs:

weekly temperature

Then I added tweeting - an idea shamlessly nabbed from @andysc.


(those pixelated links are short urls to the relevant graph)

Then the TV series ‘Episodes’, with a talking door ‘Door Ajar’ inspired a talking house.

And finally I added jabber notifications and SMS texts to my android phone, because well.. because I could:


Whilst 5 ways of communicating information may seem like overkill - each has its particular use. Very urgent messages related to the alarm being triggered are texted to me to ensure attention. Reasonably timely information (door bell rang, movement outside) is sent via jabber so I pick it up on laptop/desktop/mobile depending on when/where I am. Talking notifications act as an information point/quick update on state of house when alarming/disalarming. Tweets provide general information to be read at leisure of daily trends of house ‘environment’. And graphs provide more detailed information for those times when weather or electricity usage is doing interesting stuff.

My intention is to follow up this post with more in-depth details how each works and integrates with the house, so keep watching.