After almost 2 years in operation and development the current version of project Noah has reached its end. This undignified end did not come because of any hardware failure or software issues but because of a single unavoidable action.... we moved.
Yes, I had to pack up and leave for a bigger house needing to take 8 year's worth of carefully installed infrastructure with me. Now this move in itself could have been considered a project and after all the cut wires, hundreds of cable ties, meters of trunking and hours of disassembling I realized something profound....
A home automation system built by and for an electronics enthusiast is a deeply personal and customized system. It is something that gets done because we get wrapped up in the idea of how cool it would be to automate things and to use this collective knowledge and power we have over electricity to bend daily things to our will. We get so wrapped up in features and ideas that we miss out on some fundamental principles of what we really wanted to accomplish. I have yet to find or come up with a system to beat the simplicity and reliability of the humble light switch.
It is this simplicity, reliable and transparent operations of something like a light switch that we need to strive for. A true home automation system should not be VISIBLE, it should not have to be ASKED to complete a simple task, it should not require a university degree to WORK with and control, it should not CONSUME more power and resources to implement than a simpler solution, it should above all else be SECURE.
It is with this wisdom that I now stand in my new home rethinking my approach to home automation. Until such time as I have a better solution I will continue to flip a switch Ad infinitum.
As a last word I would encourage anyone attempting to build their own system to do so as it will teach you a wealth of knowledge about many disciplines you rarely get doing any other project. But do not get lost in the implementation and forget about the end goal ... simplicity.