This project has for goal to make smart home automation very accessible to anyone. That means it's a good project you can recommend to your friends who are entirely new to smart home automation or a good start for you if you're discovering Hackaday and want to learn more about the world of makers and more specifically smart home automation.
This project is supposed to be easy to follow and replicate even if you have no tech knowledge/skills and a limited budget
The universe of smart home automation is fascinating! The idea of making your house intelligent, making your tiring daily tasks occur automatically with no efforts, going beyond the usual experience of your home and center yourself on tasks and moments that really matters are some of the many reasons to jump into the automation train.
Smart home is however a difficult world to enter. Until now, you needed one of two things to join it: enough money or enough skills. The smart home market is crowded of many products that often can’t communicate with each other and which price quickly reach the $100 threshold for only one item, with often many hidden costs and fees. The DIY smart home community on the other hand relies on complicated manual and coding skills that few have. Smart home automation isn’t accessible to most of us.
That’s precisely why Naran tried to change things! We developed Prota OS, a user-friendly interface which aims at making smart home automation accessible to anyone and every budget. Once installed on a SD card, which is then plugged into a inexpensive Raspberry Pi micro-computer, you can now access a world of connection, smart devices and automated workflows.
Through this project, we want to explain how you can use Prota OS for anything you want and make your first step into the smart home world.
Step 1: SETUP IS EASY-PEASY!
Prota OS for smart home is optimized for Raspberry Pi, a micro-computer that you can buy for around $30 (for instance here or here). It has for mission to make computers and computing accessible to anyone. All you need is a SD card (16Gb) which holds the OS that runs the micro-computer.
Download and open Etcher, select the image and the drive and start the process.
Burning the SD card can be done by literally anyone and only takes 6 to 8 minutes to be done. (+1 min to download the OS image and Etcher software).
Once Prota OS is burned on the SD card, you can follow this simple installation guide to set up your Prota hub (less than 1 minute!). You only need to define its name and password, your time zone and your email address and the rest is completely automatic!
That’s it! In less than 15 minutes and with no hassle, you transformed your Raspberry Pi into a Smart Home automation hub!
HOW IS IT WITH OTHER AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS? Other OS for DIY automation are much more complicated to set up. As you can see in this Instructables, setting up Raspbian (the most common Raspberry Pi OS) is a 29 steps procedure that can discourage any non-techie person. Once finally set-up, it will also be necessary to take one to two months to learn Python, in order to know what command to type to trigger your OS and set up your automations. It’s a bit longer than 15 minutes...
Step 2: START SIMPLE = TURN YOUR WEBCAM INTO a SMARTCAM
Let’s now show you how you can very easily turn your good old webcam into a smart cam in 4 easy steps and just 60 seconds!
Plug your old webcam
Open App Libraries
Download Webcam app
Open Webcam app
That’s it! Your webcam just transformed into a smartcam! It’s directly installed and start taking snapshots regularly and when motion occurs.
HOW IS IT WITH OTHER AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS? Based on an OS like Raspbian, the process takes way longer. Have a look at this project for instance. In order to set up your webcam, you will need to: Install a webcam server software Write lines of code to set up the connection of the Raspberry Pi with the webcam Write complicated code to set up a motion detection feature Write complicated code to set up the automation that will take snapshots and display them
This can take more than an hour for experienced programmers!