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A project log for Squirco Smart Home System - Sensor Network

Hidden sensors in every light switch

StevenSteven 11/05/2015 at 22:400 Comments

It's been a while since I posted an update, so I think a progress update is in order.

I've been using the previous prototype for the last 3 months, and every day I'm discovering what tweaks are needed to create more useful data, as well as improving the user experience. I'm going to list some of the changes below:

Mechanical:

- The mechanical assembly is narrower

- A new, simpler hinge mechanism was designed

Electronics:

- The iBeacon components have been removed.

- The potential cost of the iBeacon assembly was used to upgrade the sensors. Instead of the analog temperature and ALS sensors, all the sensors have been upgraded to digital

- The NTC was replaced by a BME280, which measure temperature, humidity, and pressure

- The Ambient Light Sensor was replaced by a APDS9960, which measures RGBW, proximity, and gesture

- A magnetometer was added to obtain the direction the light switch is facing

- An additional "Neopixel" was added to make night light stronger.

On top of these changes, the PCB layout was changed to accommodate any future sensor additions, which means that as time goes on, an I2C enabled BLE unit can be installed to regain any iBeacon functions.

Software:

- The entire code base was updated to be more efficient.

- OTA update is making progress

Feature Design:

One of the main problems with "smart devices" that purely provide data (such as fitness trackers) is that the people who use them don't know what to do with the data presented to them. The feature list was revised to make the data "actionable", which means that the network will act (or not act) automatically based on data, or the data presented to the user will trigger them to make decisions to act (or not act)

I will have more information as the next iteration gets built and assembled. Depending on where the next batch of PCBs are ordered, I may also have some to give away to people who are interested in testing this out.

That's all for now.

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