ChattyHome Blog


ChattyHome is an Arduino, PostgreSQL, Cocoa based DIY attempt at creating an intelligent house system. Another words, it’s home automation for Mac.

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At the moment it can do things like:

- control heating / cooling in each of the rooms separately, based on fully configurable schedule and scripts such as 'if there's nobody downstairs after 10pm, switch the heating off there'

- tell you things like 'Good morning' followed by the weather forecast for today, or 'I have switched fishtank's main light off to prevent water overheating.' It can understand voice commands if you can speak with (or can fake) american accent.

- send you Skype messages or SMS telling you about the movements in the house, etc.

  1. -show you the graphs of temperature, humidity, light level or any other parameter you measure in and around your home. The graphs are fairly flexible and configurable, you can easily select various probes to see them together, add echoes to see previous periods or see data way in the past.

  2. -switch the lights for you when you move around the house at night in the dark.

  3. -control the lights or any other appliance in any of the rooms if you give it a command through your Mac, iPhone / iPad or web client - from anyplace in the world.

  4. -and more.

The system is not quite ready for public release yet as there are a few things in the fool-proofing area which needs to be done, but if someone is brave enough to give it a try and install it in their own home and become a beta tester, I would be delighted and more than happy to help and give you all the support you may need.

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This project started as a fishtank automation, then expanded to be a whole house per-room temperature control system running my central heating, integrated with heat recovery ventilation as well. I built it in 2009 and it has proven to work quite well over the winter. New functionality and features are being added gradually, the latest one being realtime monitoring of PIR sensors. The software and the system are evolving as I learn Cocoa programming and electronics, but the original concept remains: I want to have a flexible Mac -based system which could run not only my home, but anyone's else.