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Initiating Hacking The Planet

After several years spending time (including writing a book) in the field of intelligent environments, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, I decided to brings some digital life in our home. As winter is coming, I am looking forward to finally start some home automation project called Hack The Planet.

The project itself has two goals, at first it should be fun. Being a computer scientist, geek, nerd, developer gadgeteer this is obvious. Second, I want to document how to deal with a project, abut the artifacts, the process, pans, restrictions, chances and threats hat might occur. In this article, I am going to discuss the very first thoughts of this project as part of the project initiation.

First of all there needs to be a vision. I am not talking about the business case, yet, just a very first vision statement.

“For me and my family, I want to set up our home in a way, I can remotely monitor and control most of the electronic and mechanical devices any time during the day, at any place where I am currently located as long as I have a decent internet access.”

Let’s have a look and revise this vision so it passes Moore’s elevator test:

“For me and my family who want to monitor and control our home remotely, Hack The Planet is a home automation system that is easy to use and extensible. Unlike available off the shelf products our product integrates hard- and software components from various vendors and can be easily extended with new techologies.”

That’s basically a very broad statement, however, for the near future this will lead the direction. I have seen many projects failing, because of the project management keeping the vision under any circumstances.

Second, I invested several hours if the project as I have it in mind is feasible at all wich is a major constraint. Are the devices I have roughly in mind available as off the shelf components, will they be within the project budget (i.e. can I afford them?), can I connect/hack the available hardware, are the serious technologies compatible or can I at least connect them in any way?

Beside creating a business case, drilling down the vision into scopes should be the next step before continuing with the project.

Project Initiation


Published inhack-the-planet


  1. whoo it seems you’ve taken that way more seriously than I did – I am delighted to see that you’re going to jump into that home automation thingie and that I now have a source for even more ideas – great stuff ahead!

  2. Looking forward to build a few things. By the way, are you happy with the EzControl XS1? That’s the only receiver/sender I have found so far covering multiple frequencies.

  3. Andreas – looks like the link to your book is broken. It contains a %2C instead of a dot in the domain name. Just fyi. Nice articles – I’m enjoying a quick read through. I’ve been playing also with home automation, but more around information and presentation integration than control. We should talk.

  4. bastian bastian

    also correct the bold text: “start some home automation project called Hack The ___Panet___.”

    • Thanks a lot, just fixed it!

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