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.