Pragmatic 3A: Turn The Damn Light Off Follow-up 1

15 December, 2013


Follow up (Part A) to Turn The Damn Light Off where we explore Multi-room Audio and Eco-home design as well as smart glass.

Transcript available
This is pragmatic follow-up part a four episode three turned down later and then Alexander and Michael host is John Geagea so are Michael Wortley who has Saab been following a show from the beginning our has-been has put together a nice addendum addendum piece if you will to the home automation segment of the last show and I encourage you to check out links on the show notes and I guess I just there's a few comments that he is made in their first while your chance to read through what he wrote here I did a arm I read it the other day yes so this was sort of pull out some key comments on the list for further discussion so are my comment regarding presence and activity are detection are key part in order to perfect those before accurate automation is real art is reliable and most people would then see a benefit from our remote controls importance but then so is remote monitoring and it's something that I didn't really address in enough depth I really I skimmed over that piece is the remote monitoring piece I see remote controls being a bit gimmicky I can see a handful of cases where it is useful but the problem I've got is that when people try and sell the concept of home automation selling the concept and saying I'll look I can turn the lightbulb from the next consonant it's like well that's great but why why would you want to do that now if you expand that beyond lighting to include door locks which we could really talk about that you can get solenoid release door locks you can get our BA shutters blinds and and window dimming a lot of stuff will talk about that little bit more a minute but the sources of other parts of of aspects of home automation you can control remotely are another idea that someone floated outs arm in comments us someone else said that art is also the coffeemaker idea so the idea would be that you're heading home from the office and you will have a nice freshly brewed cup of coffee sitting waiting for you or you could with home automation you could click a button and it will just happen but the thing is it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just for a cup of coffee to be made when you get home and you still have the presence of mind to do it_she set up this thing where you know every time your geo-fence right G offence goes off when you are 2 miles from home as soon as that happens hey presto it automatically detects that and start making a cup coffee for you and then what happens when you walk in and you feel like a cup of coffee that day we got a fresh cup of coffee there in case you wanted now the only music using the RDI Deegan tax rate yet or something similar you are exactly but that the point the point is that yet I find that the remote remote control piece of it is more of a gimmicky cell that a practical self whereas I can definitely see the benefit in remote monitoring because let's say you've left home and arm I'm not at all but my mother very much on this show butters were throw this in the shade you probably do this sometimes yourself I do sometimes she does it all the time did I leave the iron on rate did I lock the front door and literally in some cases you will stop the car turn around go home just to check that you actually shut the door and it's a little bit infuriating especially if you're in a hurry you know is about trusting yourself always also with exercise either we did talk about is law bit is a sort of trusting and in the fact that you would you do something with repetition your trust that you've done it arm the owners are certain benefits of that sort of learning but then again if you did have your house wind up when home automation you had door position sensors on all the doors you tell the doors are open or close because if there are solenoid locks you can also tell if the door was locked or not so all of this extra benefit it would be handy every now and then you were a few miles from home you heading out for a long drive somewhere and you like I'll denied denied DO leave the door open or did I lock it and he could pull up your Neo iPhone or whatever device and have a look in the software and so you cannot exorcise lock it's all good again that's that's very cool and I can they can see how that would be very handy but then again how often does that actually happened to people I not happens every now and then is maddening but I know is enough to spend 10 grand a home automation system if it is that a menu can spend $50,000 and some home automation systems rate that sort of convenience which is why I tended to look at it from the cost saving point of view rather than the are geeky G recall if sort of point of view and there are use cases of course longest point out where that is handy but how often they regularly occur and I would I would suggest to I would suggest the list I think about how often have you left the line and wish you had turned off and burnt through 34 dollars worth of electricity versus how often do you get 2 miles from home wondering if you'd you turn the turn the close the door and locked it so I guess the answer will vary from person to person may be differing on how if you have any OCD I guess I'm not sure by yet another it's one of those situations where you are unbiased memories are going to screw with us rate that unite when it you even have the radiance of rally times that you love the late sign arm will know exactly need you and you'll have an over it I are overly well remembering a surf around the times you you loved the stove on rate that absolutely and as rally times you have to sign on loan someone someone tweeted the other day because a response to this letter is the same idea that our the premise that show that movie as it can happen any more just when happier because you because you got the Internet on your phones and that's that's exactly right the shame home alone anyway a so you are right that there are some really nice moments and those men yeah yeah now I see quite like the second one was lost lost in your cycle those lovely at some of the moments of anyway okay digressing are okay so next arteritis were read are aligned that he rode out of the review because I think it's start it stiffly bears further discussion the setup costs and technical knowledge required prevents it meaning home automation from being mainstream the fact it isn't mainstream prevents a lot of companies from investing in it a lack of participation in the market prevents costs from dropping due to competition so I completely agree with that the the deeper question for me is the reason why these things are not as mainstream as you would think and some in my mind it comes back to local regulations surrounding household wiring and that is really the biggest piece but there is also technical ability so people and my things I did talk about are in the last episode was that there is now a tendency to move away from with regarding lights to move away from the idea of something you have to physically mount on the wall and everything is going wireless savings all you need to write run our dedicated data bus around the house anymore see bus or extend the whatever you and so and so forth they are now doing over wireless which means since as the case you don't need any special skills or if you can change a lightbulb it's built into the lightbulb then that's all the skill you need and for the moment at least changing a lightbulb doesn't require electrical contractors licence but now watch this space they'd love to put that in guarantee at been there already exist as an aside note are in Australia at least there's a device called an earth leakage circuit breaker and at the point of an earth leakage breaker is that it detects our winners an imbalance in the earth the the earth wire such that there is power leaking to the earth and is presumably leaking through a person our cup which is of course your electrocution so originally yet's originally they had them just on general-purpose outlets so you your toaster your TV I rarely plug into the wall and give power lighting circuits to news to have them but a few years ago things about 5 to 6 years ago here in Australia they made it mandatory for all new houses to have our earth leakage breaker is fitted to other lighting circuits because there are many very rare cases but there are still cases where people were getting our electric shocks and electrocuted from changing light bulbs and correctly marked so year no way 1/2 moneyback is without as is when we die we try the out the ground plug off of our Atari absent a score and that harm and you get all close to close to the make and all my goodness really you okay do not follow home about Asia arm the other she had a couple of electric shocks are shy but I don't now follow talk about that you are not quite ready but yeah yeah they hurt anyhow moving on "if this was going where I was going with that is some the point is that it's in my mind it's the fact that it's too hard for so many of the majority of people to retrofit home automation to their place which means I need to get an electrician or a tradesman or both and that cost money cost a lot of money so as not just the purchase price of the equipment it's the fact that you have to do the installation so the way that this stuff needs to go as it needs to go away from needing our more basically any cabling at all and whether that's for power or whether or not that's for communication so the communications pieces been handled the open between low-power Bluetooth of the ablative 4.0 or Wi-Fi or some alternative wireless proprietary protocol that lives in your free bandwidth that sort of thing you that's been handled the technology exists it's quite cheap no problem the piece that hasn't been really solved is far all the other devices around the house that need power to work like solenoid door locks where do you get that power from and something like this on my door lock the amount of power that actually needs to release the solenoid Jochen to get that from a battery it needs to be wired to a decent power source arm you window tinting get to that the minute but there's a whole bunch of different cases where you really just need to get wise to these things and so long as that's the case you really gonna struggle with retrofitting houses with a lot of home automation lights is the easy one SY talked about so there is a sort of thing that people can get access to like the LA fracture bowls a whole bunch of other are adapters you can get adapters now sit between the lightbulb and the actual light socket and they have the the what the wireless control built into an internal on off remotely so anyway so I see that that was, or allow there to be a disruption is going to be when it's possible to completely get rid of any wiring whatsoever for the item that you're using a home automation and once that happens I think that's the point at which of our reseller cost has to be reasonable when there has to be a cost trade-off whereby after five years of pace result for 10 years a pace yourself people see the value in doing it in another study using so those are my thoughts on that anyway so are all yes was another thing to note is that a lot of the home automation stuff needs a server to run like a central controller and it's interesting because everything starts off centralised and then moves to decentralise a list that's been my observation so at the moment it's cheaper and simpler for everything to either through wires or why I will wirelessly go back to a common control under, controller's dislike that his stop go guidances yes this happens you turn on all know this didn't happen you stay on or off or whatever you do go do it yourself and it's interesting because some people have gone down the PC row, like media PCs see run the software on your PC you plug it into the wireless connection or to see bus service see bus adapter something and your PC can then communicate and control these devices enjoy animation footwear so Microsoft announced 2010 sorry that I called home OS which was designed to do exactly that hasn't been released yet but in typical Microsoft fashion they announced that anyway Yana but there actually is a real product you can download and use and it's called Lennox MCE and as the name suggests is study there come wireless is fine that's perfectly fine are you okay II by clinic sometimes but yeah I'm I'm glad that we live in a world where Lennox exists and is a heck of a lot of servers at the run Lennox site I used to buy clinics a lot more but it has come so far in the last 10 years that it's it's nowhere near as painful as it used to be and it used to be painful and it has nothing to do with the back it'll never work as a consumer product are year but you won it so okay here setting up the point is you can download the software and you can use it as a server and there's plenty of one aplenty with there are several bar applications that will run on iPad and on iPhone and android and so on that allow you to control things are via the Lennox MCE server as a home automation server no matter how you slice it though even if you don't use a PC still need some kind of a controller and a massive problem because then you come back too well how I program at what options are via God is there a common programming language and of course the reason is the same susceptible PLCs writer it was not their own so if there is an area that could also make things so much easier would be if somebody would put together some common platform for all the stuff and have a nice clean programming way was that most people could learn and I realised that that actually are impossible probably because of the city say programming linkages anyone could learn suddenly you just go you've just talk yourself into a corner is a sure such a thing really existing AppleScript was supposed to be that and it isn't think anything of any prior art automated is not good to get something like make I have TTD or Yahoo paid something like that that's there that's not your your tuning things together opportunity other series of predefined actions I think that's that's what it seems to me thou broken and then is that you as the UNIX gutter units mild things of you have our little things to do one thing and an eight input through them and they do exist or why… You now it's just like a Italy clinics on the dustup greatly gears all in how you package it absolutely so I was looking at this and I thought to myself or why why not go with a distributed approach so we got centralised home automation and as a whole bunch of advantages I guess cost being one of them but whatever decentralised approach what about approach whereby you set up a relationship between two devices that so you've got a motion detector in the room and it's programmable and you you you pairing with it on Bluetooth 4.0 and you say you are the living room motion detector and then you put I want these add-on lights adapter things in between the lightbulb and the light socket and that will turn the light on and off or maybe has dimming control built into its academic as well either way any program and size of the lightbulb your your master and you need to listen to when this guy says is known in the room and you give it saying a listen to the living room monitor living room arm motion detector and all it does is sit there and the light is on emotion to take this as a sign in the room light turns on summons (wait two minutes no motions in the light off will send out the signals and an elite know when to listen and when the runtime is also a thing and such a decentralised system if you had the whole house belts with all these things in them than you could network them altogether and they could all collectively share what was going on all the rooms and they could just tell each other what you do themselves and you would need a common of a single point you would need a server you would all be decentralised and eager program each of them individually just from using an iPhone because each of them embedding a Web server on something these days is so tremendously easy rate go so it's amazing because our light out the modem that you've got connected to your computer you are as good a Web server built into it in discover the IP address and go and configure the thing this is been around for a long time and again embedded where a Web server on these things is this cheapest chips these days so it wouldn't be a massive expense it could be done so anyway I guess that's where I'd like to see it going and there's none of this if you want to go outside you have to get a special module that would then connect to the wife iron and give you access external access to but the other thing about external access before a wrapup move on to 1 some of things is what you about external access then what about external hacking men you got of the admittedly things have improved a lot WPA two still relatively solid in comparing it to WP for example via Wi-Fi but you and assist local on your local network them but once you're beyond that to the Internet you if you've got a file set up in your router so operate correctly and the other is no malware and no backdoors been put on your computer's and I can get into your local network from outside if you assume that all that is finding enough to worry about but now hacking is hacking but again while you do yard since two in the morning and suddenly someone accident and the lights on the pursue off I guess arm but more maliciously it would be arm if you had side door locks fitted you could hacking and just automatically unlock all the doors and let myself in great great so I know I'm dubious about door locks anyway I think it's a bit near I get further high traffic areas and when you got secure access and in a corporate or military environment I get that but in a home environment not so sold on anyway so no idea I think all this leave it there initiating a stalemate correctly and I want to jump into arm sound around the house at no I think it's only the distributed approach is an interesting idea and I was just arm around your runaround yet I've actually just don't just as you are going to explaining that because there is a arm the project called arm surf that's a very very late we arm service discovery and orchestrated all that is designed to kind of printing are a great way to describe this where it's it's it's it's digging extremely lightweight available and and while it was a fault tolerant but is it's not as ladylike eventual consistency with databases rate but is assembly with services so it's our it's the kind of thing that this kind that would work well for for what you're describing because you really think things that things have to happen inside a certain period of time but they don't need to be extremely precise rate you don't need an excuse level of control you just need these things to kind of size early work themselves out without you having to be super finicky and designed everything down the last detail and am yet there is there is a lot of in its it's idle because the of this particular project is a rate not answer the letters in the woodworking of the stopping it's probably too heavy for for the art the kind of embedded systems you want to help by its it's getting melancholy some of this order things are coming together using that's using the same powder and emerge our at multiple levels rate we see the same thing with things like like tent arm that an end-to-end arm I was the there's a raspberry pie project for doing your own home salary and there's a couple of mechanical what benefit up my habits is the same idea wary that the power requirements and the processor is needed to actually run these servers are trivial now and you could do it on your phone while it's not what's not busy doing other things and so outsiders stab a couple of martyrs in a house that run different rooms of the problem some I actually looks out there for a practical real world currently selling model are distributed system and I can finally doesn't mean an eye out there I just couldn't find them so I think it will be yes it's happening now labourers were in a year aerodrome is computer answer the white.I can find I can find the link but the ER the project that I was watching was really realising that the stated goal that we want to be the iPhone of Holm and am on servers in an running to is a big debate has to suffer yourself by a just think of the size of the market though Mediterranean or misused down and saw me there are so many things that that really are lovely systems of benders are clearly designed by engineers for engineers rate and they will there is a greater guide are stung by a couple weeks ago I think talking about the not the needs are to do away with software that is designed to help designed to to deflect users away from it and Alex summing up blind are for DNS or running your own mail server and just what what a nightmare that is for attacking forever some geeks to do and the idea that in a normal communal stories and the horrible term but that a normal human would do is is that not happen exactly right sorry so arm thank you very much to Mike that the wonderful addendum to the animation discussion so the some of the feedback we got from our mainly mainly is the sort of accommodation but the majority of different people but majority came from Mark from Clinton arm so might my co-host manner dies or solicits the show and are suggested that we didn't mention multiroom sounds speaker systems and the tracking of people through a house such that the sound follows you as you move through the house now he was the reason and bring that up air and because I was aware of the that's sort of the drug one of the dreams like you say with lighting following through Houston, dream right this currently no products I'm aware of the do that and yet there there are products like this so lost and then there's this one called Junco which is a new one arm assuming on pronouncing that correctly and anyhow they are multiple room sound systems but you still have to manually select which of the rooms is playing what sounds so enables and that their plan idea and airplay are if you were so close rate recycles to that perfect setup but it's yes and he is the theory right the theory goes apple as I beacons raise so an IB can detect that you are within a certain proximity of a certain speaker and that that speaker and then should take over whatever music you're listening to but the only way I big woodworkers if you had your iPhone in your pocket the problem with that is that while one of there are other people in the living room and walked into the dining room and the other people living was listening to the Christmas music and it is proper music with you either certain assumptions is a lot of usage assumptions that that unifies if you're the only person in the house economy sense but the other thing is the IB consists only really make sense because with with audio it's the source of the audio that matters so the source of the audio as a speaker itself so you would build the IB can into the speakers which means if it's airplay than party airplay standard would then require an IB can to be built into all airplay compatible brand of speakers and rate while I would suggest that inevitably that will start happening but how on earth they manage that control is another thing entirely the other issue with my beacons is that is a very short range technology so if you do have lots a set of speakers in on the backside of one wall in one room and directly on the on the other side of that wall behind them you have another set of speakers which is a perfectly legitimate way to set your speakers up especially if you're running cable through all the walls you want to have cables going to a common location in the wall space and he was simply punched on each side of the wall from an IB can is is it going to be directional enough to tell the difference when you're in front of it in one room behind it from the other rooms you now is your point so it is because walls generally are of transparent I say generally we all know that if you've got a steel frame house and your wife I'd starts to die as a go through the walls but this still plenty houses like my house is a wooden frame and the Wi-Fi travels a fairly decent distance so the I beacons can have the same card you range through the walls to the source of practical issues are and with with directionality and and actually truly detecting when people are in whatever rooms which is why I prefer the motion detection point of view but motion detection is not what IB can is all about rape and it's interesting how on the experience of having a out I am a Bluetooth receiver in my car and it chills up nose and replayed a base rate and then as a joke coming from the garaged late in a light… Drop the car race that shuts down the radio shows another karate else and so then my iPhone is okay I need to find something else to play this out of any and it will often then select the the airplay from the Apple TV which is in the back room arm by it will start playing again like it's in other series of steps that are going to going through to to decide what to do when you can't work out the priorities that that apples out setting in a setting these things up because you knew you do have that weird signal lack of security with airplay were that pretty much at any time someone can I kick you off and sort of takeover they are a screen usually by accident rate of someone decided setup from what they're doing before analyses jump onto YouTube and something playing arm by the what's what strange as it is a exactly your target is is house hellfire in certain directions those arm your Bluetooth will actually range and in others it will be extremely short and that giving you you could through walls sometimes I'll be playing stuff are from my art back from America from avant I got out of subset of Bluetooth headphones gold remote ones that was me they drink more in line or something and are likeable Ian yet Yates is a wonder I think your brother would need something like motor deductions really really have accuracy because it it will work just fine and then identify ridiculous distances and then you get the wrong being in between you and the on the transmitter and it's gone are a must unless you think they could do like some triangulation with with multiple DS and is is without that accurate enough and it was okay yes and no that the problem with triangulation by using RS is that arm timing that the list is two ways you can do it into a base of signal strength I can do it based on time differential and GPS work sometime differential so all the GPS salads or synchronise the same clock they will send out an encoded data datastream with the time encoded into it so by measuring the time differences between the receive signals you can calculate your position size you've got three more satellites to work but when you've got Bluetooth you don't have that and there is no way that they can release while that is not gonna release at the source whereby your your Bluetooth is synchronised and it's got a clock with such a high stratum levels an atomic clock that never drifts the grade and the GPS receiver for triangulation on a different set of written is not gonna happen like an indoor GPS sent you know something I have to do it based on your signal strength of the proper signal strength is if they did do a basin signal strength, saying that they will but if they did then the issuer that is that it varies depending upon what is travelling through but your position doesn't so let's say I'm standing at the halfway point on my looking at a wall are in the hallway and on one side of the walls one room outside was the other ruminate both have a beacon on either side of them well one of them is gonna pass slightly through the wall and its signal be attenuated ever so slightly and that will then show me in a position that is incorrect or as the otherwise direct line of sight to me so there will be no change to the signal and muscle including multipath so if you've got bouncing off the walls and stuff then you'll get cancellation of the signal so you'll get slightly out of phase effects and I will reduce or increase the signal strength based on the the distance of the reflections from the multi-paths there's a whole bunch of annoying Saddam geometry ends arm radio stuff you deal with to get any degree of accuracy the other problem with positioning arm detection through trade regulation is that you need to know where each of the where each of the transceivers are so you if you put something in a room it needs to know where it is relative to the other devices triangulating from with with Sophie got two or three of this I got three I beacons of the used in this way the nursery I beacons you put them on a coffee table in one room yellow kitchen bench in the next room whatever they need to know in order to get an accurate position on you they need to know where each of their other friends are in order to do that calculation correctly so geometry requires that so what you do you ask people to use a tape measure to measure the distance between them and I mean that you just not a real is now no so that there's all sorts of fundamental issues with with tracking position within the house and it's one of the main reasons why this sort of thing is just hasn't happened yet so I deny I that the ultimate that the correct answer is listening like GPS room but I just can't see consumable products with that sort of technology for at least another five or 10 years it's just it's too expensive and difficult coming I guess if you have an external Antonia pulled while the GPS clocks in an era replicate that clock and then distributed to the different devices and then have them retransmitted but then the distances between would be so small that the multipart difference did the time differential be so inconsequential you never tell them apart rate GPS works because so far away so the further away you are in essence arm the more accurate your position detection becomes kind of counterintuitive but right now you actually need bigger a slower transmission on yet you need you you need physical separation otherwise there will be no time differential between listed them on the different signals so Ido complicated problem maybe you can think needs another art while in others we are talking about it on on cultivate with the arm with prime sense yells listing today and I overlooked so that you are a researched a little bit died some of their other in a prime sense has licensed the technology to a number of companies and in one of the things that it was about potential usefulness it is a sort of you individually internally mapping arm your homes houses are buildings in all that sort of thing he did that these are essentially that the game about whether accurate enough that maybe a little ID can could also be spraying some IRA throughout the room and figuring out that you are building small maps and figuring out where things are relative to other devices that are broadcasting and receiving arm and are omitted instigating that that's actually running that's what a lot of weight Microsoft actually does with it as is there figuring out what you know what's going on in the room so they can know without the need to focus on his otherwise it would be too much noise but there are enough as it does seem a little away I and is still sorting around like the the fundamental problem of what to do when there is more than one person I will have the thing that I I really love about the connect is the multiple ways in which it detected because Microsoft obviously figured this out that you can't just use anyone method because each member has a floor see can't pursue stereoscopic stereo tropic cameras you have to further depth detection of moving objects you can't just use infrared you may also use audio and I'm not sure of these ultrasonic or not but the others there is more than one kind of sensing that goes on in order to determine who is doing what who is who is who rate and what's in the room so whatever solution they come up with you four I beacons and tracking people's movements through household there is no doubt in my mind that it'll be something like a connect and you whoever it is and it's going to be expensive for a long time it's not gonna be the easy way out is a symbol I beacon and you just turn that the signal strength down really low such that you've gotta be right in front of it might within a foot of it in order to actually detect you are other option DoE is that you've got a motion detector that detects when something is moving in the room and again as prime to the over false triggering morsels of things like some of the window open the curtains like are those most in the rental answer for you to do that with a bit and I begin in a discipline that always you well Leo again the question is some you are you moving towards or away from it are you in the room are you standing in the doorway having a chat depends that no matter where you go there's always some kind of a compromise why you need multiple levels in multiple ways of detecting a mass of the connect as an whatever Apple does if that's the way they want to go the only do the same thing you are in a case whence you are in any case so arm multiroom audio it's a dream hasn't happened yet are I can't wait for it to happen in the Abby Brett had on the meantime share it's funny how a set of headphones and earbuds are with your iPod shuffle works just fine is not funny while others are able those IDs are Motorola SDE 10 is whatever manner but yet it's especially Bluetooth by hazards are a little ugly I wish it was smaller and was allowed by young wok around the house and the gazetted is it is amazing how father the Bluetooth actually can shoot as public as compressing up your packets and sending it over when it counts and assume it's tricking as being a little bit smart with Howard's transmitting boat you sometimes what exactly well it's just it's it's her satisfactory use of existing technology does require anything fancy it just works so Nancy will go arrangement doesn't work without is just a gigantic seller is Antrim a follower it's funny many teenagers do that it works that it does work and member please you modify how body of the wash anyway alright so enough about speakers I was all about glass or other polarising window filters give her these things are yes there are fancy automatic feeds for you people's houses that are really really expensive and have no no was display somewhere around rate yeah I know and I I actually was aware of their existence but I'd never actually looked into it before and it was something that was brought up in some feedback on site above a look into it and some the stuff is it really quite fascinating but the idea is justice for those that are aware of what is is you can apply a film to a window and by applying electrical charge that is otherwise doing it but lexical charge be the most common supply voltage to it and it literally will turn from clear to black in a matter of two or three seconds or shade of grey between the shade of tent in between something like an electrical tenting for the windows and of course when it that the tent is a genuine tend it'll actually reflect light just as if it was a permanent tent and these things can be applied to a retrofit to existing windows and is if you're a climate we have central heating for example and you want to keep the sunlight out your trial sorry I should say central cooling so your central cooling in a house or air-conditioning running then reflecting a heat through the tenting during the daytime will reduce the amount of heat lost mind you getting double glazed windows but we have a similar effect that I don't know what the differences in efficiency so I had a look for that but I couldn't find anything so if anyone knows the efficiency gains are between the two different methods I mean I guess if you had double glazed windows as well as the tenting you properly get an additional benefit but in any case these things are wonderful but there are some problems so first problem is longevity longest warranty that I could find was 10 years and is able to film on its only useful for 10 years after that period of time you'll simply stop working properly so won't fully tent or just won't tent at all so that's an issue are mostly other home automation stuff that we talked about will last a lot longer than that next issue is sliding windows you need to split fit a special window frame that allows you to actually slide it without because because the problem is that you need to have power going to the window treasure wise the window which means you need to have a special design window frame in order to have this film applied to the glass on the sliding pain of the window so that's a problem so retrofitting that is not straightforward just applying a film to next problem is you need obviously cables need to go to although I suppose it may be possible do it using batteries, how long the barriers would last next problem are in the middle of the day it's hot if you lose power you lose your tent that's probably got inconvenient mind you if you've got aggressive or air-conditioning running you've lost power I guess it doesn't matter doesn't usually highlight one way or the other but this is an interesting thing if you spend the money on this electro tenting for the windows for Europe at the same money into retrofit the rib retrofitting" arm double glazed glass well double glazed glasses gonna work irrespective whether your power rate know as the last lot more than 10 years disorder were going with as well as is as a potential explanation as to why diggers taken off once the CEO the OFSTED freezes that is the is a clear screen a clear window clear winners off and then if they been worse if you're a year for privacy and if something was going on like a mocker going to what might be going on in the bedroom middle assessment was going on the bedroom and how the windows electrically tent and the power went out that could potentially be embarrassing to say merrily your reservation while on so are okay the other thing about accustomed whether wiring it's still is a better option though then physical blinds because you can automate physical blinds you the most common lies automate are the simple rollup rolldown blinds and that will have a similar effect for privacy purposes but because they've got a motor in them that you dries up and down anything that turns meaning it moves is gonna be less reliable than a film you would apply and charged with voltage so they still have the reliability advantage over the moving system with moving blinds so it's not all bad news but anyway so yeah I had a look for arm sites that have these available places have is available there are a handful but I couldn't see any relative pricing you had to call and I'd I haven't come across these are not common at all and I suggest as a whole those resources gave Robert the reasons why but in the end they do exist it is something that you could get if you wanted and it is Sade deftly has the cool factor and I would suggest if you are really worried about cooling in your house that I go double glazed glass first and then if you really had the money then go for these as well but it's not to be a cheap retrofit exercise now now and is at work I keep using it retrofit so now I want to talk about was I guess something that I known how this was in part a feedback song I feel like I really missed we didn't talk about enough of in the home automation are in the last episode and that comes down to retrofit versus design one of the things that really annoys me is the way in which town planning and development and housing design is more about architectural cookie cutting than it is about eco-friendly design I find it an ending Lee frustrating because there is an optimal angle for houses to be built are with the northern face are a southern face for the hot the height of the roofline the design of the natural cooling within the house where you use louvres in certain locations for improved ventilation are such that the house is designed to naturally be warmer in winter and cooler in summer forget your solar panels for a solar hot water just as the water system and any home automation but designing a home to be actually more energy-efficient without even installing electric wiring and this is not new this summer has been around for a long time and yet town planners and developers have these dinky die little winding roads different size blocks when they open up a land of an estate the roads are so narrow you can barely get one car down them and in amenity used to be a time when all the roads were a perfect regular hash pattern 90° perpendicular to each other and say a thing I'm not sure where this began but the place where I saw it the most prevalently was in the United States are also in in Canada whereby the streets were were were named incrementally and you have east-west north-south sorrow has streets streets would be our north-south ands avenues would be east-west and you would simply start from Senna Street Centre Avenue and you would go first second third fourth it's 1/5 Avenue and 22nd Street straightaway you knew that there was a one or two places and lunch at the north-east Southwest south-eastern knew exactly what was that's why Calgary was originally set up as I live in Calgary for a few years and there are a lot of farm cities in America also have a similar kind grid system if you went vinyl from Ohio and and west is going to the midwest you start to see it from the county level down to see the grid appear and die you IPO another one is particular get arm our taxes as is similar with the northern part of taxes is justice this perfect knowledge cigar trust board arm right arm and yelling my neighbourhood it's it's it's if you would like about it is just it is a perfect read if you even the village the river like the girls rate directly that's ignored everything is still just a grid around it taxes taxes as a further example of this in the county are calculable like the shop that the Western house gets publicly organised and Yahya Avery said a because Emily when you got these and in the midwest I'll now is it and is full of these off all sprawling excerpts with exactly talking about leg cruelly few roads that lead nowhere it's just here and as the front yard with the backyard and what is this thing called a neighbourhood arm takes time and was glad sorry but you know that's okay but that's exactly my point though is that with a grid system you can angle agreed such a way that all the houses would be able to point in the optimal direction if you decide you grid and the director the correct direction start with you and then you could do is have the houses design such they always had that that the predominant face of the house was in the right direction I'm not an architect but you I know the basics and the basics are that you don't build a box packed with insulation and input heating and cooling eliminates the most ridiculous energy inefficient way of designing a house you can think of it sort of like saying we got this excessive energy let's just DO do whatever and build something that will fit in an optimally small amount of space and we have a standard design helipad architects thousand thousand dollars to do this design we built a thousand times we know that it's goods analogous so extra cheap and hence you get cookie-cutter houses and get prefabrication and all the stuff of the problem is that all these designs were designed to maximise the amount of floor space you get for the amount of building materials that you've got released most of the motor design that that sort of way and that's what people demand they want value for money but they're not thinking about okay will I want and it's actually can be more eco-friendly I want something that is going to arm have good natural ventilation you are that sort of thing you people just don't think that I met plenty of people that the hub would hardly ever open their windows in a is always all closed up and it's all centrally heated or centrally called and you was this thing called a breeze are neither you feel you outside a bank and no so I it frustrates me you know because all this technology we took our retrofitting GABA cheese would be so much nicer it was built in for the beginning what you think in Australia there is a yellow bungalows in Australia arm bungalow style the forearm and immediately early graphs on its it's it it was if I were the first examples of efficient and really really fight for arm design that was needed arm was giving can be mass-produced rate in our it came out of the bungalows of thinking out of arm was in Bangladesh are Ramsey Indymedia India arm but on the small one story typically immediately wonder how thing up the ground own everything in its it's side that kind of ego it it there are small and compact by the make use of just sort of not quite clever use of material any and and the way it is laid out to get you leased your list achieve our comfort in the summer if not so much in the winner are things a lot harder to deal with it there by it's also something aware that there are usually making use of local materials arm in a way that I think are identifies that cookie-cutter nurse and I'd like to spare you I'd like to say that I was the case but coming on really no amendments just a little bit of local history for those that are curious I guess is that in in Queensland which is the state that I live in and grew up and spent most of my life and for that matter is there was an old style of house that was rather on originally referred to as the Queenslander and the idea of this house is that there is a central living area and it's a large open space of the High Peak roof all the floorboards are estate are all wooden floorboards hence the day of small gaps between the two allow air to flow out from underneath the entire house is elevated off the ground by we are about 6 to 7 feet and there's a big big Veranda around the outside that you can walk around and the actual rooms would open out onto the veranda so what would happen is that during the heat of the day you would get natural natural convection breeze basically from underneath the house where it was cooler in the shade are you also had either warm rare going to the very peak of the roof and that that natural airflow essentially made it such that on the Veranda is you always have one side of the house that was in shade and is you again at natural reason anything was also warmer in winter you go the centre of the house it was warm in winter and the Queenslander was sort of the iconic house that was built in Queensland again oddly such an obvious name but anyway so what happened though is that that was designed for the hotter conditions that we get in Queensland the more subtropical tropical arm further out west to go more deathlike conditions it was designed for that it was not designed to be built in New South Wales and Victoria where it gets colder so there was a transition happen gradually I cut my finger on when but broke 50 years ago maybe even 40 years ago where a lot of the designers would crank out the designs in Sydney or Melbourne for houses are appropriate for that sort of environment the mall go and sell these houses are house designs in Queensland and so the Queenslander began to die the problem with Queensland also is that because they are generally all made out of wood that there is a lot of painting and that you get quite expensive some people prefer to start going towards brick houses and now the most common kind of house in Queensland the new houses is a slab on ground arm with brick and a wooden frame which you miss what I've got the other cheaper and everything but there is no natural airflow in them they're not there built on the ground as opposed above the ground and they are not eco-friendly in any way and it's just a predominance where I guess back and for whatever reason there is a simpler and easier to keep copying designs from climates that were appropriate and you as well as things the highway I came across when I was working with Energex which is to be our local electricity provider and there was a new building a new depot building being built out at Winton which is the only middle of nowhere a long way from here Sasson Mike Charbonneau 1600 km from here out west in the middle of the an arid region and it was built to the same design as the new one in rural Victoria and the cars out there had no cover no car shade no shelter no nothing our part was to be designed without any shelter worked fine when you're in Melbourne but when you're out there and you park can't assign every single day it destroys your car and it's like the design the designers never stop to think about all the others that have been built in the last 30 or 40 years 4x4 Energex they were done when they had the full shade anemones when you pulled in is actually a mess on my system or carport or car cover right no big deal but this new design had nothing of that was because the design was carbon copied from something was done to Victoria cytosol feels to me like this is brute force approach are not brute force I go back one size fits all I don't care about being eco-friendly approach a wasteful approach I guess to do architecture with with houses and if it's frustrating so anyway I've shared my frustration well and I think in a live living in an older house and appreciating the cleverness of the original design and an artist the quality of the materials versus the stuff to get slapped up in it weeks now arm and it is noticeable as if you can feel it and yet I think it's eight and I think there is any the morning of the more I read about called uncle eco-friendly home design the more I just feel like I'm reading a bunch of marketing spin arm R&R of the three you're getting out by its 80 I don't see it that I think you is Wallace exit doing a rape problem is you can be very profitable I think the problem is that people come to expect something that is cheap and in so doing they begin to ignore the long-term costs and this is the whole thing about putting any kind of renewable energy put solar panels on the roof it's going to cost you money you have to buy the panels put them up there while up and you're gonna have to find that money somehow some some these companies are giving loans to let people do that and that's great but when you're building a house is a different story in every per every penny counts right and the more you borrow the higher interest rate and the more it's gonna stink so the cost of housing going up all the time because labour costs are higher material costs are going up as well you put that together you and the bad situation you don't want to pay for what houses used to be worth to construct so yet you go the cheaper option and the cheaper option is of course cookie-cutter and not very well well off Rico point of view anyway I will designed so anyway right thing of rental enough about that�
Duration 58 minutes and 44 seconds Direct Download

Show Notes

Home Automation:

Multi-Room Audio:

Smart Glass & Eco Homes:

Home Automation Software

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Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander

Ben created and runs and Fiat Lux

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.