Home Automation

If you have seen the latest addition to my code page, it is my first project that deals with hardware other than standard computers. It deals with the Chromecast. Take a look at the project here.

One of the goals of this project is to make life with roommates easier. In my opinion, it’s the modern alternative to keeping a grocery list pinned to the fridge. I want to make an app in which everyone can add tasks to a task list and everyone can see them just as easily as they appear on the television screen.

This, I believe, is my first step into the realm of “home automation”. Ever since I started toying around with making the tv screen display my things when I want them displayed, I have begun thinking about the possibilities of home automation. One of the things that I would really like to happen is a system in which I tap my phone on an NFC tag and everything turns on. The TV turns on and displays tasks that I need to complete. My computer turns on and becomes ready to use. Coffee is brewed. I imagine a place where I am truly the master of the house.

As I gain more and more knowledge in software development, this is exactly what I will be experimenting with. Right now, I am working on getting my Chromecast to display a task list that is editable from anywhere. The concept is really simple and pretty straightforward, but not knowing most of the technologies behind it makes it challenging. Basically, the following process needs to happen:

“Launcher App” –> Chromecast App –> Node.js App –> Data from MongoDB

This launcher app needs to be launched manually. However, as long as the launcher app exists as a mobile app, I can make it launch when the phone detects a specific NFC tag. Adding tasks is a little more straight forward.

AngularJS –> ExpressJS –> Node.js –> MongoDB

Also known as the MEAN stack, this is the process that I plan to use to power the backend of the task management. As the project progresses, hopefully I will be smart enough to make it into a deployable package so that anyone with a Chromecast and roommates has the ability to setup a communal living room task list.

During the development of this small system, I’ve been listening to a lot of older songs, especially those featured on Radio New Vegas. Here’s one of my favorites:

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