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Thread: Presence-Sensing & Particular People

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Presence-Sensing & Particular People

    wonder how clever it's possible to be with presence sensing ... eg: the following scenario :

    make a pot of tea, want to be called when it's ready to pour ... four-button module, one for each type of tea & so for particular times ... when time's up, whoever made the tea needs to be prompted, but could have wandered-off ... don't want to worry the whole house ... want to inform just that person (dip the lights slightly, message on a nearby MFP, short buzz, message on his / her iPhone, message on nearest iPod Touch, whatever) ...

    so : can Cortex keep sufficient track of people & things to allow this ???

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Tricky one this.
    Have no idea if this would work in Cortex. Since I don't have any Idratek stuff. But one way would be to have at least one presence detector in each room, some may need 2. Or some form of sensor to know when a person has crossed the threshold of a room (ie gone through a door way, door sensor won't work since the door maybe open and you don't close it).
    Now to get to a certain location in a house you normally need to go through various rooms in a particular order. So to get to the study, you may need to go from kitchen, to dinning room, to lounge then to study. So if these sensors are triggered in that order then you must be in the Study. Only problem would be if you left the study, but I guess you could then do a similar thing from the study to the next location. A few things would muck this up. You would need a timing window to determine the movement from one room to another. ie if sensor in kitchen is trigged then sensor in dining room needs to be triggered within a certain time and so on. Or another person is also in the kitchen and decides to leave later than the one making the tea.
    To minimise this you could look at using RFID technology http://www.iautomate.com/php-bin/eco...tegory_33.html
    But then you would need several readers to minimize the possibility of the system thinking you are in several locations at once.
    Or you could use a paging system http://www.lrs-europe.com/
    http://www.lrs-europe.com/pushbutton-paging.html
    or this model
    http://www.lrs-europe.com/RS232-inte...ansmitter.html
    Their coaster pagers are a neat idea.
    Another idea would be to use bluetooth.
    Good luck
    Last edited by toscal; 28th August 2008 at 03:26 PM.
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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    not seen the coaster before - looks a good idea ... wonder if there's a badge version, too ?

    Going via iPhone / iPod Touch seems best, though ... they being most likely what people would have on them, because of their great (global) functionality & connectivity ... must say, though, 'really do hope IdrateK are working on an iPhone app' / interface ! Not only for this sort of thing, but also for drawing more people in to their particular HA world ... !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 28th August 2008 at 10:42 PM.

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    It's a very interesting idea. At the moment Cortex doesn't have any identifying information. I believe someone has recently patented (or tried) the idea of using Bluetooth for this tracking on the assumption that everyone carries a phone. Personally I don't take my phone to bed, or into the shower, so I will seek other means.
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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Toscal,

    In fact Cortex does precisely as you suggest - it uses information collected from PIR sensors, door sensors and others, together with a knowledge of room interconnectivity and a bunch of heuristics to work out occupancy of rooms. Obviously it cannot identify specific people without more specialist sensors such as the suggested RFID or bluetooth methods. However it can cope with tracking more than one person, though it gets trickier as you increase numbers and depending on the physical structure of the property.

    I think the sort of thing Chris is talking about would need personal identification tracking, but perhaps without this its possible to do something to a certain degree and with less accuracy for example by focusing on the room with most recently changed occupancy.

    Alternatively a coded but perhaps not so obtrusive signal could be broadcast to all occupied rooms presently allowing messages - such as flashing LEDs or, on the new DFP, alternating LCD backlight colours in a Chris specific code . But, I personally prefer the idea of a broadcast message to occupied rooms shouting 'Chris, get your *@!! in here - your tea's ready !'. The intercom broadcast scope is itself automatically regulated (to avoid disturbing people who might be in bed for example) so it needn't be too intrusive

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    Automated Home Jr Member Simon George's Avatar
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    sorry for any thread hijack, but do you have a date for the new DFP Karam ?

    Thanks

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon George View Post
    sorry for any thread hijack, but do you have a date for the new DFP Karam ?

    Thanks
    It has been a long road and I hope we're nearing the end of it ... who'd be in manufacturing ? . We've had some pre-production models since late July, probably see a tiny trickle of production units this month to urgent cases and more mainstream production hopefully by end of next. We'll make a proper announcement to automated home and on our site when we have greater confidence in the production schedule.
    Last edited by Karam; 6th September 2008 at 01:31 AM. Reason: typo

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    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    These tags are interesting because they are inconspicuous and read range is up to 8m it seems.. I am not sure if having a shorter range sensor at doorways would be better though. The costs of the readers would be prohibitive for a residential setup though.

    http://corerfid.gtml1.com/corerfidlz...cID=0&cValue=1

    If you do want to experiment with Bluetooth then there is a xAP application available that outputs identifiers for individual BT devices in range of a PC from http://www.mi4.biz (xAP Blue). This directly creates a device presence signal in Cortex.

    K

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >Bluetooth ...

    sounds a good approach, though Bluetooth can be one of the things people have switched-off to extend battery life ... presumably the xAP application doesn't get into pairing etc ... ?

    >RFID ...

    increasingly pervasive, of course, commercially, so hopefully it might become affordable, before too-long ... ?

    OTOH, the solution to my example scenario seems to be something called Tea Timer, one of the iPhone app's, which works just about perfectly for the example situation ...

    still, it was a random example, and there are many other scenarios where the function would be useful ... albeit the intercom ones & 'call alert might all be done via the iPhone (it being more than likely people would have their 'phone on / nearby their person just about all the time)

    which thought caused me to think that maybe the intercom function of Idratek might be redundant, 'though maybe not - ie: it might be more reliable !

    looking forward to seeing news of the new DFP modules (if I wanted more of the MFPs, should I order them now, I wonder - we have three, another five was what we planned) ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 7th September 2008 at 08:10 PM. Reason: typos

  10. #10
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    >Bluetooth ...

    presumably the xAP application doesn't get into pairing etc ... ?
    It doesn't require pairing at all- in fact one user reported that he lived so close to a main road that he could tell at what time the same people passed each day...

    K

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