It's hard to believe it's been almost 3 months since the start of the Forget Me Not design challenge. As the challenge is drawing to a close, it's a good time to reflect on my performance and progress.

 

This is my first involvement in a design challenge for Element14. I had mixed feelings when I was chosen as one of the 5 bonus competitors: although there was happiness at having my idea validated, I was disappointed to be starting on the back foot, so to speak, when compared to the others.

 

My proposal for the project was really a projection of an idea that I had been ruminating on for over a year. Home security is an area ripe for disruption, particularly with modern advances in wireless technology. I think the modern security system should be modular, wireless and easily configurable by an end-user. Initially I was planning on designing some Bluetooth sensors for my idea, but when this design challenge came along, I thought the EnOcean sensors were perhaps a better solution, as their energy harvesting technology would eliminate the need for batteries in many cases.

 

For this challenge, I wanted to use the Raspberry Pi as a security hub, attaching various wired and wireless sensors and then using openHAB to expose the UI, sounding alarms and notifying the home-owner via email when intruders were detected.

security system.png

 

To start with, everything was on track. I began reading up on the EnOcean modules and playing with openHAB. However, it wasn't too long before my efforts on the challenge were overtaken by the curve balls of life. The day before my Raspberry Pi B+ arrived, my laptop and other gear was stolen. Not only had I lost all my work, but it took over a month to get my replacement unit through insurance. During that time, I also had to deal with the unexpected death of a friend.

 

My challenge entry never really fully recovered, but I managed to interface the webcam and some cheap PIR modules to openHAB to detect motion in the house. I also used a Bluetooth module to detect the presence of "trusted" devices, to automatically arm/disarm the system, although the implementation was not foolproof.

 

My biggest disappointment during the challenge was that I never received an EnOcean sensor kit (closely followed by the disappointment of not getting a minion! :-) . This meant that I wasn't able to fully implement my proposal. I was looking forward to playing with the sensors, as I had been following EnOcean for some time and have an interest in wireless sensors.

 

 

I have definitely enjoyed being part of this challenge, sharing my learnings and reading other people's progress. Thanks to all the competitors and to Element14.

 

 

I'll see you at the next challenge!