A few days ago, I talked to my (non-technical) wife about my little home automation suite. Now, that I have a UI to show, it's much more interesting for her. And because she is a great wife, she listened patiently to my presentation. But then she said:
That looks nice. Good job. But what problem does it solve? Can it do anything my (iOS) "Home App" can't?
I must have looked like this:
As usual, my wife is right. 😄
In one of my previous posts in this series, I wrote the following:
The new tool will make the automation even more flexible because I can write my automation logic in my favorite programming language and I'm not restricted to predefined actions in some vendor apps.
And that is still one of the big goals. But the things I have built so far are just simple buttons to turn our lights on and off.
A little voice in the back of my head said: "Was it useless? Why did you build it, if it adds no value?"
I mean, I'm a developer. I create a little ToDo app every time I learn a new framework or programming language. So I'm used to creating stuff that already exists. But this time it is different. So I gave it some more thought.
I found the answer. The answer is: "It will be useful for our guests."
At the moment, if you want to control the lights in our house, you will need the "IKEA Home Smart" app or Apple's "Home" app, as well as a special invitation to our "smart household". And to be honest, I have no interest in adding and removing guests to and from our "Apple household" just to give them access to the lights in the guest bedroom.
Also, most non-technical guests won't install a special app just to control the lights in a room they will spend one or maybe two nights in.
And THAT is where my little home automation suite can shine as well. I will create a special area that you can open without authenticating, which will give you access to the lights in the guest bedroom (and maybe a few others). Because my app is a web app, there is no need for our guests to install anything on their phones. I will print out a QR-code that will take you right to this special area in my app.
What do you think about that? Do you have smart home stuff as well? If so, can your guests control the lights or anything else in your smart home system?
But even if you don't own a smart home solution. Would you use something like this as a guest in your friend's home?