We've signed up as a guinea pig family for the Homesense project. The idea is to give people some tools and a tame expert and see what home automation/monitoring tools they build for themselves. Arthur was tremendously excited when Daniel and George came round to demo everything. We've recently watched the Hitchhikers Guide movie and he was hoping we'd be able to build an android and doors that sigh. It was brilliant to see him get excited by electronics.
But as we actually sit and decide what we'd like to build though it's gotten a lot harder. It turns out that homes are mostly full of solved problems. Generations of dedicated and professional engineers and designers have worked out how to do most of the things we want to do in the house, and huge industrial economies have been spun up to send us those solutions quickly, efficiently and for reasonable amounts of money. And every idea we have that involves notifications or messaging is more quickly and easily done with a phone.
So, we keep coming back to silliness and fun. The Tinker guys asked us some questions at the beginning of the process - what we wanted from it, what problems we had with the flat, that sort of thing. Arthur said his number one goal would be to make the flat more exciting. That's the brief we're working on now - how to make domestic stuff more interesting, funny, delightful. I'll let you know how we get on.