Innovation begins at home: A connected home is a safer home

By | 3 minute read | November 30, 2016

Connected homes

How to monitor your home environment from anywhere using Texas Instruments LaunchPad and Watson IoT Platform

While it’s true that “home is where the heart is,” it’s also where the risk is for many people. There are numerous sources in the home which can negatively impact a homeowner’s safety or financial well-being.

For example, a malfunctioning furnace can introduce poisonous carbon monoxide or fail to keep pipes warm in the winter; a leaky water heater can damage flooring; entry and overhead garage doors inadvertently left open and unlocked invite theft; refrigerators and freezers not sufficiently closed can spoil hundreds of dollars’ worth of food; while appliances and electronic components can incur unnecessary electricity charges that may not be apparent to the homeowner.

Using connected home technologies and solutions enables an increasing number of home systems and ‘things’ to be monitored, providing important insights into use, in addition to enabling alerts that can prompt a home owner when corrective action is required, even when a home is unoccupied. One potential source of risk present in many homes is the family swimming pool. It can entice young neighbor children, pets and wildlife, creating a safety risk when the homeowner is away from the home with no visibility of the pool.

In this video, Chris Anderson, Director of Engineering at the EEWeb Tech Lab, demonstrates a simple Internet of Things scenario that alerts a homeowner when someone unexpectedly jumps or falls into their swimming pool. The demo scenario uses the IBM Watson IoT Platform to collect and analyze data from a Texas Instrument LaunchPad development kit. In this case, the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 LaunchPad kit, which integrates a Wi-Fi radio and Cortex-M4 in the same package and adds an accelerometer and temperature sensor on the board. In the demo, Chris sends data to the Watson IoT platform, where an application based on the integrated Node-RED development environment analyzes the data and makes a determination as to whether an individual has jumped or fallen into a swimming pool. In the demo, the swimming pool is simulated by a container of water.

The short demo video takes you through the following steps:

  • Overview of the LaunchPad hardware
  • Overview of the Energia code (based on the RegisteredWifi example)
    • Go through project/demo
    • Use IoT boilerplate to get started
    • Register new device type/new device
    • Connect LaunchPad to start feeding data (shown on device page)
    • Open completed Node-RED flow and explain functionality
      • Node-RED is a visual development environment built into Watson IoT Platform that lets you quickly wire together your IoT apps while writing little to no code.
      • Three-axis data received and used to compute acceleration magnitude
      • Magnitude returned to WIoTP
      • Discuss ability to add different sensors (camera, microphone, etc) and different contextual data elements (weather) for greater insight
    • Open dashboard and create different displays for XYZ and mag dataQuick way to visualize the data
      • Disturb the LaunchPad to simulate someone or something entering the pool
      • Send alert

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