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Internet-Enabled Thermostat

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the getting-warm-in-here dept.

Toys 234

ptorrone writes "Engadget has a little write-up of what is supposed to be the world's first Internet-enabled thermostat from Proliphix, which has an Ethernet port and a built-in web server and can be controlled from virtually any standard browser. So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"

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A better solution (5, Informative)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033118)

Proliphix's Internet-enabled thermostat
During those odd weather patterns, I've often thought it would be nice to adjust the temperature settings at home, or perhaps increase air circulation, etc. So I bought an OmniPro II home controller system [smarthome.com] , which does this--and more (lights, security, etc)--remotely. So, the Proliphix isn't the first of its kind... but it's still a "cool" idea ;)

Re:A better solution (3, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033153)

Cool! Now I don't even have to put down the laptop, get up and switch on the air-conditioning.
All we need now is an intelligent fridge-freezer which can deliver cool drinks direct to my chair.

Re:A better solution (2, Funny)

heptapod (243146) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033286)

They're called "girlfriends"

Re:A better solution (2)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033503)

and that's why you don't have one!

Solved. (2, Funny)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033358)

You mean something like this [slashdot.org] ?

NOW all that's left is converting my leather Lay-Z-Boy into a toilet. Then I won't even have to care that my muscles are atrophying!

Re:A better solution (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033424)

http://www.m5industries.com/html/portfolio/7up.htm

It needs quarters, but can be used on the beach to make extra money.

Re:A better solution (3, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033258)

And I always thought the point of a good old fashioned thermostat was to maintain a constant temperature without manual intervention.

Ha (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033119)

And people said we don't need IPv6.

Re:Ha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033137)

Of course some idiot is going to mod this "funny". Uh, it's not.

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033274)

And, as usual, some pathetic AC loser will take it upon himself to tell others how to mod. They'll probably even use that tired old condecending "Uh.." approach.

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033310)

And, as usual, some pathetic AC loser will post as another pathetic AC loser telling the original AC loser what a loser he is.

They'll probably even use that tired old condescending "l337" approach.

Re:Ha (1)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033337)

And, as usual, some pathetic AC loser will take it upon himself

Oh my, the irony. Hypocrisy this naked never ceases to amaze me.

Re:Ha (1)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033198)

anyone that puts their thermostat on the internet is just waiting to be 0wned!! IMHO, nearly all of these are going to be sold to someone who is technically competent, so there will be a NAT router with hopefully some IP rules for access.

Re:Ha (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033213)


Insightful how?? Are you really going to need 65536 hosts on a class B private subnet to control all of those home appliances?

Come on people... mod in the real world.

(Scorre:-1, ! Funny && ! Insightful) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033293)

boo...

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033321)

And people said we don't need IPv6
And, just curious, but... who are these "people"? The Baldwins?

Re:Ha (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033383)

Why should every device have its own IP address? Can't the home itself have an address and the various devices be controlled by services listening on different ports? 65000 ports should be enough for all the devices in your home.

Re:Ha (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033457)

Probably, but I guess it's more convenient to just let them all have their own IP address. Otherwise each home would need some sort of standardized device that gets an IP address that all internet-enabled devices you can think of would have to support. Sounds a bit awkward to me :-/

GNAA FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033121)

GNAA 4 LIFE
RadishTM

Is it hot in here? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033122)

Yes, I rather think it is.

gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033123)

niggers

How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033130)

> So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"'

How about Now? [freshmeat.net]

what if they did? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033134)

So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"What if they did, and grandma died? Wouldn't that make them murderers?

Scirpt kiddies can die (1, Troll)

chaffed (672859) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033138)

So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?
Little things called firewalls and encryption.

Re:Scirpt kiddies can die (0, Flamebait)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033157)

You severely overestimate the average American, even if you restrict it to the average American who would buy such a thing.

The whole idea is crazy!!! (-1, Troll)

armando_wall (714879) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033143)


I don't get it.

Re:The whole idea is crazy!!! (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033182)

Home automation is actually pretty simple and the idea's been around for years. Instead of a thermostat being set at a particular level all of the time, it can be dynamically reset by software logic based on whatever rules you can think of. In the mainstream now, there are simple hardware based models that can change their settings based on time of day paterns, but just think of the potential power if a thermostat could base its rules on more relavant details like the outdoor conditions and whether there are people home or not.

Re:The whole idea is crazy!!! (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033227)

why?
what do outside conditions have to do with anything? If you want your house to be 76 degrees, you set the thermostat for 76+- degrees. If it is snowing, then the heater kicks in, if it is hot then the air conditioner kicks in.

Re:The whole idea is crazy!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033303)

If you understand the external conditions and heat flows, you can control the temperature better, without needing to jerk the heater on and off.

You can also do stuff like set a requirement that your house is at 75 degrees when you get home at 6pm, and the system can figure out that, given the external temperature and the heat output of your heater, it needs to turn the heat on at 5pm to get it there.

Umm, you don't keep your house hot when it's empty, do you?

Re:The whole idea is crazy!!! (1)

Gneral Tsao (577950) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033252)

10-15 years ago people were saying the idea that a home user would need a high speed connection (or even internet access for that matter) was crazy. Yet now most of us couldn't do our jobs, chat with friends, or get our news without the it. I think the reason why people aren't getting it at this point is because this is not the "killer app" that will make home automation as necesary (or at least as wanted) as internet connectivity. I think the killer app will be something closer to self diagnosing appliances that can handle their own repair and resupply (eg refrigerators that order new food when they detect an empty content or a drier that awakens the Maytag man from his slumber automatically). On a different note, the challenge that a product like this represents for the future is not a drying up of IP addresses (IPv6 and NAT should solve that problem), but the fact that this means there will be many more digital cockroaches creeping around and not paying the bills for the comm lines they're travelling on.

Re:The whole idea is crazy!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033226)

Ah, I see you are a fellow student of slashdot lore [slashdot.org] . Well done.

how long? (1, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033147)

>So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address

when IPv6 is fully implemented.

Re:how long? (0, Redundant)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033206)

>... and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?

Hah! The security of my Internet-enabled thermostat is impregnable! I hereby officially dare each and every little script kiddie out there to come and try and mess with it.

The IP address of my thermostat is 127.0.0.1! Bring it on!

P.S. Yeah, I know, this one is shamelessly stolen from here [userfriendly.org] .

Re:how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033242)

Wow. Very clevar.

Re:how long? (2, Insightful)

56uSquareWave (726317) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033287)

You telling me that you would need an external facing IP address for every device? this seems slightly excessive. Surely once homes get properly wired you will have an external facing interface that can control all your devices... I can just see it now freezer.foobar.com cooker.foobar.com lights.foobar.com dog.foobar.com child.foobar.com the list could be endless. One point of entry and only one thing needed to have defence against f*****g script kiddies!

So what's Hades's IP address? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033148)

We can make hell freeze over...

Re:So what's Hades's IP address? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033166)

www.microsoft.com

haha i am funny slashdot comedian haha

Re:So what's Hades's IP address? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033271)

You bundling amateur! Hades IP address is actually 207.46.250.252

Re:So what's Hades's IP address? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033398)

it's 66.66.66.66

5 years time.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033152)

Hey I got some a new windows installed today!

Cool, double glazing?

No.... longhorn..

Proliphix? (2, Funny)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033156)

Sounds like a company that makes prophylactix... err, I mean prophylactics.

Joystick port and a thermal resistor (1, Funny)

j3110 (193209) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033158)

For 25 cents, you could buy a themal resistor from Radio Shack and just push it into your joystick port.

Re:Joystick port and a thermal resistor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033184)

Or for 25 cents I could pick your mom up from in front of the Radio Shack and push it into HER joystick port!

Re:Joystick port and a thermal resistor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033205)

This thing is intended to regulate your heating, i.e. it attaches to a radiator. Your thermal resistor may be able to measure, but won't control.

This is one of many reasons we need IPv6 (2, Interesting)

Trizor (797662) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033159)

Just think. With bluetooth you can have a toothbrush with TCP/IP and optical fibers that sends your dentist images of your teeth. You can send an e-mail to your bathtub before you leave work to have a pleasant 102 degree F jaccuzi bath ready for you. Your refrigerator can keep track of what you buy and order more when you run out.

And yes, then skript kiddies will use exploit scripts to end up filling your refrigerator with pickeled okra or something, with computer and home security firms both jumping on the situation from their areas of expertiese and mergers will result in computer security bundles and home security bundles becoming one big market full of money.

Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033331)

You could just pick up the phone and call the dentist, let the water run in the bathtub for a few minutes to get hot, or keep track of your own food consumption. Just think.

Automated Windows? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033160)

What I've found in my family's ruleset for when we do and don't use our A/C system is that when we decide to disable the A/C, we immediately must open our windows to let in outdoor air... is there any system that could motorize the windows so that they'd open based on the same software that might decide that the outdoor air was too cool for A/C but too warm to let the house be allowed to retain heat by having the windows closed?

Re:Automated Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033178)

greenhouses have been doing this for years, see your local garden centre

Re:Automated Windows? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033207)

I believe Internet Explorer automatically opens up windows.

Re:Automated Windows? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033290)

Instead of opening windows, you can let outside air in your system with a duct that leads outside, and two dampers with motors, one that shuts off the recirculated air, and one that opens up to the outside. This is done all the time in commercial systems. It's called an economizer.
What we do is calculate outside humidity, space temp and outside temp, and using an enthalpy chart, decide when to open the economizer. The temp can be lower outside, but if it's too humid, the unit needs to work more to remove the water from the air.

Or worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033167)

mess with your heater during a heat wave.

Not a good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033170)

First up, why would you want remote control of a thermostat? So you can keep your house cool or warm when you aren't in it? Or is this to save you the time from getting up off that chair and walking to the wall to manually change the temperature setting? That makes no sense at all.

Secondly, what if someone decides to mess with your thermostat as a practical joke? Like turning the temperature up to 30C for a nice surprise when you get home from work in the summer? Or turning the temperature so low that your pipes freeze in winter? (I'm in Canada.)

Putting some things on the internet is good, but this is not practical at all. Putting internet access into a freakin' thermostat just sounds like adding a new way for your thermostat to break.

Some day every device will be on the internet and every device will be voice controlled. It will be a great way to abolish privacy, when your toaster has both a microphone and an internet connection, along with your dryer, thermostat, coffee maker, and everything else.

Re:Not a good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033222)

Or is this to save you the time from getting up off that chair and walking to the wall to manually change the temperature setting?

With remote control of the thermostat you can *automate* the operations you want to perform with your own code (other "programmable" thermostats aren't really turing complete, they won't let you set the temperature cold on prime days and hot on composite days, for example.)

Re:Not a good idea! (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033395)

This is so you could tell the house to start cooling off or warming up from work so that it'll be a desireble temperature when you get home from work/school.

Not New... (2, Insightful)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033176)

This is not even close to being the "worlds first".

I interviewed with a company more than 6 years ago that was selling web-enabled thermostats, sprinkler systems, vending machines, etc. etc.

Re:Not New... (1)

VCAGuy (660954) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033403)

Definitely not new. One of the buildings I work in got Carrier's Comfort Net / ComfortLink controls for it chillers and heaters in 1994. And, yes, they are IP enabled, one VPN connection and I can check on the temp in the server rooms and adjust them as needed.

Neat... (4, Insightful)

keiferb (267153) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033180)

...but is it SNMP monitorable?

3v1l 5cr1p7 k1dd135 (4, Insightful)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033194)

So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?

So how long until everyone realizes that maybe you shouldn't give your air conditioner an external IP address?

Do you have your network printer on an external IP address?

How long before they can DDOS a powerplant? (3, Interesting)

jenkin sear (28765) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033199)

"
How long before ... script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"


So what happens when a virus gets into the seventy zillion unsecured windoze boxes out there, and drops every thermostat they can reach to fifty degrees in the middle of august? ConEd in NYC already has a heck of a time keepin gup with mid-day summer loads from all the AC units- you could easily knock out the entire east coast (again) if enough of these thermostats come online.

hope they put at least a userid and a password on it, and set them randomly at the factory.

Re:How long before they can DDOS a powerplant? (2, Interesting)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033233)

Now that's a good example of something that could really happen. Also if people leave these things public, there could be firmware exploits such as have been found in cable and DSL modem/routers. I imagine that a few synchronized on-off pulses would take down the power grid pretty quick.

I'm more worried about electric companies... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033239)

Electric companies may just demand remote access to these thermostats, along with other controls over large electronic appliances. They want to turn off "unnecessary" appliances rather than blacking out entire blocks during shortages and emergencies. Sounds like an ok idea, but I have to worry about accountability given the shenanigans the power companies have pulled lately. A P3P-like system that negotiates power company control could work, but I would not want to be on that committee. yikes.

Ethernet != Internet (5, Insightful)

flakac (307921) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033220)

"So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"

And just why exactly do you think that these devices are going to be open to the internet at large? Just because some marketing dweeb decided to call it "internet-enabled", doesn't mean that it's going to be on the net. Face it, having an ethernet port and webserver is not the same thing as being connected to the internet. These devices are designed to be run on a local network, which is likely behind some sort of DSL/cable-modem router, which means that unless the user goes to great lengths to do so, the devices are not visible. If of course you decide to set up NAT to let other people get to your thermostat, then you should be ready to feel the heat...

Nice but... (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033221)

Our current termostat has a timer where you set up when you want it to come on and go off, and how cold to keep it during each period of the day. Is it really worth the risk/pain or having one of these, when 99% of the time you know ahead of time what temp you want to keep your home at?

Now if I can decide what I want to eat for dinner while at work, and tell my refrigerator to coordinate with my oven to get it ready before I get home, that's what I need...

9 yrs after forty business books predicted it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033228)

...we still don't need it.

It Has To be Said... (3, Interesting)

galgon (675813) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033229)

But Can it run Linux?

Re:It Has To be Said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033453)

But what's that all about? Is running Linux on an Internet-Enabled Thermostat good or whack?

Already here.... (2, Informative)

mishmash (585101) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033235)

Doing this over the phone has been possible for ages... with devices like this [smarthome.com] .

Also Dilbert's house [unitedmedia.com] is online.... And an Internet enabled washing machine [amazon.co.uk] , and this internet enabled microwave [amazon.co.uk] are onsale in the UK.. Interestingly aren't available at amazon.com yet [amazon.com]

Imagine a Beowulf... (1, Funny)

jeorgen (84395) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033237)

So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"

The real question is: How long with this equipment until script kiddies cause a heat wave?

It can be kinda useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033241)

A friend of mine has had this capability for 5 years or so. He speaks around the world. He says it's nice because he can turn down the heat in winter, then before the final leg of his flight he can start it back up for a nice warm house.

Already hackable? (2, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033243)

So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?

My house came with a wireless gizmo that allows the power company to cut out my air conditioning during a peak power crisis. In return, I save a couple of bucks a month on my bill. (They claim that they haven't had to activate this system in many years. We'll see.)

I wouldn't be surprised if these things were found to be totally insecure. However, I'm not too worried because it's basically a case of "Security through would anyone actually bother?". If it worked via the Internet, it might be different though. At least with the radio, would-be hackers would have to emerge from their parents' basements to set up an antenna, which will probably thwart most of them.

Re:Already hackable? (1)

KyleCordes (10679) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033490)

The power company would have to offer me more than "a couple bucks a month", to turn off my air conditioning during the periods when I need it most, which is to say during peak power use, which happens when it's really really hot outside.

Power companies are (apparently) in the business of selling power. When people want to buy a lot of it, they should be celebrating and happily vending, not looking for ways to get their customers not to buy so much.

Everything with an IP? (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033248)

I don't understand why one would want to give anything an IP. Sure it's fun to have remote access to everything. But, it'll make it accessable to "others" too, maybe not as obvious but it'll be out in the open.

If you're afraid your house would turn against you, you really shouldn't IP-enable it (or.. firewall your toaster).

*Runs off for more tinfoil*

I may be the only one....but..... (2, Informative)

Savet Hegar (791567) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033254)

I don't see why a thermostat NEEDS to be network enabled.

Not only is it not too terrible of an inconvenience to get up and walk to the thermostat, but now we have to protect our thermostat with a firewall??

As it was mentioned earlier, I don't think it will be long before the kiddies start creating a windows exploit that attacks the thermostat. Imagine having your heat go out in -10 degree weather. This is a situation where a cracker could actually put someone's life at stake in the right circumstances.

Re:I may be the only one....but..... (2, Interesting)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033300)

I know of a local business that wired up their HVAC and security with a web interface. One port is open, 443, and you must authenticate with the web server. This works really well because they have public meeting facilities. Sometimes meetings don't get on the schedule, and someone ends up locked out of a room with the air conditioning turned off. Or a last minute meeting is planned, etc. A manager uses his palm pilot phone's web brower to admin the building remotely, from where ever he is (when at home he uses a PC). He turns on the air, and unlocks the correct doors to allow access to only the areas of the building that are needed. And he doesn't have to make the 45 minute trip to work to do this.

Re:I may be the only one....but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033319)

The web site indicated it had an under tempurature saftey (mercury switch I suspect) just for that reason.

Re:I may be the only one....but..... (1)

elf-fire (715733) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033330)

Actually, a thermostate would be one of the first 'appliances' I would like to see networked. Switch airco/heating of when you leave and switch it on using your cell-phone or whatever before you get home. Yes, I would use that!

Re:I may be the only one....but..... (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033410)

"Actually, a thermostate would be one of the first 'appliances' I would like to see networked. Switch airco/heating of when you leave and switch it on using your cell-phone or whatever before you get home. Yes, I would use that!"

Yes yes me too! I'd also love to hang up lots of temperature sensors in order to graph the correlation of the behaviour of the temprature to the thermostat setting, in different rooms of the house..

Re:I may be the only one....but..... (2, Funny)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033428)

Shopping list: Norton AV for thermostat, Ad-aware for fridge, personal firewall for bathtub, VPN driver for airco...

Very bad marketing! (2, Informative)

RockyMountain (12635) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033256)

Proliphix's web site is an example of VERY bad marketing.

At the right price, I'd probably buy one. Even if they don't sell them directly, surely Proliphix's web site ought to give some clue how or where to buy one. What retailers carry them? Who sells them on the internet? How much they cost? Something!

There's a link labelled "DEALERS", but it only describes how to become a dealer, not how to find an existing dealer.

I invested 5 minutes searching for this info, and found nothing. Even a Google search turned up nothing. During those 5 minutes, I stumbled over many competing products (not identical, rather more X-10ish, but still, other people who will gladly take the customers money before the customer ever tracks down how to buy a Proliphix.

not first (1)

hajmola (82709) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033263)

Not really true. I've had LIPAedge [lipaedge.com] for 3-4 years. Granted, you don't have direct access (unit doesn't have an IP address) to the theromstat unit, but it can still be controlled through a web browser from anywhere.

Clarification of "world's first" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033270)

Eh???
Does "world's first" now mean "one of hundreds, developed anytime within the last 10 years?"

What about Lightstat's i-stat, the Internet Thermostat [lightstat.com]
or perhaps the Shell Home Genie system [smarthomeusa.com]
or perhaps ProAction's industrial system [homation.com]
or perhaps just go google and pick one of your choice...

REcipe number one poor man's ip thermometer: (2, Informative)

dindi (78034) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033273)


ingridients: old pc (i386 from garage sale)
joystick port
2 thermistors (2kohm if i remember right)
linux distro (eg debian) -dos works too, but no tcpip stack

old joystick

preparation:
1. open up joy, locate potmeters
2. replace with thermistors
3. install op sys with joy support
4 calibrate thermistors (eg in +50c water and -10c fridge.
5. read values, post it on website ...

optional:
parallel port device control - never did that (other than 8 leds connected for a load meter)

on the other hand with a cheap pc+serial port + X1 you can really program some fancy llighting scheme and even heating stuff ....

Re:REcipe number one poor man's ip thermometer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033484)

6. take pictures
7. post pictures and a writeup on the website
8. submit to slashdot, get on the front page easily
9. use remote controlled cooling to keep your web server from catching on fire
l10. ???
11. Profit!

Now I... (1)

krhainos (637354) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033280)

...can alter the ambient temperature in my house while on vacation so my goldfish don't boil on a freak heatwave while I was away ... like they did last summer :(

Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033283)

Now I can just let the crackers/script kiddies create an "oven" or "freezer" environment in my house for me.

Some things in the house are better left isolated.

I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033288)

Seriously. Every time one of these topics comes up on the /. there are a flood of posts talking about how useless or pointless the invention is. Applying an easy stereotype I notice most of these comments come from posters who joined in the last couple of years.

Has the general readership of /. really changed so much? Is it not appropriate to have a little lust and desire to see tech invade every portion of our lives? Wasn't /. itself about the new and exciting uses of technology and cool things on the net?

More on topic, your thermostat will be networked one way or the other. Either you choose to do it, or your power company will within the next 10-15 years to help control power blackouts, surges and fluctuations. Some power companies already offer discounts for those in high heat areas if the end user allows the power company to turn off their AC during peak usage times.

It's not the heat waves... (1)

nial-in-a-box (588883) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033294)

...but the 40 below days you need to worry about. Seriously, you could kill people by messing with thermostats under such conditions. But I suppose that any house that would even have this feature would also probably be brand new and have insulation even thicker than my skull, so it wouldn't be tragic.

Simple solutions, temp, fans, water heater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10033297)

I'd just like a simple solution to monitoring temperature in individual rooms/attic, being able to turn a fan on or off (or just turn a duplex outlet on or off instead), monitor the temperature of water in my water heater (and better yet, capture the heat from my oil burner heating system to heat water [into a primary tank?] prior to going into the gas fired water heater, monitor fridge temperatures, etc.

I'm not talking about systems like X10 (?) or other fancy systems. I just want to be able to plug in some really simple (and cheap), but pre-assembled electronic sensors into a wired ethernet system, so I can monitor them and control them through a debian desktop.

If I had something like this some years ago, I could have saved hundreds of dollars a month juggling cooling and refrigeration equipment at a deli, using sensors, fans, and some creative ducting between refrigeration equipment, freezers, and air conditioning that could have been selectively turned on and off to lower the $#*! demand meter charges. No longer working there, but I have relatives that could benefit as well, though to a lesser extent.

The water heater idea is more complicated, but for the simpler systems, I could circulate hot air from the attic, use it to monitor/log temps for hallways/stairway to tenant, and move air conditioned air to rooms without air conditioning. And get better control over an old air conditioner that still cools very well, but who's thermostat is shot. And of course, be as I'm sure others have listed, be able to ssh into the lan and monitor/control temperatures/heating/cooling remotely.

For the water heating, I have an old oil burner to heat radiator steam pipes, and it has a built in water heating system that is a demand system, with a very small, or non-existant water holding tank. That was disabled years ago so that the oil burner wouldn't have to run in the summer, and instead a natural gas-fired water heater was installed separately to heat water. but for at least 6 months of the year, the oil burner is running anyway for steam heat. It would be great for conservation for everyone in a similar situation to be able to heat water while the oil burner is running to make steam heat, and store that water in an insulated holding tank to feed the water heater, which would result in a water heater that ran less (pre-heated water needs less of a temperature rise to reach the same temperature), and runs a lot less during cold winter months when the oil burner is running for long periods of time.

The heat being lost by the oil burner could be captured to heat water, instead of being wasted. Is there a system out there that does something similar? I've looked for some time online, but haven't been able to find anything.

another step towards total automation.... (1)

to be a troll (807210) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033298)

but i for one will not be happy until there are sensors in my gut, telling the internet when i am hungry and what i am hungry for...

then a perfectly prepaired meal will arrive on an internet conveyer belt.

or when advertisors are able to tell exactly what my weaknesses and desires are at that very moment due to sensors in my brain...then they will charge it to my account and it too will arrive on my internet conveyer belt.

the future is going to be amazing...

car? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033516)

I'm still waiting for my fucking flying car.

Private IP Addresses (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033309)

The whole comment about script kiddies is weak. Thats why we have private ip addresses and private networks. Make the home non-Internet routable and the ip concern is moot. Now....if there is some mechanism to provide outside access....then fine, but there is little reason for that.

If that does come into play, then strong security solutions will be needed but opensource has proven that security can be had. Hell, have an itermiderary than cannot directly control the other devices but can send them requests. Have the devices only accept reasonable requests. (no thermostat to 100degrees during summer)

Do I think this is ready for the comman man? Hell no. DO I think it will ever become common place? Hell no. You average person can't run a vcr or even a LCD thermo....fuck an ip device.

Re:Private IP Addresses (1)

haxeh (766837) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033344)

Right, no LANs with private IP addresses have ever been vulnerable to anything, because they have private IP addresses. That makes sense. Good thing I'm behind my crappy linksys router with a 192.168.0.0/16 address, now no one can haxor me!

Great idea but... ethernet? (2, Interesting)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033335)

Of all the things to wire up thermostats with, ethernet wouln't be my first choice, sure you can plug it into your existing network infastructure if youre totally un-concirned with security, but it means farily bulky cables and network hubs/switches to install just for temprature monitoring.

Depending on the requirements, a ground + data/power could be used providing virtually effortless wiring with tiny cables, or for more demanding systems power+data, and thin 4-pair telephone cable for a full RS422/485 balanced-pair system for noisy envrioments.

You can probably get such systems, and probably IP-enabled controll units for them, overall probably cheeper, easier and more secure.

Back door for the Gov? (5, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033336)

You know that the DOJ will want to be able to view your household temperature without you knowing it (PATRIOT ACT). You see, they'll check the temp to see how warm you're keeping your house. If it matches too closely with the temperatures of the climates of countries that host terrorism, you'll get a visit from the Feds. It'll be the same thing for web contolled lighting - gee, this guy keeps his lights on the exact same time as daylight in Irag, and the same temp. We need to investigate!

The Only Way This Would Be Cooler (3, Funny)

ellem (147712) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033367)

is if it runs in IIS and uses plaintext passwords!

My heating bill would look like the Nat'l Deficit.

Nothing new here (1)

tekwiz (709188) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033389)

It's already been done by plenty of people including Carrier UTC who also have some with bluetooth capabilities...

never jacked off to a thermostat before... (2, Funny)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033402)

Now I can know how hot it REALLY is in those live orgy rooms...

Whole house Firewalls/NAT (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033411)

If you put all your 'appliances' behind a NAT firewall, you are pretty safe from script-kiddies on the outside..

True, a virus internally could wreak havoc, but I doubt that its going to be that much of a security risk.

That being said, I think its silly in the first place just because you can stick a computer in something, doesn't mean you should.. But people will buy it..

Interesting future for residential broadband (2, Insightful)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10033439)

I'd say the majority of people with DSL/Cable in the US have user agreements stating no servers. Certainly this is a simple one, but a server nevertheless. Also, I venture a guess that most people have no clue how to set up their firewall to accept incoming sessions.

As more and more home appliances become Internet accessible, it will be interesting to see how things like this take hold.

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