By Jared Ross
When Mark Zuckerberg first announced his plan to build AI control for his home, I’ll admit it… I was slightly apprehensive that the billionaire entrepreneur would put my home system to shame.
Zuckerberg and I definitely agree that Crestron is the most reliable backbone for our AI home control solutions. However, rather than attempting to build my own AI assistant from the ground up, I chose to use Apple’s HomeKit to harness the already ubiquitous (not to mention super-friendly) AI assistant that Apple has conveniently embedded in my phone, tablet, laptop, watch and car… Siri!
This first and very important decision gives my AI home control solution two advantages over Zuckerberg’s: Everyone already has the incredible power of Siri’s natural language voice recognition on or near them 24/7 (you can also type to Siri) and I can swipe up on my iPhone to control my home. Using HomeKit auto-magically reveals a third “dot” in the tray of iOS devices when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. I’m not aware of any third-party apps that can utilize this insanely accessible instant-on screen-space.
While Zuckerberg has been busy creating Jarvis (also running his little company, being a philanthropist and wearing t-shirts), I’ve spent my spare time (read: the middle of the night when I should be sleeping) developing a home control AI solution of my own.
Since my house was already controlled by Crestron and Siri is already never more than a button press away (or a “Hey Siri”), my mission was clear… teach Siri and Crestron to play together nicely.
How does my system stack up against the Facebook CEO’s?
Here’s a quick run-down of what I can control: TVs, theater, music, lights, shades, thermostats, door locks, garage door, alarm (all door/window/motion sensors, etc), intercom, surveillance, sprinklers, organic pest control (through sprinklers), robot vacuum, invisible dog fence, cappuccino machine and, my personal favorite, The Big Green Egg Smoker.
Please leave your comments, questions and judgments on this post. I’ll try to consider, answer and ignore them (respectively) if I can figure out how to use this Internet.
BTW – @MarkZuckerberg, I have a solution that controls The Big Green Egg. If you’re sleeping and the smoker temperature drops too low, you can slowly raise the lamp and then the music on your side of the bed. Here’s the data from my 13+ hour July 4th weekend cook last summer:
Feel free to reach out if you’re interested; I’d be happy to share!