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MOTHER - What is it?

Named after the Weyland Yutani computer system that powered the Nostromo in Goldsmith's 'Alien' movie, MOTHER is a smart home project I've been working on and off on for the past few years.

It's a completely modular system that aims to bring together various smart systems such as Hue, Zwave, Zigbee, etc. into a single easy-to-use piece of software. I've tried various great smart systems out there (Razberry, HAB, Domi, Smartthings, Google Home, etc.) and none of them quite do what I want to do, or have issues that just get in the way.

The main goals of the project are:

  • NO CLOUD. I do not want my home powered by something that stops working when my internet conks out (and it does, regularly).
  • Stable and accurate. It has to be stable and the data has to be accurate.
  • Modular and scalable. I want to be able to plug in or develop any future smart system and have it interact with the current system.
  • Flexible and detailed. I want it to handle more than just 'Switch on/off' and 'Light level/color' style devices. For example, it should show what a TV is playing, how long a router has been online, etc.
  • Simple, organised user interface. While it should be possible to drill down into the data, it should default to a minimal, simplistic view of the house where it's easy to gause what's going on.

I'll be covering more of the project as it progresses in various posts.

Who I am

I'm Blake and I like to tinker with things and make stuff. When I'm not programming or developing random systems, I'm playing with electronics, doodling bits of art, 3D modelling or sculpting and painting things or nerding out watching sci-fi or horror TV.

From 2001 I worked in the games industry, eventually specialising in tools to aid in the development of video games and their engines. In 2011 I left the industry and teamed up with a few other talented composers to utilise my knowledge to help build the company 'Spitfire Audio'.

I also periodically compose soundtracks for video-games and have worked on titles such as The Stanley Parable and Portal Knights. You've probably also heard my music in random TV commercials at some point.

What I'm using to develop

If I'm needing raw power, I'm most likely utilising C++ in Visual Studio 2008 (I know, I'm behind the times).

To knock up quick and effective systems, I'm usually using nodeJS in Visual Code.

If it's games stuff, you'll probably find me pottering about with Unreal Engine with a mixture of C++ and Blueprints.