Introduction

 

For a number of years now I've had a mental image of creating a high tech / ecological symbiotic system for my home.

So what does that mean? Computer vision chicken tracker? Some kind of bio-hacked green beans? Neural network designed garden layouts?

To be honest I'm not sure what the actual product will look like - if like anything at all - but I figure the best way to find out is to throw some ideas against the proverbial wall and see what sticks.

I will document my thoughts, my process, and my creations here - in part to help me organize and in part to share what i am doing with anyone interested enough to read along. 

 

Measurable Results

On a large scale machine learning and IoT can have measurable increases in efficiency of manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure. On a smaller scale of a single house it is less clear how to create actual value. Most of what I have seen has either been mild convenience or entertainment e.g. Alexa, or down right stupid e.g. 15 Idiotic Internet of Things Devices Nobody Asked For

However all of the tools that are used in large scale industry are becoming more democratized and I think that we can leverage these tools to do more than have our robot lady friend tell fart jokes - although to be fair Alexa has some good ones. 

In order to test this theory I want to have measurable results that I can use to determine if a system has created any value. For now I will use the following metrics:

Time

Time is money - does the system that I have implemented save us any time on the task that it is automating?

Cost

Money is money - how does the cost of the system compare to its benefits? 

Yield 

Does the system increase the yield of the task it is automating or designing? I can measure how a system impacts our production of food in the garden.  

Efficiency 

Does the system increase the efficiency of the task? I can measure things like power usage or water usage to see if it goes down as the system is implemented.  

Convenience

Does this system make our lives easier? This is more of a subjective metric, but I can still track if the system feels convenient or not.