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A better home with real smartware

· Planning,Smart Home,Automation

Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. While temperatures are rising and the sun is warming up every building in the country, I got an assignment I least expected. Although the assignment was a little bit strange for the time of the year, I think you will find it a cool in-home must-have. What I’ve been doing? I’ve been testing a smart thermostat, of all things.

Imagine yourself living in a smart house that will learn and think for you, so you won’t have to worry about any home logistics anymore. Picturing it? I did too, being introduced to home automation and the promises that come along with it even before my college days. But so far, these promises have never been fulfilled for me. My experience is that in the end I still have to press a button somewhere to make things happen. Which one easily forgets to do (in time), so things often won’t happen as desired and the experience is never as awesome as the picture that was painted. Anything that claims to be smart but still requires me to do more than just live my life, always seems to be a bit too counter-intuitive.

Home automation that works

Today I can safely say we’ve managed to change that at Calendar42. We have made a major step forward in home and building automation! Let’s begin with the smart thermostat I have been testing. Well, it all starts with the simplicity of hooking it up to your existing wiring. It supports the protocol of your central heating system, so it can program that and fully manage it with the room console. Also, it’s possible to connect the thermostat with your home WiFi network, which allows you to operate it online. You just log on to the web portal or the app on your smartphone and you are fully in control of your central heating system. What more do you need when autumn approaches and chilly days increase the need for a remote thermostat?

Not only you, also your partner and even guests that are staying over can manage this system. The thermostat keeps track of the local outside temperature that it will fetch from the internet automatically, so you don’t need to install a separate outside sensor or wiring. Furthermore, the thermostat learns from your home’s characteristics and central heating system. Your heating system will never spill any valuable energy anymore when you’re not there; that’s a promise that truly adds value. And last but certainly not least, we will always come home to a warm welcome at just the right temperature.

C42 makes the difference

The smart thermostat app allows you to adjust the temperature with one swipe, or to change the program easily. Very convenient when you’ll be arriving home earlier or later than planned, unexpectedly. Ah, there’s the rub! I’ll still have to make adjustments myself, so is this smart thermostat as smart as I want home automation to be?

See, that’s where the integration solution the C42 platform offers makes a huge difference. Because the smart thermostat provides an open API, we could add our own smartness. Give it a little bit of our flavour, so to speak. Instead of following a standard calendar that users have to change manually, this API receives the relevant changes from the C42 platform. C42 keeps track of the changes in your schedule, your actual location and your expected arrival time based on real-time delays. Not only yours, but also your partner’s and your authorised guests’ if you want. The system will base itself on the first person that is expected to arrive home. How great is that?!

We understand it’s private

Now I can almost hear you think: what about my privacy? At Calendar42 we understand those concerns. We guarantee you we respect your right to choose who handles your personal information, how it’s handled and what can be done with it. What do we do with it? Actually, it’s not your location that matters to our platform, but the distance to your home and the time it takes you to get there. When we have processed the information - for your thermostat in this case - there’s no use for us to keep your data. After all, you have the right to be forgotten; your data that is. Therefore we apply 2016 European privacy standards and regulations (GDPR) to all our technologies. What does that mean? Your personal data will never be sold on or used for other purposes than the usage of the application you signed up for. That principle is ingrained in our company DNA. To protect your privacy we have implemented state-of-the art security technology.

In my opinion the promise of home automation has finally been delivered. Better days in our homes, our C42 platform helps to make it happen. Cool! I’m already looking forward to work on the integration of other systems. Take air conditioning for instance or security, detection and energy management systems. It will not only be incredibly convenient if we fully integrate that with your C42 profile, it can also reduce costs significantly due to high efficiency!

By the way, for those who were wondering if my girlfriend, my guests and I had to torture ourselves with the central heating on top of the heatwave: we had the luxury of simulation scenarios. Don’t worry. ;-)

Interested? Then perhaps you would like to check out the independent ‘Dutch design’ solution ThermoSmart.

About Bob Karreman

Bob Karreman is a senior developer in Calendar42’s “AAA-team”. He is a Javascript and web technology expert, graduated from the Rotterdam Graduate School’s Grafics & Media department. His previous work experience includes Front end development at Transparent Spaces and web development agency 180 Amsterdam.

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