February 22, 2012

Coding and automation doesn’t end at the desktop. Programming Your Home: Automate with Arduino, Android, and Your Computer gives you step-by-step instructions to start re-engineering your environment the way you want. Now in print and shipping from pragprog.com/book/mrhome.

Programming Your Home: Automate with Arduino, Android, and Your Computer

In Programming Your Home, technology enthusiast Mike Riley walks you through a variety of custom home automation projects, ranging from a phone application that alerts you to package deliveries at your front door to an electronic guard dog that will prevent unwanted visitors.

Open locked doors using your smartphone. Assemble a bird feeder that posts Twitter tweets to tell you when the birds are feeding or when bird seed runs low. Have your home speak to you when you receive email, notify you when visitors arrive, and more.

You’ll learn how to use Android smartphones, Arduinos, X10 controllers and a wide array of sensors, servos, programming languages, web frameworks, and mobile SDKs. Programming Your Home is written for smartphone programmers, web developers, technology tinkerers, and anyone who enjoys building cutting-edge, do-it-yourself electronic projects.

This book will give you the inspiration and understanding to construct amazing automation capabilities that will transform your residence into the smartest home in your neighborhood!

What You Need:

To get the most out of Programming Your Home, you should have some familiarity with the Arduino hardware platform along with a passion for tinkering. If you’re new to Arduino, you might want to have a look at Arduino: A Quick Start Guide.

You should enjoy innovative thinking and learning exercises as well as have some practical application development experience. The projects use a variety of hardware components including sensors and actuators, mobile devices, and wireless radios, and we’ll even tell you where you can get them.

Now in print and shipping from pragprog.com/book/mrhome.

Q&A with author Mike Riley

Q: Why did you write Programming Your Home?

A: I wanted to show people with little or no experience with programming micro controllers how to empower themselves with the ability to automate their own homes. Seeing the completed, working project brings a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

Q: How many home automation projects are featured in the book?

A: Programming Your Home features 8 unique projects, ranging from a water level alerting system to a voice synthesized interactive application that controls and reports on the variety of projects constructed throughout the book.

Q: Which is your favorite project from the book?

A: The Android Door Lock is a my personal favorite, but it’s also one of the most complex in the book. I also enjoyed building and using the Tweeting Bird Feeder. It’s a thrill to watch tweets appear in a Twitter feed when birds are perching on the feeder, or when the feeder bird seed needs to be refilled.

Q: Do the projects cost a lot of money to build?

A: Not at all. That’s a big reason why home automation is so compelling today. Most of the projects cost less than sixty dollars to assemble, and much of the hardware is reusable in other projects, driving the material costs down even further.

Q: How long does it take to build a typical project from the book?

A: Most of the projects can be assembled and made operational within an hour or two.

Q: What can I do with the projects after I finish building them?

A: Each chapter has a ‘Next Steps’ section that encourages you to extend each project in novel and highly customized ways. After reading the book, you will have the knowledge and experience necessary to build upon the projects or create your own that automate aspects of your home in your own unique way.

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