Creative ideas needed for personal project & Maker contest


Active Member
I was wondering if anyone is doing any type of home automation with the SOC controllers such as Arduino or the Raspberry PI boards. Currently, I'm in the process of dismantling an old 20th century controller in favor of a more avant garde solution using the micro controllers as the basis of my endeavor.
I'm doing this conversion in a piece meal fashion, first lawn irrigation, next lighting control and now I'm starting the energy management phase.
In the energy management phase, I want to do a lot more than the “ho hum” stuff such as turning the heat on when a temp sensor drops to a certain point etc. I was thinking of installing wired and wireless temp/humidity sensors throughout the house with several thermostats. The sensors would constantly monitor heat/humidity and control the furnace via the thermostats. The sensor data would also be pushed to Azure for processing and interpretation.
In addition to the basics as indicated above, I'd also like to monitor air quality throughout the home and around the exterior perimeter of the home. This data would also be pushed to Azure. Also, I would like to monitor noise pollution in and outside the house. This data would also be pushed to Azure.
I'm looking for some creative ideas that I can implement in this energy management phase. All suggestions are welcome.
I intend to submit a detailed project paper to Arduino/Microsoft as part of their latest Arduino Maker Challenge. So, to reiterate, I'm looking for some really creative ideas in the smart home area to incorporate in my paper to make it appealing as possible to Arduino/Microsoft.
Finally, I think writing the project paper is the easy part. The hard part, if I'm selected, will be in building this project. Project paper has to be submitted within the next 24 days.
BTW, I'd really be interested in hearing from anyone who has actually implemented the Azure IOT Suite in any of their projects. Bonus points are given if Azure is used in the project. So, I intend to use Azure IOT.