Smarthome Announces Winners of 'Automate This!'


Staff member
Automated Bathtub Wins First Prize, Device to Restrict Children's Television Viewing and 'Smart' Key Fob Are Runners-Up

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Smarthome, Inc., the world's leading provider of automated products to improve the home, today announced the three winners of "The Smarthome Automate This! Contest," who were selected for submitting the best new ideas for improving everyday life in the home through automation, over thousands of entrants nationwide.

The winners are:

$1,000 Grand Prize -- The Automated Bathtub

Theral Mackey from Atlanta, Ga., submitted the winning idea for an automated bathtub that would draw the perfect bath with the push of a button by setting water temperature, water height and adding soap or bubble bath. It would also be able to turn on the jets for Jacuzzi-type bathtubs and be controlled from anywhere in the house or on the way home from a hard day of work. The bath could also be scheduled to start when the alarm clock goes off, in order to have a bath waiting before the day starts. Mackey received a $1,000 shopping spree on Smarthome's online store for his winning submission.

$500 First Runner-up -- Kid's TV Timer

The first runner-up, Andrew Logie from Attleboro, Mass. would like to control children's TV viewing by creating a device that regulates the amount of television children watch. When kids use up one hour for the day, or any time period set by parents, the TV automatically turns off. Logie received a $500 shopping spree from Smarthome.

$250 Second Runner-up -- 'Smart' Key Fob

Second runner-up, Jon Deutsch of King of Prussia, Pa. would like the house to respond as you enter or leave. A small, wireless-enabled pocket key fob, acting as a personal identification device, would alert the house and issue commands to lock or unlock doors and windows, raise or lower the thermostat setting, activate or deactivate the alarm system, turn on the stereo, and more. Deutsch received a $250 shopping spree from Smarthome.

This past July, Smarthome challenged the public to submit an automated home improvement they wish was available today that would make their life more convenient, safe or fun. Entries were judged based upon originality and imagination.

Read the rest of this press release
"Entries were judged based upon originality and imagination."
Apparantly, Smarthome doesn't visit Homeseer or Cocoontech's forums...
or do they ? :D <tinfoil hat>They are obviously looking for new ideas, but probably trying to make it look like they got it from a contest vs stealing the idea from someone who already implemented this </tinfoil hat>
Well, the bathtub idea has some merit. I don't recall too many people automating their bathtubs. But not too much different than spa/hot tub or pool or fountain control issues.

The kids TV timer is a built-in feature of HomeSeer. That award is bogus.

The key fob is a half baked idea. Non-security key fobs are a dime a dozen and you would simply assign a button to arriving or leaving. But that means that anybody that find the keyfob has full access to the house. If they were thinking of an iButton or prox card higher security solution that requires no button presses, how does the house know when you are really leaving and when you are going out to get the mail or water a plant? This goes back to basic occupancy sensor issues...

or did I miss something?
How about an 802.11b keyfob with storage. It could attach to your network when you were in proximity and sync the files on your keyfob with the files on your network. With the addition of a small USB 802.11b network adpater you could have it in or insert it into your machine at work/school/friends house and get to your files. It could also act as a remote for turning on/off alarm, lights, scenes, whatever.
I was thinking of automating a toilet once I get a home. Have one with the occupancy sensor:

1. When person is done and gets up the cover automatically comes down wiith the help of a small motor. THEN flushes. My wife saw on 20/20 how small particles of "stuff" just flies out of the toilet if you don't put down the cover. Now she yells at me all the time for not putting it down BEFORE I flush.

Just a thought LOL
yeah 20/20 or whatever show it was did show some troubling stuff for sure, but automating a toilet is just asking for trouble ... pets might disappear ;)
No pets here. At least not in-doors. Hmm. Kids might disappear though. But that's what the safety (& VERY ANNOYING) door knob attachments are for.
Can't find the link now, but back before Christmas I saw an automated toliet.

It could detect if a male approached for a No 1, then would open both the lid and the seat, after leaving, would close both, then flush.

If a person needed a No 2, would only open the lid, when "activity" stopped ( as sensed by the use of paper), would function as a bidet with a warm water rinse, then warm air dry. Then close the lid and flush.

Was about 5 grand as I remember.
There are boatloads of automated toilets over in Japan. Every so often one makes it over into the US news. Do some searching on the web and see what you find if you are interested. For me, having the lights go on automatically is where I draw the line in the bathroom. ;)
I know e (and some others) will love this:

>>Instructions on how to clean your toilet

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the
water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids.
You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises
that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash"
and rinse".

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there
are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom,
and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.


The Dog

I know, should have been in "Wiring Closet" but since this Smarthome thread had gone to the "toilet", why not ;)
Yes, the mouse trap is a classic!

I printed it out to show my coworkers (and everyone else that I can) what true HomeAutomation is really all about!

Turning lights on and off is nothing compared to the mouse trap!