After hearing my interview on Radio 4, the Jeremy Vine show asked me to talk about my smart home tech for Radio 2.
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) November 17, 2016
But! There was a twist. Could I demo some of my tech on the radio?
Most IOT kit is portable – but is usually tied to a specific WiFi network. I wondered about the logistics of reconfiguring several bits of kit to work with the BBC’s guest WiFi network. Setting up the gadgets can be a laborious task even under optimal conditions. And I’d only have a few minutes to get into the studio to prepare.
A brainwave struck! I’d seen Sam Machin present some home automation hacks at #BathCamp – he’d cunningly used a portable MiFi. All his toys connected to its WiFi, and then used the mobile signal to reach the internet. Genius!
So that’s what I did. The night before broadcast I reconfigured a Lifx bulb, a WeMo switch, a cheap IP camera, and my Roomba to teather off my mobile phone. Everything worked! Well, after a bit of bodging.
The Lifx needed to be connected to my main WiFi first in order to get a firmware update – then it happily connected to the phone. The Roomba was a bit temperamental – and is quite bulky – so I dropped it from the list.
Of course, that was at home. In the true spirit of Tomorrow’s World, I was sure that something would go wrong! The phone signal would crap out? The configs would reset? The power would blow up?
The technology spirits were smiling on me that day! All the bits and bobs worked flawlessly! The lights dimmed, the power toggled, the camera swivelled! Hurrah!
You can listen to the broadcast – it starts at about 1 hour, 41 minutes in.
If you’d like me on your show, podcast, or event – please get in touch.