One of the biggest news items in the tech world over the last couple of weeks was the acquisition by Google of the company responsible for developing the Nest smart thermostat and the Nest Protect intelligent smoke alarm. The high valuation of the company, as well as the possible intentions behind the tech giant’s purchase of Nest was fodder for a slew of theories about Google’s strategy from tech bloggers, but aside from that, it was a big indication that connected devices and smart home hardware could be a lucrative market for entrepreneurs and startups in the near future.
However, instead of focusing on developing proprietary hardware and software for these types of devices, the connected tools of the smart home of the future might be best developed using the DIY and open source ethics, as this smart thermostat project from Spark.io demonstrates.
The finished product, while not necessarily a contender for the attention of current Nest customers, is a valid demonstration that the open source hardware necessary to build a connected device like this already exists, and that while it is possible for DIY enthusiasts to build their own, it could also serve as inspiration for entrepreneurs that want to create their own versions of smart home devices, using open source technology to shorten the development cycle.
Spark has developed an open-source thermostat that cost just $70 to make, and it did so within a single day. That’s nothing to snub your nose at. Before I provide further details about the thermostat, it’s worth noting that the primary reason the…