A classical scene is the “did you check if the stove is turned off” scenario. Everybody has experienced this some time, or maybe even many times. Of course this also happens to me once in a while (I am human you know), especially when I’m thinking about IoT ;-). Then on my way to the station and I think damn, did I turn off the stove? And then I have to walk back and check it out. Of course because of this I miss my train, really annoying. Even worse is when I think about it in the train, while leaving the station…
Of course for every problem there is a solution. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could check the status of my stove with a smartphone app? I see 2 options here (1) an intelligent valve which I place on the gas pipe which leads to the stove or (2) the stove itself is intelligent and has a built-in smart valves and sensors.
The first option is a way to connect a traditional stove to the internet.
The smart valve contains a CH4 (methane) sensor like this one.
And a smoke sensor like this one.
So when the CH4 sensor detects gas, the valve automatically closes and the gas flow stops. It also sends a twitter message @erikvanderzee or SMS to me. The message is “He dumbo, you forgot to turn off your stove again! But don’t worry, your intelligent valve has stopped the gas from flowing”.
If the fire is still burning then the next problem is that if pans are on the stove, the food in the pan starts to smoke first and then catch fire. Hopefully the smoke detector detects the smoke and gives a signal to the intelligent valve, which stops the gas flow. Another option is to make intelligent pans, that can give a warning to the stove to turn off when e.g. a pan cooks dry or starts to produce smoke (burning food).
A better alternative is an intelligent stove. This has intelligent knobs, so that I can ask the stove the position of the knobs (“off” or “on-xx%”) with the stove app on my smartphone. If the fire is still burning (which happened to me a few times), I can switch the knobs to “off” position through the app! Of course this stove also has the intelligent valve, so that if somehow gas is flowing into the room, the valve automatically closes.
We can even combine this with location based services (LBS). If I make a geofence around my house, my stove will send me an alert (tweet or sms) that I left the house without turning off stove knobs 2 and 3 when I’m walking out of the geofence. Or even better, it automatically puts the knobs in the “off” position when I’m more than 100m from my house. The LBS scenario works really good in cases when the fire is still burning (no gas detected), and there are no pans on the fire which can catch fire.
So with these smart things and measures in place, I’ll never miss my train anymore and I can dream about IoT without my house burning down ;-).