Android phone opens garage door when owner (and phone) come home


Googleandroidsdkv09And this my friends, is the sweetness that comes with a more open platform: cool hackery! I wouldn’t have the programming chops to pull this off, but Brad Fitzpatrick has his G1 handset automatically open the garage door at his house whenever he comes home. Since his phone knows all about his home WiFi network, the device recognizes when Brad gets home and shoots an HTTP request to a webserver that controls his garage door. Brad can either start his application manually on the ride home or simply have the Android handset sniff around for his home network every few seconds.

The source code is available so if you have a G1 and webserver that controls your garage door, you’re in business! I’ve been looking into home automation for a bit now and I’d love to have some type of "proximity detector" on my phone for things like this. You know… something that starts the coffee when I come downstairs in the morning. Maybe have the stereo start up to my favorite tunes when I sit in my comfy chair. Something to put the seat down when I leave the…uh… well, you know… everyday kind of things. ;)

(via Hackszine)



Wow….I love how the eyePhone folks get so testy. They simply can’t stand that we don’t have to wait around for ‘the powers that be’ to create cool toys for us, we can do it ourselves!

Listen up guys, if you like your eyePhone, by all means, enjoy it. No need to try to belittle the toys that we CREATE instead of purchase. It must be fun waiting around for someone else to create a greate app for you, huh?

Mike Klein

@Walt: Wouldn’t this work better the other way around?

Have the server detect a new wifi client that is owner of home and unlock doors/etc?

Due to long travel of wifi signals I’d rather do this via BT perhaps.


“For this app to work, does it have to be running continuously — sniffing for his home WiFi signal and spitting out the HTML? What sort of battery life do you get if you leave an app running 24X7?”

Probably very poor, unless, of course, you actually have it plugged in to your car which might be why you’d want it to open the garage door in the first place.

(Personally, what I want is just the opposite–have it close the garage door once I’m far enough away. I’ve forgotten to close it once or twice–distracted pulling out of the driveway or something–and I’ve gotten paranoid.)

As to this application being available on the iPhone, well, first this is an open source application because I would imagine there would need to be some customization done to work with whatever device you have to control the house. So far, I haven’t seen any Open Source iPhone software.

But, of course, as an Apple Fanboi, you forgot to mention that you’re absolutely positive that Apple will have this functionality–and more–in the next software update for the iPhone. Right along-side Copy & Paste, which will be here real soon now.

Walt French

Sounds wonderful… it would save me from having to spend a second pushing the button on the gizmo on my visor! I’d pay ***HUNDREDS*** to be able to do it!

And I’m really impressed that his gPhone detects and processes his home’s WiFi enough farther away from the house than my clicker does… when I’m driving ~ 30 mph up to my house, every 44 feet is a second, so if his gPhone takes even 3 seconds to detect the phone, it means he has about my 150 ft clicker range plus 132 feet (or more… it’s faster, no?), or a reliable “get” at about 300 feet.

Technological marvel! Make that $$$THOUSANDS!!!

But a question or two:
For this app to work, does it have to be running continuously — sniffing for his home WiFi signal and spitting out the HTML? What sort of battery life do you get if you leave an app running 24X7? Or do you turn it on only when you get close to home?

If I want proximity to the kitchen to know that, e.g., I am ready for coffee, how many access points do I need to reliably tell that I’m not simply getting up to go to the bathroom at 6am? Or does the gPhone have some really super triangulation logic if I simply have 3-5 base stations?

“Inquiring Minds Want to Know!” ®

James Bailey

What makes you think that this application isn’t possible on an iPhone? I assume that is what your reference to “a more open platform” is referring to.

On the iPhone, you are allowed to find your location. You can also send HTTP requests and receive responses. None of this will be blocked by Apple and the iPhone developer agreement. It seems pretty easy to do the phone part. The web server controlling the garage door is a little more obscure.

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