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A suggestion for more flexible scheduling: tie in with Google Calendar

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    A suggestion for more flexible scheduling: tie in with Google Calendar

    I've been using the app and the hub for some time now as my "alarm clock". I used several other systems in the past for Insteon an X10.

    I had a long career in high-tech product development (specializing in human factors, computer interface, and computer graphics) before retiring into an encore career of college teaching.

    For example: A highly flexible scheduling system makes for a far superior alarm clock. First the radio comes on. Then, the lights slowly come up. Then the lights and radio go off for about 3 minutes of "cuddle time", then the lights finally come on full.

    I currently have a weekend and a weekday schedule. Not bad, but it doesn't have the flexibility I'd like. If next Thursday I have to get up an hour earlier because of a scheduled plane flight, there's no way to set that up in advance. If there are no classes on Memorial day, the alarm sequence still goes off on its regular schedule, even though I'd prefer to set that in advance for a more relaxed "weekend schedule".

    Making a good human interface for such a highly flexible scheduling is no easy task. But Microsoft and Google have done that in their calendar systems. Not everybody has Outlook, but everyone has access to Google Calendar.

    Now the hub is on the internet, and Google has provided an API to access calendar. I'm not sure where best to host a more flexible system: Hub firmware or smartphone app, or both. But imagine a protocol system where any Calendar appointment with "INSTEON" as the first seven letters of its appointment title could be recognized by the hub, which could then look into the appointment description for items like "Scene DailyWakeup ON" or "Controller Radio OFF", and execute them at the appointment date and time. There could even be items like "WAIT 30 MINUTES" to put pauses of the specified length in a sequence of operations. One old X10 system even allowed IF - THEN controls. That was nice for cancelling a wakeup sequence by just turning the radio off with a remote.

    All the complexity of recurring appointments, and one-time exceptions, and one-time new events, all that could be handled by the Google Calendar app.

    I have no difficulty imagining coding such a system. As always, human factors ease of use would be the biggest issues. I would imagine making the connection between the Hub and one's Google Calendar via user interface in the App.

    Would anyone but me be interested in such a flexible system? Other ideas and suggestions appreciated.

    Dave Straayer (doing home automation since the X10 days)

    Hi Dave, the idea sounds promising. I'm a Youth Program Teaching Assistant at Science Mill in Austin, TX. We would like to use Insteon Hub with Google Calendar app for our IoT training programs. How can we partner with X10 home automation and create a domotics course? I will share the application page as I type my paper today and newsletter invitations.
    We're an international group and we're hiring University experts in home automation (we have 4 remote workers from La Salle Campus Barcelona).
    Last edited by Arthurnottheking; 03-18-2020, 06:21 AM.


      X10 is a separate company not associated with Smarthome/Smartlabs. So if you want to partner with X10 you would have to contact them.

      If you want to use the Insteon HUB. It may no longer support X10 signaling. Officially Insteon support of X10 was ended at least a year now. Though some modules still unofficially support X10. You maybe able to contact Smarthome or Smartlabs and see what they say.