How to build an intelligent home operating system?

How to build an intelligent home operating system?

Author: Ashutosh Saxena

In 1995, I remember “building your own computer” was fashionable. My neighbor built one and he instantly became the most popular kid in the area.

At that time, computers were used by computer scientists who would buy the appropriate devices (e.g., hard-drive, RAM, motherboard, fan), install an operating system, and use the computer for specialized purposes. I attempted to do the same in 1995. I failed. I couldn’t figure out which device to put together, and how, within a meager budget. Today the median customer of a computer/laptop isn’t technically savvy but is still a heavy user who cannot live without their laptop. And they happily pay hundreds of dollars per month as the amortized cost of laptop and software fees!

In 2015, my co-founder Professor David Cheriton and I discussed building a fully-integrated smart home. I immediately went and bought all of the smart IoT devices and tried to convert my personal apartment into a computing platform.

It was 1995 all over again. I could not build a reliable smart home system. Piecing together the appropriate devices and figuring out how to integrate them was a nightmare – even for someone who is relatively tech-savvy like me. A friend of mine who lives in San Francisco had a smart thermostat lying on the floor for more than five months. I asked him “Why is the thermostat on the floor?” and he responded saying “I bought it but couldn’t figure out how to make it work so I gave up.”

It was clear to us that IoT-enabled devices were only a prerequisite for getting the smart home to work. The end-users (e.g., a senior resident or families) need a “move-in ready” fully-integrated smart home experience, however, that is technically challenging. Therefore, we built a distributed AI operating system that is reliable and intelligent.

Today, Caspar is installed in both multifamily and senior housing properties throughout Nevada, California and Japan, with plans to expand to Europe, Middle-East, and Asia in Q4 2020. Caspar provides a move-in-ready smart home experience that adapts to the needs of each resident. Our technology helps promote a healthy and comfortable lifestyle for seniors, ensuring they can live independently in the comfort of their own home.

If you’re interested in the areas of computer vision, robotics, machine learning, and distributed systems, please let me know. For more info, please check out: