Notifications

As part of an experiment to monitor what is happening in and around our house, we have added the capability for it to send notifications. These can be generated by any digital sensor or device in our home. These are not the same as the minimum value alarm or maximum value alarm defined for analogue sensors.

Database

We have added a 'Notify' entry to our database, so that the setting is persistent.

Commands

It is possible to query the current notification and turn them to 'On' or 'Off' using commands.

Implementation

We have written a static Java class to model notifications.

For each object we require notifications for, we simply add an XML tag to XML definition of the form:
<notify>Open,Closed,On,Off</notify>

These means we can choose what state changes result in notifications, e.g. a door opening but not closing.

Actions

Notifications are currently sent out as SMS messages. We are looking at other delivery mechanisms such as email though. It might be preferable to use email when the house status is set to 'Away' for example.

Usage Scenarios

We can switch the notifications on and off both locally and remotely, so they are not something we would leave on all the time. If we were out at work, we might turn them on to know when a parcel had been delivered.

If we were on holiday, we might turn them on to know when our house minder was in.

If nothing else, they are proving very useful to understand how our home is used and to know when certain things have happened.

Note that this generic notification capability is in addition to the alarm system and other safety and security notifications and alerts.

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