Monitor Your Driveway with Python
by Gordon Meyer
Neil Cherry, on his Linux home automation resource list, pointed me towards an interesting alternative approach by Fred Stelter, as published in Linux Journal. Fred's techniques uses a serial I/O box, a magnetic sensor, and some clever Python scripting.
When it comes to home automation, knowing multiple approaches allows you to choose (or more likely, combine) what works for you.
Really clever would be a system smart enough to recognize particular cars and respond appropriately. When you arrive home, the garage opens. When you leave (at certain hours, the house puts itself into away mode, turning down the heat etc. When a UPS van pulls in, an announcement is made. In the wee hours of the night, the arrival of a car (or moving person) could trigger lights and a camera. Add recognition and the list of uses becomes almost endless.
Thanks for your comment. There are folks doing recognition of their own cars today, but not the UPS truck or other random visitors.