Rather than expose your smart home device data and voice commands “to the cloud” (i.e., to large tech titans as well as smart product manufacturers), this talk demonstrates how you can maintain better privacy over it. The "secret" is free and open source, spun out of Mozilla to be community led, and easy to set up and manage. (Spoiler: the central hub runs the WebThings Gateway). Since data are processed and stored locally, there's no need to give up your privacy, and even if your Internet goes down, your smart home still works.
Kathy will take you on a tour of her own smart home, then demonstrate the simplicity of MicroBlocks for building your own “smart devices”, such as motion sensors, temperature sensors, door/window sensors, pushbuttons, lights, and more.
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Kathy fills her desk with hardware, especially microcontroller boards that can be programmed using MicroBlocks, a learning tool for physical computing. While at Mozilla, she worked on the WebThings Project, which successfully launched a "gateway" software stack that can run on a Raspberry Pi, and act as a hub for a myriad of smart home and IoT devices. She received her bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and her master's in EE from Stanford University. When not at a computer, she can usually be found exploring the great outdoors of northern California.
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