This is the blog of Ian Mercer, Serial entrepreneur, Digital Mapping Pioneer, Inventor of Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Producer, HighMat, SnapTune, … Patent holder, Guinness world record holder and creator of a Natural Language Engine for .NET.

Here you’ll find my thoughts on Home automation, Natural Language Processing, and much more.

I’m in the middle of moving my blog off WordPress and into statically-generated HTML. There are some issues with layout, some missing content and a whole lot more work to do on tags, categories and organization in general, and I apologize for the mess. But, I wanted to make the switch soon as it’ going to be much easier for me to get actively blogging again once this transition is complete.

Home Automation

I’ve been working on home automation for over a decade. During that time I’ve built a system that controls everything in our house and monitors activity with over 200 sensors. It’s been a grand experiment to determine what is possible technically and also what features are most useful to a family. My work has been featured in Der Spiegel magazine in germany, and has placed in an international, Microsoft competition. It is, I believe, the smartest house in the world. It controls lights, heating, sprinklers, audio, and more; it has hundreds of sensors including PIR, strain gauges, door switches, and more; it interfaces to Caller ID, PBX, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Email, NOAA, Twitter, Facebook, RSS, Traffic, Podcasts and more. For the most part it works autonomously doing the right thing and reducing our energy consumption by over 40%. You can control it using a web, voice or chat interface. It has a unique Natural Language Interface that understands sentences and can hold a two-way conversation with you.

Natural Language Processing

I am also the author of the Abodit Natural Language Processing system for .NET.

You can view my professional profile on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter. These days I spend most of my time working on my natural language engine or consulting on natural language technology, smart home technology or GIS patents.