Introduction

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.

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. I’m also willing to tackle hard mathematical problems for my consulting customers and recently completed a project to forecast cashflow for small businesses. I came up with a novel algorithm that could beat ARIMA and Prophet because it was able to handle the discontinuities seen in typical customer financial data and could handle multi-variable interleaved payment streams.