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Front Door Electronics

This is half of Natasha. It's outside the door on the porch. Inside this antique mailbox is; a microphone, a speaker, a camera, an RFID antenna (I will explain that in a moment) and some lights.

The camera is there for security and fun. When Natasha sees any motion, she snaps 15 seconds of video and sends it off over the internet to another computer. Anyway, that's the security part - the movie clips are time stamped and all joined together so that you can watch one movie just of people instead of watching hours of movies where nothing changes.

The fun part is that Natasha does "Voice Recognition". Just like those annoying phone answering machines can recognise what you say, so can Natasha. You can talk to her, and she will answer back. If you know the correct password, she will let you into the house.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Those "tags" that they put in animals to identify them are RFID tags. The Mobil Speedpass that you may have seen has an RFID reader inside it just like the one in the picture. Basically what happens, is that you wave your key at the bottom of the mailbox - because that's where the RFID Antenna is located. This is a picture of three tags, we use the middle tags and put them on our keyrings. When she "See's" the key, the red light stops flashing and a green light lights up for a second or so. The computer then talks to you (she knows who you are because all of the tags (keys really) are unique.

After saying hello, the computer then releases an electronic latch on the door - just like the ones in offices where you swipe a card and the door unlocks, except that these keys are smaller and you just need to wave them.

Depending on who you are and what time of day it is, the computer might sing happy birthday (she knows your birthday when you register a new key owner) she might turn on music and a few lights, or she might just be rude to you (which is a random thing that's quite interesting).

Actually, that's the way it used to be. In 2019, we replaced the Apple iSight with a Ring Doorbell and got rid of the RFID technology (replaced by Schlage lock). We replaced the Voice Recognition and response as well - with Alexa.

Lets talk about the heating system next - click the Green forward arrow below.