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Smart Window Blinds

More than just automatic -- they're smart! Or maybe I'm just too lazy.
  [vote for,

Today is day of transitional weather for us in Portland. After a long run of sunny days that've browned our lawns and toasted our skin(s?), we've been experiencing the rain showers mixed with clouds, and then sudden glorious, blinding sun.

During the cloudy/rainy periods, I open my blinds wide to enjoy the filtered sunlight that makes this city so attractive to me. But, when the sun bursts forth, my screen bleaches out and my retinas scream, and I stumble blindly to the, um, blinds, and yank them to. Ahhhhh.... sweet darkness. Then I scuttle back to my desk.

Being a cliche lazy slacker-type technophile, the whole time I'm doing this I whine, "Why can't these close automatically? It's frickin' 2005, for crimeny!"

I searched Google, and found a couple good leads, which I'll include here, but none of them really fill my need. They basically hook a stepper motor to the little angle rod on a venetian blind to increase or reduce exposure based on a light sensor of some kind. I need more than this.

Since I work on a computer, the _angle_ of the sunlight streaming into the room is as, if not more, important than the amount of sunlight admitted. What I'd like to see are blinds that can analyze the angle of the sun to the surface of my computer screen and adjust themselves accordingly to avoid beams landing on that surface. On the other side of the room (in front of me, past my screen) I need blinds that won't let beams of light directly into my eyes.

Okay, I admit, this concept is not an easy one to make reality. It'll require some way of sensing the angle of the sun to the window (perhaps some variation of a sundial?). In addition, I think the user would have to indicate the location/angle of their screen and/or eyeholes -- maybe through an interactive setup session, where the user angles the blinds to allow maximum view through them to the outside, and thereafter they are programmed to avoid that angle at all costs. And I haven't fully worked out exactly how it will control the amount and angle of sun -- perhaps a dual-venetian blind, one vertical and one horizontal. Or some combination of LCD privacy screen and metallic reflective blinds...

junglefish, Aug 29 2005

How to Make an Automatic Blind http://www.makingth...cookbook/autoblind/
More of a windowshade than a blind, but it has some electrical thingummys to confuse the issue. [junglefish, Aug 29 2005]

Auto.Blinds http://lims.mech.no...ronics/2000/Team13/
Some guy (or gal) talks about an idea to make an autosensing venetian blind. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!! [junglefish, Aug 29 2005]

Auto Remote Blinds stuff http://usablindsdir...om/mall/battery.htm
I dunno, this looks like something at first but really it's bullocks. I mean, this thing makes you work a remote control. I want it AUTOMATIC!!! [junglefish, Aug 29 2005]

Automated blinds http://www.cs.washi...an/projects/blinds/
Could something like this be part of your solution? [Canuck, Aug 30 2005]


       Does the link shed any light (pun fully intended!) on your quest? It may be a step towards your goal. By the sound of it, you'd like a system that instantaneously reacts to changing light but have been unable to find one. Would a voice-operated control be an adequate compromise? Granted, it's still not fully automatic, but would require minimal effort from you (unless you feel speaking is too much work).
Canuck, Aug 30 2005

       Envisioning all these smart blinds hooking up over the Internet, linking into the defense computers and wiping out mankind. No, wait, that was the plot of a film...
DrCurry, Aug 30 2005


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