It occurred to me recently that I created iOS long before Apple came up with the idea. Admittedly, mine was for a much larger device and for a much smaller distribution. A distribution of one system.
In 1993 my boss built a rather nice new house, and I thought of a great project to incorporate into it. I had always been interested in smart homes and this was an opportunity to create a system without any cost to me besides time. My boss would pay for the parts and I would supply the time to design and build it. For me, the fun was not in having the system, but creating it. What do you do for fun?
The system was based around the motherboard of an Amiga 600 and I designed interfaces to the real world. I wrote the software in AMOS Professional and the whole thing was hidden in a secret compartment in a coat cupboard.
By today’s standards this system is nothing special, but for the time it was quite unusual.
IOS could be operated from any of three monitor stations set into walls. One was mounted at a central location between the front door and the stairs from the garage, another was mounted in the master bedroom and the third was installed in the kitchen.These stations consisted of a video monitor, six buttons, a speaker and a microphone.
There was a camera on the front gate, another covering the front door and a third covering the side of the house. Each camera had a speaker and microphone for 2-way communication back to the internal monitor stations.
I programmed the Amiga’s voice synthesizer so the system could speak to users, and it was also able to be accessed remotely via a telephone. Of course, it could do all the normal stuff like security and fire monitoring, lighting control, and operating the electric gates and garage doors.
I decommissioned the system in 2010 and replaced it with a set of off-the-shelf components for the new owners of the house. It was still working, but I wasn’t confident about how much longer the Amiga board would keep running.