About Me

You’ll find my CV here but I also wanted to add a bit of background information to cover my history and what makes me tick.

I started my career as an electronics engineer designing test equipment for the petro-chem industry in the 80s.  This was hardcore technical stuff writing pure machine code that was embedded into oil pipeline monitoring equipment.  Anything to do with technology and electronics is still an interest of mine to this day.

Outside work, I’ve got a family that keeps me busy.  I’m into baking (https://www.instagram.com/andyskitchenuk/) and a bit of traveling.

But my big interest at the moment is home automation – just about every light in the house, the heating, the TV and Virgin Media box, and various other devices are all controlled by voice now.  Even my BBQ has a 4-probe, electronic thermometer that connects to an app on my phone via Bluetooth so that I can see the ambient temperature and the meat temperature from inside the house.

This is a slippery slope!

You buy a £50 Amazon Dot for a bit of fun and end up spending vast amounts of money on electrical sockets, bulbs, motion sensors, light switches and anything else you can kind of justify.

Top Tip:  A voice controlled socket with the heated electric blanket plugged into it:  “Alexa. Blanket on” about an hour before bed time when it’s chilly and your significant other will be climbing into a toasty warm bed.  The thousands of pounds you’ve spent getting everything else working will immediately be forgotten.  Believe me.  I speak from personal experience!

It’s early stages.  Right at the front of the adoption curve.  I call myself an early adopter and have to deal with the frustrations of bugs, niggles, ill-thought updates, etc.  But it’s also fantastic fun!

Next project is to get an Amazon Dot for the car which will connect via my phone as a hotspot so that I can stream music while I’m driving and control it all by voice.  I’m even looking at an integration that will allow me to start the car by voice from the house.  It will run the engine for 10 minutes at which point it’ll shut down and won’t start again without the key.  So even if someone breaks a window and makes off with the car they won’t get too far!

This last bit, the bit about Amazon devices, is an area that I think it going to revolutionise User Experience.  My brain hurts with the number of potential uses this is going to introduce!  There’s so much stuff around the house that’s just BEGGING for voice integration.