For years, Cemetechian gbl08ma has been a mainstay of the Casio Prizm community here on Cemetech. As a skilled C programmer and systems hacker, he has proven his mettle with widely-used projects like Utilities for the Casio Prizm and the powerful Eigenmath CAS port. He has now shared a new project that he has been working on over the past year, called Clouttery. Clouttery is "the smart, cloud-enabled battery monitor which works with every device", enabling you to see the battery level of all of your internet-connected devices from a unified web console.

gbl08ma kindly explained what motivated him to pursue this project: his own pains points. Some of the best tech we've seen has come out of the innovator's own pains, and that certainly has been the case in this community as well. Not only did he have devices that didn't provide enough current and historical data on battery levels and usage, he also noticed the proliferation of actual and so-called "Internet of Things" devices that people don't remember to recharge. As many of us have no doubt noticed, tech savviness also seems linked to how aware users are of their devices' needs, and gbl08ma wants to make it easy for everyone to have their devices charged and working when they need them. Finally, gbl08ma cites the novelty of a cloud-based battery management system, having previously put superb work into an already-solved problem with his tny.im link-shortening service.

Clouttery currently has clients for Windows and Android, a Chrome extension, and a web management interface. No doubt you're curious about what Clouttery actually lets you do:
  • Lets you know the battery levels and charging status of your devices, from a single place, even if they are miles away.
  • Stores and displays the battery history for all of your devices.
  • Can provide alarms whenever the battery level of a device goes below or above a certain threshold (when discharging/charging, respectively).
  • Calculates statistics for the batteries, such as charge cycles and calibration count.
  • Analyses the battery history and lets you know about potentially damaging usage patterns.

gbl08ma is actively working on this project, and some of the upcoming features seem particularly exciting:
  • Learn about the battery consumption habits of your gadgets and learn/be taught about your needs, so it can plan ahead of you ("If you want to have your phone usable by 6 pm, you need to stop playing games now. Oh, and enable the battery saver")
  • Detect and warn about malfunctioning/dead batteries

gbl08ma has identified potential customers across the swathes of people with many internet-connected, battery-powered devices, people who enjoy statistics and graphs, and people who tend to be forgetful about keeping their many devices charged. Some in our community will no doubt knee-jerk criticize that this project is closed-source and may be a paid service in the future. We, however, applaud gbl08ma's entrepreneurial spirit, wish him the best of luck, and look forward to seeing his progress in the future.

More Information
Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor (Cemetech topic)
Clouttery website

Whoa, thank you! I was definitely not expecting press coverage at this point, and even if it's just the front page of Cemetech, it's already more than I hoped for at this point.

Kerm made a better advertisement for Clouttery than I could have made, so much that if you don't mind I think I'll draw some inspiration from this post, for the next time I need to talk about this project. Also, I'm sorry you had to write my terrible username so many times (and as is tradition, managed to get it wrong one time - but leave it like that, it helps to keep the trope) Smile

I just want to let everyone know that if you find this interesting, sign up and then feel underwhelmed, to please not give up on this, and to keep checking for news every month or so. The topic to which Kerm linked is a good place to get progress updates. I have big plans for Clouttery, so much that the way it is presented/marketed may change a lot to accommodate for those plans. In my mind it is still extremely unfinished, even though it already has lots of working functionality.

Clouttery was made to be "set up and forget", but if you have problems setting it up, please do ask for help. An important note: the Windows setup will make multiple SmartScreen warnings appear. This presumably is because the program is not well known and thus Microsoft flags it as dangerous; you'll need to click through these warnings to get it to install. Clouttery is definitely not dangerous to your computer (if you have doubts, I can show you the source code under a "gentleman's non-disclosure agreement") and I sure hope these warnings will go away as the program becomes more popular, as I don't have enough money for a EV certificate or whatever it is that makes all those warnings disappear (funnily enough, scammers and other bad types will typically have money to pay for those certs... makes the whole thing kind of counter-productive IMO).

Another thing is, Clouttery will issue notifications about your batteries (obviously) but these can get annoying if you don't actually need them, or if you don't have them properly configured. It offers tons of options for notifications, so you can disable notifications by device, by type, hide notifications for certain devices on certain clients, or simply completely disable notifications. Getting these powerful settings in the hands of users without generating major confusion is a tremendous UX challenge I'm slowly trying to solve; please tell me if you find trouble with this part.

Quote:
Some in our community will no doubt knee-jerk criticize that this project is closed-source and may be a paid service in the future. We, however, applaud gbl08ma's entrepreneurial spirit (...)


As I said in the other thread, I'll certainly open-source everything if I were to give up on this. The reason why this is going to be a paid service with a free tier is twofold. For one, hosting a service like this, especially if it gets many users, is not cheap, and I have no disposable income to pay for that hosting. And second, in the extremely unlikely case that this becomes extremely successful, getting some revenue will allow for investing more into the project, including paying for security audits, more server resources, that EV certificate, the fee for entering the Play Store and more importantly paying for Apple hardware and a Apple Developer Account to develop a client for iOS, etc.

So far, developing Clouttery has been a money sink: I have invested over $50 without any return, without including the time I've invested into this, of course. And this doesn't even take into account the recurring costs of maintaining associated services like the dotAccount authentication system.
I have also looked into alternative sources of money, like relying on donations and stuff like Patreon. However, everyone who's asked for donations for an open source project knows how little comes, and maintaining a Patreon takes time and effort, which I prefer to spend developing Clouttery instead.
Open source can pay bills, and some companies are quite successful at making money from open source software, but that is not the case with a project of this dimension. Hopefully, one day.
  
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