I have been really interested in sensory networks and other tech
I have been playing around with automation for basic work tasks. The alternatives I have looked at so far include Automator for MAC, then keyboard maestro and Alfred. At the moment I think Keyboard Maestro is the best alternative for streamlining any repetitive task. It is good as it can be as simple as opening a program using a command all the way to automating an email based on a file triggering a macro.
I also had a play with Tasker last year. All that I achieved was turning on wifi when I was at my home tower and off when I strayed away from it. I think there could be good possibilities if it is linked to NFC tags to trigger different actions. To take full advantage of taker you need to root your phone, which is easy if you have a popular phone or tablet or difficult and requires a PC if your device is newer.
I have recently purchased a Oneplus 1. I bought it for the benefit of the Cyanogen 11, strong processing power and realistic price made it attractive to me. The screen is larger than what I was used to but made the screen just big enough to be able to read books when out at work or in public. There was much deliberation between the Oneplus1 and 2 but due to the quick availability and NFC being available on the 1 made the choice for me.