Monday, May 7, 2007

Home Automation Part 2

Since I have the software side of things nailed down I thought I would take a few moments to talk about the hardware side of things, now since I want screens in a few places through out the house I know I'm going to need to cut some holes in some walls. This is not an issue until we start to think about climate control... how on earth am I supposed to keep all my components cool if I'm living in a Dallas,TX. Hopefully something will surface in my research, until then I 've been able to find quite a few possibilities for the hardware side of things. Since I will need to have screens in the wall I don't want them to be very big because they need to be mounted and available to touch hence... (Touch-Screen) so I found a couple of options... 1) Phylon 7" Wide-Screen VGA TFT Display with Touchscreen this monitor is just the right size and the right price. Or
2) The new Touch Screen LCD PC from Quataris Technology this obviously is the right and size and I can run WinXP/Vista/or CE 6.0 on it. Definitely a front runner at the moment.

Once I find the right display I will need to figure out wiring through the walls etc. don't worry I will have documented steps on most of this information right here on

The plan for phase 1 :

1) Control lights in living/dinning/master suite/control room(office) /media room
2) Control the blinds in living/Master suite

For the software I'll be building a custom UI in WPF running on .NET 3.0 leveraging the WinXP SP2 or Vista Platform and it will all be controlled through the new Speech to Text Managed Api's using C# of course. :)

The goal is to walk in to or out of a room and speak to the lights or blinds via voice command.
I'm currently thinking something along the lines of "Lights On", "Lights 1" = dim lights (25%) , "Lights 2" = dim lights(50%) , "Lights 3" ,"Lights 4" and "Lights Off" respectively. Same kind of thing for the electrical blinds.

These sorts of applications are spinning up all around us in homes of folks who can afford a team of specialist to come in and install everything, of course leaving a pretty universal remote for all the components. Not me... I'm a dev all the way and with the help of Phidgets and the display possibilities above I'm well on my way. Oh... I forgot to mention Phidgets... well the link is above for the full info, but essentially I came across the company by watching a UWTV Computer science and engineering lecture on the subject and then went over to the website for more info... these guys are electrical engineer grads who build hardware devices for plug-n-play use.
Awesome stuff, more over... Lee Brimelow has already gotten starter with it over at he controls a 3D model in WPF with several phidgets.

No comments:

Post a Comment