• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Finally Did It!

IVB

Senior Member
It would be a lot nicer if we had a number of CE companies out there competing in this market so that we had lots of choices and competitive prices.
hate to ask, but what's CE mean?
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Yep, that's what I meant. The kinds of companies that I assume will be getting into the UMPC game, and hopefully pushing the costs down in the process once the original early adopter phase is over.
 

huggy59

Active Member
Since we're OT anyway, I'll tell you guys what I'd like to see - and what will get me to spend my money when I see it.

Personally, I like the battery longevity in devices like the Palm units and cell phones. I don't want something that has to be plugged in EVERY night for hours at a time. I'm not into Windows CE and embedded devices that only work about 6 hours on a charge. That's not enough - I'm awake 18-19 hours a day.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I want to see a remote control unit that works with your HA system. I'm thinking the way cell phones are going, the cell phone that houses your voice, camera, IM, video, bluetooth, (and now WiFi - YES!) and other capabilities would be a great unit to use for HA control.

Why? You have it with you most of the time. Battery life is, on most units, in the multiple days area, which I find acceptable. It is a personal device, so it can be personalized the way you want to use it for control. Most everyone in the world knows how to use a dial pad. Voice command control would work today with many HA systems. Display is acceptable for basic use - like show you the person's picture who's calling or who's at your front door. Because it has data over RF and GPS, it can be used for proximity location and local low-power communications.

So maybe the next big thing in HA systems will be apps that make the cell phones people already have, work with their homes.
 

IVB

Senior Member
I actually have a Siemens SX66 cellphone PDA from Cingular that has a 240x320 screen, and has integrated wifi that i'm already using for occasional HT/HA control with CQC.

I only just got a CCTV and card, it would be interesting to see if I can see video on it...
 

Rupp

Senior Member
Huggy59,
Have you looked at the WapSeer2 plugin. It's a really good Cell phone interface for HomeSeer and it works really well.
 

Steve

Senior Member
IVB said:
I actually have a Siemens SX66 cellphone PDA from Cingular that has a 240x320 screen, and has integrated wifi that i'm already using for occasional HT/HA control with CQC.

I only just got a CCTV and card, it would be interesting to see if I can see video on it...
If you like that phone you will *love* the 8125!
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I know I have brought this up in the past but I am still baffled about why anyone would think it is a good idea to carry around an expensive device with a tiny screen to control their media or HA systems?

I admit I am out of step because I don't carry a cell phone or a PDA but even if I did I wouldn't want to use them as an interface to my systems except as a last resort if I was travelling or something. The reason I chose the Slim devices music server over a Sonos system for example, was because I did not like the remote control. Displaying track info on a tiny screen that only one peron in the room can see just seems stupid to me when you can have a nice display visible from across the room with an inexpensive universal remote sending the commands.

It seems like you would always be leaving it in an inconvenient place or else you would have to keep it with you, tethered like one of those prisoners under house arrest and attached to an electronic gizmo you can never get away from.

I'm sure phones, PDAs, Tablet PCs, etc. can, with a lot of effort and expense, be used as a way to control a media or HA system, but why would anybody want to?
 

Xpendable

Active Member
I know I have brought this up in the past but I am still baffled about why anyone would think it is a good idea to carry around an expensive device with a tiny screen to control their media or HA systems?
Well, that's the beauty of HA. You can build and customize the HA system to meet your needs, and those needs could be different from somebody else's. That's what makes it a great hobby! :)
 

ver0776

Active Member
What happened to the belief in free, open standards? Like the internet. If you design HA access via HTML, ASP.NET and/or Flash, then the only thing you have to worry about is the resolution. Make 320x240, 640x480 web pages and every device can access it, UMPC, Phone, PDA, PC, it doesn't matter at that point.

Touch screens designed for a particular system just blow my mind. You can buy laptops cheaper and will get a lot more use out of them. Those Red-radio (whatever they are called) cost about as much as velcro and a PDA. But the PDA does everything else too, and can be removed from the wall...

I guess the professional market wants super-reliable, high margin stuff, and those things make sense to them. From the middle-class DIY POV, they are a curse and we are just waiting for more free, open, modifiable stuff...

Vaughn
 

IVB

Senior Member
I am still baffled about why anyone would think it is a good idea to carry around an expensive device with a tiny screen to control their media or HA systems?

It isn't that useful inside the house - that's why I mention "occasional" usage. Inside the house, I use the 3400 with wifi that I have wallmounted [but removable], or the HTPC itself.

I predominantly use the PDA/cellphone when i'm in the backyard. I can keep the cellphone in my pocket, and if I want to change the artist/station/etc, I can do so easily. That's when I don't want the 10" 3400 outside, where the kids can accidentally break it or the wife drops a soda on it [like she did with my laptop :) ]
 

Xpendable

Active Member
What happened to the belief in free, open standards? Like the internet. If you design HA access via HTML, ASP.NET and/or Flash, then the only thing you have to worry about is the resolution. Make 320x240, 640x480 web pages and every device can access it, UMPC, Phone, PDA, PC, it doesn't matter at that point.
That's exactly what I did. I wrote my own software using ASP.NET and VB.NET. I'm running Internet Information Server (web server) on Windows XP Professional with my own home grown web application. I use my HP iPAQ 2795 PocketPC (Windows Mobile 5.0) to log into my site to control my lights and view my caller id from anywhere I have WIFI access. Or I just fire up a web browser on any computer that has internet access. I haven't made my software publically available, though. I am, however, currently working on a desktop app for Windows to control Insteon, and I plan on releasing a free "Lite" version of it.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
I'm sure phones, PDAs, Tablet PCs, etc. can, with a lot of effort and expense, be used as a way to control a media or HA system, but why would anybody want to?

Many people want a tablet PC for the theater. They want to pass it around so that a guest can browse the movies and select somethign that they want to see and so forth. But you can mix and match any kind of client, as required. You might want a small IR remote in the kitchen, a large standard touch screen in the main family room, small touch pads in the bedrooms, and some PPCs for when by the pool.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
What happened to the belief in free, open standards? Like the internet. If you design HA access via HTML, ASP.NET and/or Flash, then the only thing you have to worry about is the resolution. Make 320x240, 640x480 web pages and every device can access it, UMPC, Phone, PDA, PC, it doesn't matter at that point.

We pages kind of suck compared to a dedicated interface system. You can create far nicer, far slicker interfaces using a dedicated graphical interface engine. This is an important consideration in the automation world. You should still support web pages for where it's necessary, but they are pretty limited and I would never use a web browser as a main interface.

I guess the professional market wants super-reliable, high margin stuff, and those things make sense to them. From the middle-class DIY POV, they are a curse and we are just waiting for more free, open, modifiable stuff...

It might not be necessarily high margin, but super-reliable is the key. Support costs money. Frustrated customers cost alot of money, both in support and in the bad press they give you. Building a system purely on lots of high level bits that you glue together is never as reliable because the automation system vendor cannot control the quality.
 
Top