Ambient Information Display 2008-02-15T00:30:28+00:00

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  • Anonymous
    Post count: 8
    #39865 |

    I’d like to find a way to display ambient information about the status of various Insteon devices around the house without using a computer. Primarily I would be using this in combination with EZSnsRF-based motion sensors and EZIO inputs to create a simple home monitoring system without all the wiring.

    I’m thinking of something such as the Matrix Orbital GLK19264-7T-1U-GW (here: http://www.matrixorbital.com/product_info.php?pName=glk192647t1ugw&cName=lcd-graphic-lcds )

    The device could be used by default to show simple status: “OC.B5.41: was OFF now ON” or “OC.B5.41 INPUT 2 CLOSED” by simply linking it as a receiver of the device. Or, by using a PC and utility it could be programmed to replace device addresses and states with names and keywords, so “OC.B5.41 INPUT 2 CLOSED” becomes “BEDROOM LEFT WINDOW OPENED”.

    I think to be successful the device would have to sell at a price point of a little under $200 for a graphical display with input buttons and LEDS or a little over $100 for a 16×2 character display with no other options.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 408

    Have you considered an EZSrve with a Nokia 800 tablet?

    The nokia is a wireless internet tablet, price point is ~ 229 on Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-N800-Portable-Internet-Tablet/dp/B000MK4GGM/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1203102374&sr=8-1

    The cool thing is that you can look at the web pages on the EZSrve, also control the devices, make mods, etc…

    Plus, you get a full Internet tablet out of the deal – I love multi taskers. If this doesn’t make sense, I would be interested in hearing what is wrong with the setup – we are always looking for ideas.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 8

    I’m actually doing just that with an EZServe and a Samsung Q1 that does double duty as a HouseLinc controller.

    The problem with using any PC or web display is that there’s no alerting. To use any web-based display, I have to make the request for information. There’s no good way to know that something has just happened that I need to be aware of, without setting up some other device to alert me.

    If the EZSrve had HTML language to cause a page refresh in the browser every 10 seconds or so, this might work. I’m sure this could be done with a firmware release. (and while I’m talking about EZServe, a configuration option to eliminate the top banner would make a lot more screen real-estate available for those of us who do use small web displays 🙂

    Thanks!

    matt

    Anonymous
    Post count: 256

    Matthew, thanks for the feedback.
    1) We will be reorganizing the real estate on the EZSrve GUI and agreee the banner serves no purpose.
    2) We always intended to provide real time device updates with a server push technique. However, given that we can not get the PLM monitoring mode as advertised by SmartLabs, we’ll have to resort to some periodic polling of the devices. This is by no means our first choice, but an interim solution. The C++ code in the EZSrvr will do the periodic polling and only the device(s) that change will be reported by the HTML interface.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 8

    I wouldn’t be averse to linking the EZSrv as a responder of the devices I realy >need< to get signals from. This would make polling unnecessary for my particular use case. As long as I could put the PLC inside the EZsrv into quick link mode and go around and tap the devices I want status on, it would be pretty trivial I think. That would be best for alarm speed as well.
    Also, it might be best to just choose a “big screen” or “small screen” option on the EZsrv setup, so people aren’t having to make hard choices about whether they want pretty or tight. I’ll also make a note to consider those who will be “fat fingering” a small web-pad such as an iPhone or iPod Touch (which makes a fantastic and cheap display, btw) as their web interface.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 26

    I have the crazy idea of programming a VeriFone credit card machine for this purpose. I am curious for feedback, as I might just go do this. I already own the SDK for the newest line of VeriFone credit card machines, and this seems like the perfect kind of match.

    For example the VeriFone Vx570 costs under $400, is programmed in normal C/C++, has Ethernet/TCPIP, two serial ports including one providing 9VDC power, a 21×8 character soft white backlit display, a 200-some MHz 32-bit CPU with 2-4 MB RAM, 6-12 MB onboard flash memory, a multi-threaded OS, and not to mention a built-in roll printer that can print useful stuff like activity logs in real-time, or system configuration. It also has a built-in modem that can accept standard voicemail AT-commands and so it could be programmed as a voice response unit or an emergency dialer. It sits on a desk or mounts nicely on a wall.

    To me, this hardware sounds like a home automator’s dream for the capabilities versus price, google “Vx570” and click “Images”. In my eyes, such a thing would make a gorgeous front-end appliance for an EzBridge or EzSrve if just the right app existed for it – the advantage being it’s a standalone appliance with its own keypad, its own screen, and its own appeal to certain needs. I may very well just get ants in my pants and decide to start writing it. Anyone?

    Anonymous
    Post count: 8

    It’s an interesting idea–is there a similar less expensive device that doesn’t have the roll printer and could be easily wall mounted? Also, at a price point of $400, by the time you add the PLM to interface to it you’re at a $500 pric point where there are a lot of options.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 26

    I am sure there is – in particular, think of those VeriFone PIN pads you see at the grocery store. Those are essentially the same thing, minus the roll printer and they only have one kind of connectivity. I have never bought one or developed for one, but I imagine that doing so would be identical.

    Also older VeriFone products have the same capability. The Omni 3750 is a slightly older model I see on eBay for $230 “buy-it-now” and looks exactly the same as the Vx570 but runs on a 68k architecture instead of ARM… unfortunately the SDK I own isn’t for this model but if the project ever came to fruition, the I understand the API for the Vx570 vs the Omni is almost identical…

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