Home automation apps - discussion on mainstream hardware

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by tasset, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. tasset macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2007
    I have seen a handful of apps now that interact with home automation solutions - like lighting, temperature control, and security. Some of the more basic possibilities interest me (lights and temperature) from an energy savings view.
    So I am starting to research and get feedback from anyone who knows "mainstream/affordable" hardware components to make this happen. I've seen names X10 and Crestron. Anyone have any insight??
  2. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007
    Sounds like you're a dot-it-yourself kind of person. You probably want to start at http://www.smarthome.com with Insteon or X10 hardware. These are suitable to get you started in home automation without spending tens of thousands that the big boys charge. X10 is an old specification (and has no confirmation return of command received), Insteon is backwards compatible with X10 protocols, and adds new capabilities (including confirmation of commands). That's a big deal which used to be a problem with X10 installations, your command to turn on the lights may not have been received, and if you're doing things remotely you have not idea they didn't turn on! :)

    The Insteon line has a bunch of good products for lighting and thermostat control, and you can get the "Insteon Central Controller" which serves up web pages (compatible with iPhone and iPod touch in particular). If someone doesn't beat me to it I may develop an app down the road to interface with the hardware more directly.
  3. tasset thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2007
    Thanks for the reply and tip. I will browse through that link and get a better picture of all the pieces I would need to implement something like this.
    And good luck on your future app/hardware plans as well !
  4. eme jota ce macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005
    I recently entered the mac based home automation scene and have really loved it.

    From the link above as well as from www.machomestore.com I purchased a bunch of insteon devices (light switches, appliance modules, garage door kits, motion sensors, door / window sensors, etc...) I use a mac application called Indigo (version 4) to do some pretty cool stuff, for example:

    Can control any light or scene from my iPhone from any internet connection or 3G.

    Can control both HVAC zones based upon routines or motion sensors.

    Created several auto-off and auto-on programs that control the lights our kids tend to leave turned on.

    Create all sorts of lighting scenes: exterior lights come on at sunset, home theater lighting scenes do some pretty cool stuff when watching a movie, nighttime scenes provide a lighted path to bed, then turns off all the lights...

    Hope to do lots more because Indigo is scriptable and, although I know very little about scripting, has a forum with generous members. I'm looking to integrate with Sonos.

    About two weeks ago, I installed about 50 switches and other devices. So far, it has been flawless.
  5. Sam Roberts macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2009
    As for AMX new app "iRidium" proves to be quite good. I tested the demo, the app turns an apple device into original AMX touchpanel with the same interface, set of functions and manner of usage (it can use any panel design created in TP4Designer). So you don't have to buy AMX panel to operate the whole system.
  6. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    It isn't really home automation per se but, I have been looking into installing security that I can monitor from my iphone.

    So far, I am between these options for my setup:


    Panasonic BL-C131A
    Axis 207W
    Axis 207MW



    and maybe the iCam iPhone App...

    From my research I think these would be good options for most home security camera installations on Mac... (I'm not going to mount my Cameras outdoors because I don't want to pay for housings.. I'm just going to put them monitoring the main entrances/exits from the inside...)

    After I get this done, I may start working on the lighting/hvac control...
  7. TheShade macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2009
    Never heard of that kind. I use iViewer to control AMX and it manages pretty well. Does it have any advantages over iViewer?
  8. Sam Roberts macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2009
    While studying the question I tried both solutions and iRidium proved to be much easier to integrate into the whole system. It takes only minimal efforts to reprogram AMX master controller. Secondly as I've said, iRidium is a complete imitation of the panel as it can transfer GUI of your original touchpanel to iPhone. It can convert any panel design created in TP4Designer to make it compatible with iPhone. Does iViewer have something like this?
  9. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007

    The one and only place you should check.... Their demo iphone application is free on the app store and you can test drive it on their demo server....Works friggin awesome!
  10. Scooterman1 macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    I wish someone would write an App for the iPhone, and a PC or Mac App that would allow access to the Motorola Homesight system. They have the Software to run on a PC, but it only uploads to the Internet with a Subscription to the Hosting site.
  11. MacToddB macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks, I'm downloading/installing their 30 day trial now, and free iPhone app... looks promising!

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