OpenRemote Logo

OpenRemote Logo

OpenRemote is an “Open Source community for Automation”.  They are trying provide a complete open source solution to control the variety of “closed protocals and stacks” from typical home automation companies.

More importantly, they may be the answer to my “One Remote to the Rule Them All” quest!  If you look at my recent article on Controlling The Mac Mini,  I mention that my biggest issue with iPhone apps is that they cannot easily control other components in my system (for example, turning on the TV, changing the volume on the receiver, etc.)  According to OpenRemote’s recent tweets, they have managed to do a simple “proof of concept” test using an iPhone, a Wifi network, and an IR blaster to launch FrontRow on a Mac.  Read on to find out why this is so exciting.

OpenRemote Proof Of Concept Setup

OpenRemote Proof Of Concept Setup

If anyone has looked into Home Automation hardware and software, you quickly discover that it is expensive… VERY expensive.  But much of that cost is having a “professional” come in and configure the devices and set everything up.  As a Do-It-Yourself-er, I would much rather get some commodity hardware and configure my home automation software myself.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to delve into the hardware and software aspects of this.  If OpenRemote can deliver on their mission statement:

“To provide high-end building integration software and hardware for the masses and without vendor lock-in.”

then I would happily be one of the first in line to sign up for their device.  It sounds like there is still some Java and Linux components to their setup and I’m guessing it will be quite some time before there is a user-friendly “Drag and Drop” interface for configuring your device.  However, there’s a huge community of Java and iPhone enthusiasts (myself included) who would love to get their hands on this setup and test it out.  I haven’t even finished reading up their site, but I was so excited, I had put up a quick post.  However, as I learn more, I’ll be sure to follow up.