My Automated Home: Free Touchscreen Digital Home Server Software
Almost exactly a year ago we brought you the first of in our series of ‘My Automated Home’ articles. It was submitted by Soitjes Soit and took us through v1 of his home brew Digital Server software. Now 12 months later Soitjes has completely rewritten the application and has released v2, designed to work on any size of touchscreen, for free.
So I rewrote the whole application and this became the “Digital Home Server v2”, which you can find on digitalhomeserver.net
My vision is that it should become a mix between Home Automation and Multimedia. Until now, a lot of focus has been on the multimedia part, but I’m getting more and more into home automation. I like to think that DHS has some unique features, notably that it’s fully multi-monitor, and it can handle any size (from 7″ up to whatever).
This time I again spent a lot of time to make everything usable on touchscreens. That is less obvious than it sounds, because several manipulation which seem so trivial with a mouse and keyboard are not so easy when using a touchscreen. All complex manipulations are done using the browser, and I wrote web configuration module that comes with the application. My children (7 and 9) can use DHS without problems, so I guess it’s not too complicated.
This time I did some proper application design, so the Digital Home Server is split up in a framework and a number of applications : Widgets (small apps you can drag and resize) and modules (full screen applications). This is what I currently have released :
- BE and NL railway delay (special widgets for specific audience)
- weather forecast
- rain radar (shows where rain is falling)
- MP3 remote control
- Time & date
- MP3 player
- Internet radio player (with radio station database)
- Photo slideshow (you can choose any monitor to send the slideshow to)
- Podcast player
- Shoppinglist (and use your iPhone to consult the list when shopping)
- Video player (play anything for which a codec is installed, including HD and subtitles)
- Calendar (uses Google Calendar as backend)
- analog clock
- dvd player
- equalizer and spectrum analyzer for MP3, Radio and Podcast
Still in “idea” phase
- Too much to write down, but I desperately would like to integrate ZWave functionality in DHS. I even already bought some Zwave devices.
- Somebody explained me how to integrate OpenZwave but I still haven’t found the time to digg into it. But that would give a powerful combination of multimedia and home automation (e.g. wake up with some nice music).
I use this application myself at home, but I make it available to anybody for free. No nag screens, so spyware, no ads and I hope you like it and do not hesitate to tell me what you think of DHS. Soitjes.”