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Thread: iPhone / iViewer interface

  1. #1
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    Default iPhone / iViewer interface

    I have been playing with interfacing iViewer , a commercial* iTouch application with xAP which therefore will interface with Cortex and IDRANet devices, using the "xAP Automation Networks" option.

    iViewer , (a native application which is already available from the Apple app store) includes buttons, gauges, sliders, text display and entry boxes and supports graphic images and opacity in multiple overlapping layers. There is a free Windows GUI designer application that accompanies this for custom layouts.

    iViewer talks to a Windows service application called iServer that maps the buttons to Cortex devices (using the xAP BSC schema). These can be xAP devices or IDRANet devices enabled via the 'Automation Network' property. The devices are controlled and status is displayed in realtime and also synchronised immediately on each connection. Button feedback actually comes from Cortex so you are assured that if a button changes state then Cortex has actioned the command. iViewer works over a WiFi connection or via the iPhone connection so you can take it with you as you travel.

    iServer is a modified version of mi4's xServer (a xAP internet router) and is available as a free download.

    I'm now looking for a couple of beta testers - if your using xAP already it'll help, and you require the optional xAP Automation Object add in for Cortex.. It's a little bit fiddly to setup the iServer and its mappings but you only have to do this once , there is preliminary documentation.

    Hope it's useful to some....

    Kevin

    PS * iViewer is free for two screens, one landscape and one portrait which might be enough for some users The unlimited version costs around 45 for (per client). iServer is free.

    PPS For those wanting a Windows touch screen front end then xLobby or HouseBot can provide this again via xAP. HouseBot also can support all pocket PC devices ie Windows PPC/CE.
    Last edited by Kevin; 9th October 2008 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    That sounds fantastic. I need to update the other thread about my first step into XAP with Cortex. It looks as though after enabling a device for HA in Cortex (after getting the license upgrade from Idratek), that the Idratek Network needs to be restarted on Cortex. I can now see messages coming out of Cortex for HA enabled devices with Ed's xFx Viewer.

    Paul

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    'wondered if anyone had tried using Cortex from their iPhone or iPod Touch using :

    http://www.jugaari.com/

    either direct to the PC, or via a Mac / network ...

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    How are things going with your setup? My interest in my iPod Touch has been renewed now that Media Monkey means I don't need iTunes. In addition the iPeng app for Squeezebox is now a app and is awesome

  5. #5
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    I have a rather 'raw' implementation that allows iViewer to be used with xAP BSC devices - and hence Cortex :-). I've been using it myself for a month or too and it seems pretty dependable. I control all my lights, heating and security this way ... and also report my home telephony info although the latter is not via Cortex currently.

    Basically with the free version of iViewer you can create two totally custom screens on your iPhone/iTouch - one portrait and one landscape that you design yourself with either display fields or buttons to control IDRAnet devices. The buttons can contain state based textual legends or colours ie on/off as well as dimmer slide controls for dimmers etc. It is really fast with near instantaneous response and update over Wifi or 3G - and this is maintained even when Cortex is onwardly linking to xAP devices like C-Bus rather than local IDRAnet devices. I find it really useful... brings out the Orwellian character in me :-)

    For more than two screens iPhone/iTouch you need to purchase a licence from Command Fusion but the trial two screens will give you a flavour. My part called iServer - (the connection between Cortex/xAP and Command Fusio) is available for free - send me a PM or email if you're interested.

    When I say a 'raw' application it's not going to win any prizes for something even your granny can use - but it works.

    Kevin

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    I'm interested in this approach and would love to have a play with what you have got working so far and try to assist.

    My experience with the iPeng application to control my Squeezeboxes via Squeezecenter has taught me that a web based system from the iPhone / Touch is okay but more of a gimmick. However, a native app running on the iPhone / Touch is simple a class apart and very, very usable. For me version 1.0 of iPeng via the Apple store is just awesome, the control of my system is instant (can't express how impressive this element is, it is as quick as using the IR controller). In addition I get bidirectional input and feedback with graphics and context sensitivity.

    IM me your email address as it is not showing up as a forum option.

    Paul

  7. #7
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    There's some early info here.

    http://www.ukusa.demon.co.uk/iServer/iServer.htm

    Ideally the interface would have been more drag and drop - but this other way is so much easier to code ;-) I need to add some screenshots too.

    iViewer is constantly being revised to add more features - and one of those promised may make for some much easier configuration.

    Although the instructions seem long - you only have to do it once....
    Give me a shout and let me know how you go on.

    Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin; 5th December 2008 at 02:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Thanks Kevin I am hoping to give this a go over the weekend

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