Wi-Fi+IR Smart Home Control with HTTP REST API that could be useful for smart home projects

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thecashit

New Around Here
First of all, I will immediately say that this project is now launched on Kickstarter. It is crowdfunding project.
We met a lot of support and suggestions from smart home enthusiasts, so we considered it appropriate to publish a post about the device on snbforums.
Therefore, sorry in advance if the post seemed to you advertising. But in fact, this device can really be useful in automation.

LOOK.in Remote2 is the first IR remote control on the market that monitors all IR signals in real time and changes the status of the TV / AC or other appliances, even if you turned it on from the physical remote control.
  • Built-in web-server with open HTTP REST API (documentation);
  • Native HomeKit support for AC units
  • Google Home & Amazon Alexa support out the box
  • Realtime IR analysis: ability to track status of your IR appliances even it was changed by phisicaly IR Remote
  • Internal temperature and humidity sensor (accessed via API too)
  • Ability to connect an external IR transmitter or temperature sensor (requires a special adapter)
  • In-device automation. For example, you can schedule the TV to turn on without the internet and a controller.
  • Local MQTT (community suggested and we confirmed that this feature will be in the device at the time of launch
This universal IR remote works over Wi-Fi (BLE Mesh planned to mid-2021)
Device is powered by Micro-USB (500 ma) or 4xAA batteries (Up to 2 weeks work).

Since the release of Remote1 in 2019, team worked hard to collect feedback and prepare a new version for release.
If you are interested in a product, you can check its Kickstarter page for more information.
Retail device price will be $59, but we offer discounts during Kickstarter campaign.

The purpose of this post is not even advertising so much as to collect your ideas.
The community has already suggested to us that we need to add the local MQTT client to the device and we checked the possibility of adding this, and also added this functionality to the backlog.

Tell me, what difficulties did you face in working with IR remotes and what functionality do you need that is not available in any product?

Thank you!
 

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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome @thecashit.

And with all due respect (just having this conversation with a customer right now):

A product with
  • No Microphones
  • No Cameras
  • No Accounts needed (ever)
  • No reliance on an internet connection to be set up, be used or reused as needed
  • No reliance to 'register', anywhere, at anytime
  • Rechargeable 'standard' batteries that are user-replaceable and easily source-able and available
  • No hooks to Apple, Google, Nest, or any other such silliness
  • No separate controller
  • No other exposed gateways or other hooks to external requirements such as MQTT
But one that offers
  • via a GUI, a user-programmable, over Wi-Fi, device-controllable activities/actions for any IR based, but also Wi-Fi connected devices on the local network
That is what I haven't seen and would be most interested in.

All the options available are underwhelming, intrusive, with too many restrictions on their use and usability. Not to mention none are extendible without needing more 'controllers'.

While $59 sounds like a great price, I would pay another $100 and more if I could get what I'm looking for, as if it included a user-programmable controller, that will be the last 'remote' I'll ever need.

I don't need a touch screen on this 'remote'. I don't need a million buttons. All that I need I have, as we all do. Allow me to connect to the GUI with a keyboard and a mouse and show the GUI on a TV or browser and I'm set to program it the way I want it to work. My way.

When will this product be announced? :)
 

thecashit

New Around Here
Welcome @thecashit.

And with all due respect (just having this conversation with a customer right now):

A product with
  • No Microphones
  • No Cameras
  • No Accounts needed (ever)
  • No reliance on an internet connection to be set up, be used or reused as needed
  • No reliance to 'register', anywhere, at anytime
  • Rechargeable 'standard' batteries that are user-replaceable and easily source-able and available
  • No hooks to Apple, Google, Nest, or any other such silliness
  • No separate controller
  • No other exposed gateways or other hooks to external requirements such as MQTT
But one that offers
  • via a GUI, a user-programmable, over Wi-Fi, device-controllable activities/actions for any IR based, but also Wi-Fi connected devices on the local network
That is what I haven't seen and would be most interested in.

All the options available are underwhelming, intrusive, with too many restrictions on their use and usability. Not to mention none are extendible without needing more 'controllers'.

While $59 sounds like a great price, I would pay another $100 and more if I could get what I'm looking for, as if it included a user-programmable controller, that will be the last 'remote' I'll ever need.

I don't need a touch screen on this 'remote'. I don't need a million buttons. All that I need I have, as we all do. Allow me to connect to the GUI with a keyboard and a mouse and show the GUI on a TV or browser and I'm set to program it the way I want it to work. My way.

When will this product be announced? :)

Thank you for your opinion! And sorry for long reply...

Do I understand correctly that in fact we are talking about an additional remote control that you can configure as you want? Like Harmony, for example?
Could you expand your thought a little?

It looks like I don't quite understand you.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No, I don't want Harmony, doesn't work like it's supposed to (i.e. each and every time).

I want a front end (GUI, on a computer) where I can see all my IR controlled devices that are also connected via Wi-Fi. I do not want this control outside of the local IP space, or the capability to do so.

I just want to have a single device that I can program (via the GUI) and control my IR devices as I see fit.

With no strings attached. (Accounts, Registration, Cloud extensions, etc.).

With all major manufacturers having a pretty consistent layout for their remotes, and I mean, command-wise, this should be easy. For each device, I want to add/control, download all the commands that are available over IR, and let me add them to my ONE remote.

Does this need a 'base station' to blast the IR commands from? Probably. If needed, just build it, make it bullet-proof and reliable.

Downloading new 'command sets' for a new device should also be just as easy. Even sharable by other users. No need for a subscription for such a basic service.

Can I have one remote? For the rest of my IR controlled life? Here's $200 for it, if it works. :)

Wishing you all the best! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 

thecashit

New Around Here
Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too :)

Thank you for clarification.
Surprisingly, our solution is perhaps the one that can do what you want.

There are no bindings to clouds and assistants (unless you want to), completely local work and a local database of IR codes in the application. The device has local MQTT and local HTTP REST API.
Moreover, the virtual remotes themselves are saved on the device, but in a slightly limited form.

That is, in fact, it's only about the GUI. Display a list of IR remotes, draw them and make it possible to change buttons / signals and you will have what you want. In fact, this is what the mobile app does.

In this scheme, Remote2 acts as an actuator that receives and sends IR signals, and the GUI simply sends it the necessary commands.

It would be very helpful for me to understand such needs. This will help make the device better.
Do you have some kind of automation system already?
For example, in February we start developing plugins for automation hubs like HomeAssistant and it might be worth considering a plugin GUI.

Best regards,
Dmitriy
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
What you are describing is the opposite of what I want.

No hooks, to anything. Ever. Not even the possibility of them.

No 'app'.

Just programmable hardware.
 

thecashit

New Around Here
What you are describing is the opposite of what I want.

No hooks, to anything. Ever. Not even the possibility of them.

No 'app'.

Just programmable hardware.

So the fact of the matter is that programmable hardware is the basis.

If you don't want to, you can skip downloading the app and connect the device via the built-in web page. After that, any execution of HTTP requests will work. According to documentation.

If you don't want to, don't connect hooks - everything will work locally.
They do not connect automatically, but at least require certain actions to be activated.

You have a really cool and rare request. In theory, we can have a separate version of the firmware - "Local Edition", where just all the additional functionality will not be included in principle.

But I do not really understand the difference, is there a fundamental difference between "functionality is available, but not enabled" and "functionality is blocked in principle"?

Thank you
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
One is mere IoT level of hackable, the other, isn't at all.

I want to buy the hardware and use it until I don't want to any more.
 
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