Open Source Universal Remote

Kicking off another open project that I’m putting out there if anyone is interested in joining in for the ride.

I’m putting together a remote control that’s kind of a universal remote on steroids. Idea is to be able to control a bunch of different devices regardless of interface (e.g. TV, Amp, IP connected media center, Bluetooth widgets, etc), with the easy and simplicity of a normal remote but the added bonus that an IP connected thing has.

My initial idea is to base it off a 4.3" Nextion touchscreen display in a laser cut handheld case. That size is small enough to easily hand hold (like a phone) but big enough that buttons are easy to use. The Nextion display isn’t exactly cheap, but greatly simplifies UI design and will make a nice looking product.

Then add a ESP8266 for WIFI IP connection, HC05 or similar for Bluetooth (maybe a class 1?), a simple IR diode and some sort of low power central processor to tie it all together. Power will be via some sort of integrated rechargeable pack with a dock to recharge the remote.

I think this should be a pretty high reward vs effort project. There’s lots of libraries already available to do a lot of the low level stuff (like IR code sending.) But there’s still plenty of integration problems to solve, software to be written and UI + case design to sort out.

So anyone interested let me know.

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This is what the display looks like with a few dodgy buttons drawn, with a cover cut from some scrap. Obviously I’m not a graphics guy… Hoping someone else might be.

Case is going to be interesting as the viewable area isn’t in the center of the display PCB. With the goal of keeping the remote’s outside dimensions small, it’ll mean the screen will be offset, which might look a bit weird?

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Looks awesome! Love the concept. Sadly I’m already overcommitted on other stuff, but definitely following along :slight_smile:

I can help out with the ESP8266 side if you want.

Just let me know what you need. I’m back in Australia whilst I sort out a european working visa.

Does it have a web-browser? if so then it might reduce the amount of work needed. What you’ve shown looks like a good start.

btw - a ‘smart’ aircon controller startup in Germany just raised EUR12M whilst I was there.

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Thanks, I don’t really need all that much yet.

No web browser, I’m keeping it lightweight, no OS, to maximize battery life and keep an “instant on” feel.

The application I have for the ESP so far are for my Sony AS20 camera’s. You can control them over wifi (they each host an AP.) There’s an SDK aimed at phone app developers, seems like it should be fairly straight forward. It’s something like:

  • Connect to AP
  • SSDP to discover the camera endpoint (although I’m really hoping it’s just the same on them all and I can skip the whole SSDP thing.)
  • Send commands as JSON packets.
  • Receive JSON packets with status.