Display and User interface Ideas

Hello Every One

I'm building a home automation project like everyone else. I have the back working for the most part and turning things off/on and reading Temperature etc.

Now I need to build a user interface so set points for heat and AC, auto timer for lights and the like can be adjusted by my family as they need to be without the use of a computer. There are a lot of different ways out there so I'm looking for some help in narrowing them down and hopefully maybe even some recommendations from what others have tried.

The Purpose of the display would be read outs and status of temp and whats on and not etc, I'm looking to do a fairly slick looking screen

should I do an android app ? interfaced some how to the arduino for data

4dsystems interface screen?

maybe a web server?

Recommendations and other ideas great aprecatied

Thanks Chris

I don’t have the luxury of an ethernet shield but I’ve been able to get a webserver (using wamp) to communicate with the arduino through the serial port using PHP.

If the user wants to change settings, there’s a javascript function that posts an ajax like request. At the server end the request is dealt with by sending through the com port to the arduino. Then dependent on the string recieved back, it will return data to the browser. This then updates the page.

For live data (such as temperature on a second by second basis) you can simply have a timed client side function that does much the same thing.

For video feeds i use webcamXP 5 to serve the camara feeds on port 8080, but then I embed the video from this on the main page (gets rid of their advertising blurb etc…) Surprisingly this has proved pretty stable.

It’s all a bit of a cludge, but it works.

I'd go with a web server - then phone users can control the system through a browser and you can use any phone or home computer, not just android. Plus, if you want to you can make it accessible over the internet - securing it is extra work in that case of course.

The web server could be on the Arduino or for a fancier site you can serve it up on dedicated hardware - a Raspberry pi perhaps, if you don't already have a web server in the house.