DIY Project: Custom made touch panel

Posted in DIY Projects,Hardware,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 19th, 2010

It’s no secret that professionally installed home automation touch panels are very expensive. Could we make a panel that will be useful, easily customizable and relatively cheap? You bet we can!

iphone-inspired-kitchen-touch-screen-LGCheck for example this New Zealander’s home project that, with a little more polished GUI, could rival the better professional models. With the total cost of roughly $1200 US dollars (though it could be easily downgraded to $500-600) this project will allow you to control your home automation set-up, listen to locally stored music and Internet radio, play photo slide-shows, surf the web, watch online video and even automate creation of a grocery shopping list.

How would you lower the cost of the project? Instead of assembling a full-blown Core i5 multimedia machine check out one of the Intel Atom 330-based systems from Shuttle or Acer. They will put you down only $200-$300, they are small, they run cool and quiet and are capable enough to handle 1080p video.

One of the ready-to-roll systems is Acer AspireRevo AR3610 that ships with Windows 7, so you’ll save on OS as well. Check RevoHTPC blog on how to put together a multimedia system based on the Revo net-top.

Now, go have fun building a touch panel and share your stories and projects with us.

Update: Inspired by this project I started my own touch-friendly, open-source, interface for the kitchen, called KitchenTouch. Check this post for details.

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