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Version 5.0 thinking out loud
#11
RobWalker Wrote:Maybe this is more of an issue if you want to primarily go after the hobbyist market ... I could see it being different for professional installers who want a one-stop-shop and I don't know how the market share splits.

More than one stop shopping is robustness and reliability, which is what you give up with you put together a system composed a lot of different, separately developed technologies glued together. Others may disagree, but I will hold firm on that position for my own part.

It's fine on the periphery of course, and the RIVA client, though not peripheral in terms of marketing importance, is 'physically' peripheral, in that it lies by definition outside of CQC proper, and therefore it's a place where such third party technologies might be leveraged, though there again it will depend on the stability of that third party technology.

And it's not just stability of the product itself but now much it as affected by changes in system configurations, system updates and patches, other apps being installed and overwriting things, OS versions, etc... Those things we almost don't have to worry about at all within CQC itself because we don't use that sort of third party stuff.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#12
Dean;
I agree with both John and Rob above (or below if you look at it backwards like I do as I like the new stuff at the top).

The system needs to be more one stop shop with very solid core functionality. I could not agree more with this comment. I would like to see the core drivers updated to more current trends in both automation and media and would love to see some of the old and antiquated drivers retired. I think that one current huge miss is a streaming radio and streaming media services driver that is core and not third party.

Don't get me wrong; I love the fact that third party is available and developers have the chance to create there own drivers. That should continue, but the core overall package should be re-evaluated and updated.

The GUI updates are important, and Apple integration must be quickly improved.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#13
Until the streaming services get serious and provide documented, available APIs for their services, it's not going to be a big priority to us, particular when we have support for something like Sonos that provides those things already. We don't have much interest in screen scraping or chasing (often purposefully) ever changing unofficial APIs.

If anyone knows of any services that provide a documented, direct (as apposed to through some sort of work around), official API, that we don't have to cough up thousands or tens of thousands of dollars just to support, we can support it. I'm not sure that many if any exist right now.

In terms of more hardware options, I saw mention of some Grace Digital internet radio that maybe has an available API? I wasn't sure about it.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#14
Streaming Radio would require no licensing or API that I am aware of.

Streaming Services are another story. The only options I know of currently are either a hardware solution like Sonos or an expensive licensing structure and custom API.

Maybe just start with Streaming Radio, which basically is free.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#15
I agree that increasing support for alternative clients (to windows) is a wise move. I also think some flash would draw in more users.

The hottest topics on forums like CT and even here seem to be revolving around alternative control interfaces from the whole touch screen thing.

Things like Voice Recognition, Kinect, etc. The SDKs and samples are freely available. VR is built into windows, iphone and android these days. Kinect libraries/SDKs/Samples are available for Windows and Linux.

Motion Control/Occupancy with Kinect
http://blog.mikebourgeous.com/2011/03/08...-with-kin/

Voice Recognition with Kinect
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hpAF2KKysM
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#16
I think that is a bit more for the geek and not the general HA owner. VR needs to be done with a package built for that function and not a hack of a gaming system component.

As for what is important, that is different for different people. I tend to agree that the core drivers need to be updated and the iOS/Android/Windows support needs to be brought in house and not third party.

I also believe that the support structure needs to be improved. e.g. new or changed core drivers need to be available as updates and not part of an upgrade (where possible). Much like a windows update where the updates can be pushed to the system is required, or at least a notification is sent to the users that updates are available.

Third party drivers need to be available through a single interface such as a driver store. Drivers would be submitted and then anyone looking for a driver would check there and install instead of the method used at the moment of trolling through the forums trying to find the one you want. This should be built into the admin interface so that it is a seamless operation from find to install.

Recommended hardware may be a good thing as well. We have seen that question asked a few times, but if there was say a few hardware combo's listed that may make it easier for the new user to take up as there is a challenge in just trying to workout what PC you need (small fit PC or small rack mount server?).

Ensuring what is there is complete is also important, but making improvements is also just important otherwise it appears that the product has stagnated.

And keep security high on the list. Don't make up your own schemes, use well proven methodology and give people confidence that they can not be hacked and lose control of their house.
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#17
It's not exactly a hack of a gaming system component. It has a Microsoft SDK for Windows. And as a single room VR system it works pretty well. It also does motion control and face recognition.

But my point was not just about Kinect but VR and alternative interfaces in general. Imagine every IV/Riva client having VR built in. No more 3rd party apps and hacking needed. Just walk up and talk to CQC.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#18
ie the Starship Enterprise - would love that kind of VR feature
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#19
I have been thinking about the issue of scaling. I want to have one design of IV for the house that I can run on any of my screens, However at the moment that means:

iPad3 Standard 1024x768 6" vertical screen 128 pixels/inch

iPad3 HighRes 2048x1536 6" vertical screen 256 pixels/inch

Microsoft Surface Pro 1920x1080 5.25" vertical screen 205 pixels/inch

Fixed Touchscreens 1280x1024 10.5" vertical screen 97 pixels/inch

My last generation templates were designed as 1024x768 to fit on both the iPad and the Touch screens. The vertical pixels per inch are about the same and with a little though about leaving space at the top and bottom of the screen, they worked well on both.

However with both the Surface Pro and the iPad3 in high resolution mode, the text and images on templates are far too small to be easily readable so they will have to be scaled. So it is not just the screen resolution that matters, it is also the screen size. I have tried changing the Surface Pro screen resolution to 1366x768 giving 146 pixels/inch and this is much better, but I cannot leave it like that as all the other Windows apps look too big.

At the moment, you seem to be thinking of scaling on a per widget basis. What about thinking in terms of the adding a resolution option in the Full Screen display. So the whole template is effectively scaled up or down depending on a global setting.

Another easy aid to scaling would be to allow independent centering for full screen mode in both the horizontal and vertical directions. At the moment, if you have a template that is smaller that the screen resolution, the the IV places it in the centre of the screen and the RIVA client seems to put it in the top left hand corner. If you could specify vertical centring and horizontal left edge alignment, then it would be easy to add background image or colour to the top and bottom of the screen. If the template is make to fit the widest screen 1920, then the right edge would be cut off on 4:3 screens, but this would not matter once you have the drag-able scrolling. This is part of the scaling strategy using by Microsoft in Win8.

PJG
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#20
In the end, if you have radically different aspect ratios, you will have to take some sort of different approach. One common one is to make a set of templates that will fit an overlay that is almost all of the screen on the smaller screens, and which sits beside a side bar in the wider screens. Then you'd only have to either scale to fit that (basically always the same shape) overlay or allow the contents of that overlay to scale.

With some combination of these three strategies, it should be pretty reasonable to minimize the effort. If all the wide A/R base templates scale to fit full screen, then you only need one wide base template and one non-wide, and the non-wide would have very little on the base template itself so there should be minimal replication. And then the meaty stuff would be loaded into the overlay which either scales or scrolls.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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