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Offline wstocker

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Dev / Beta Projects?
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:17:58 am »
Dev / Beta Backers,

You have had your Almond+'s over a month now (some maybe even two months).  How has the SDK been to work with, and are you willing to give us a glimpse into what projects you are working on that we can look forward to seeing / integrating when the rest of us get ours?

Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 05:54:05 am »
A bit a shame that none replied... It would be nice to see how the Almond+ fares with the developpers...

I for one would like to know if there is a way to make a web interface that just sends out HTTP requests (perhaps can receive them or parse them from a website).

Offline eldaria

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 09:46:49 am »
Hi all.

I'm on the developer pledge, there are some limits to what we can discuss in the open forums.
There are dedicated sections of the forum for the developer discussions, but I can say that there has not been much discussion about actual software projects that people are working on.
I can say that from my own perspective I have a lot of ideas, but i'm not skilled in the programming language that the SDK so with limited time on my hand I have not really started anything.

But to list some of the ideas I had, that might or might non ever happen. ;-)
- Connect my Visonic Alarm system over RS232 to the Almond+.
- Connect Arduino and to make a generic sensor that can interact with the Almond+.
- Create a Home automation system that is programmed like Scratch from MIT.
- Connect the Almond+ to http://skynet.im/


Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 03:42:55 am »
I'm on the developer pledge, there are some limits to what we can discuss in the open forums.
Thanks, I did not know about limitations...

There are dedicated sections of the forum for the developer discussions, but I can say that there has not been much discussion about actual software projects that people are working on.
Perhaps it is still too early days...

I'm not on the developer side, but I'm hoping it would not be too difficult to do the following:
- interact with a Loxone server (home automation, supports various network protocols): send commands, display status
- act as a network to zwave/zigbee bridge
- customizable touch screen interfaces (to control e.g. a software on a computer via some network protocol, e.g. using Eventghost on the computer)

Offline eldaria

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 04:04:54 am »
Perhaps it is still too early days...

Indeed, I think once it is out on the market, and more people get their hands on it, we will see more people starting developing for it.

Quote
I'm not on the developer side, but I'm hoping it would not be too difficult to do the following:
- interact with a Loxone server (home automation, supports various network protocols): send commands, display status

I'm not familiar with Loxone, but I had a look at their site, and they do have an API, so I suppose it should be possible to interact with it.
http://www.loxone.com/enuk/service/documentation/api/webservices.html

Quote
- act as a network to zwave/zigbee bridge

Not sure what you are looking for here, but since the Almond+ supports both ZigBee and ZWave, It will be able to control both. And since it is also on the network, It will be able to talk to devices on the network, Depending on what you are looking for, it might be possible that it is not there from the beginning, but it is certainly something that developers will be able to do using the SDK.
But you can already use the local webpage of the router to see status and control devices.

Quote
- customizable touch screen interfaces (to control e.g. a software on a computer via some network protocol, e.g. using Eventghost on the computer)

Not familiar with Eventghost at all, never heard of it before you wrote about it, but it looks like some kind of simple macro software, and it looks like it supports plugins, so I guess that the same applies as above, someone could create some kind of plugin. But since this is Windows only and I do not have a Windows computer, it will not be me.  ;)

Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 09:46:30 am »
I'm guessing all the things I wrote are possible, as the devices with which I want to interact are on the network and support standard protocols (Loxone, EventGhost, ..). The loxone acts as an ip/knx bridge so communication with Loxone will allow me using my wall switches. If the Almond+ can switch/control zwave or zigbee things from a network command (not sure how to call it), I could control the zwave/zigbee devices from a wall switch (knx -> loxone -> almond+ -> zwave).

The bigger thing is: how possible is it without having to write too much code? I'm still in the process of making a Loxone interface for my home. It is not too difficult, but quite a bit of work. I then also need to modify some definitions of the knx system, to suit my needs better. And I am still working on the Eventghost thing: it is a windows software that I use to control a computer from which I plan music (and Eventghost also controls my amplifier). My ultimate plan is to have wall switches control the music playback (limited). So I currently have a lot of building blocks, and am trying to get them all fit together nicely. It does not require that much coding, but every block has it learning curve and specific things.

The Almond+ would be another building block, that could come in both as an interface to zwave/zigbee things and as a status display to show various information from the home system.

Offline Patrick Wilson

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 07:50:59 pm »
I'm guessing all the things I wrote are possible, as the devices with which I want to interact are on the network and support standard protocols (Loxone, EventGhost, ..). The loxone acts as an ip/knx bridge so communication with Loxone will allow me using my wall switches. If the Almond+ can switch/control zwave or zigbee things from a network command (not sure how to call it), I could control the zwave/zigbee devices from a wall switch (knx -> loxone -> almond+ -> zwave).

The bigger thing is: how possible is it without having to write too much code? I'm still in the process of making a Loxone interface for my home. It is not too difficult, but quite a bit of work. I then also need to modify some definitions of the knx system, to suit my needs better. And I am still working on the Eventghost thing: it is a windows software that I use to control a computer from which I plan music (and Eventghost also controls my amplifier). My ultimate plan is to have wall switches control the music playback (limited). So I currently have a lot of building blocks, and am trying to get them all fit together nicely. It does not require that much coding, but every block has it learning curve and specific things.

The Almond+ would be another building block, that could come in both as an interface to zwave/zigbee things and as a status display to show various information from the home system.

Yes,  our products support both Zigbee and ZWave.  Unfortunately in the Home Automation world,  not all manufacturers use Open Standards,  which is why a listing of List of compatible sensors - Almond+ 2014 is available.  We are dilligently attempting to keep this listing as up to data as possible.
Patrick Wilson
Victoria, BC Canada

Offline pete

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 03:22:32 pm »
Yup; a similiar discussion came up just a few weeks back on a couple of home automation forums.  Specfically it was relating to a multibutton or multipaddle light automation in wall switch that you could do more than control light switches; specifically audio stuff.

Initially the question was who makes a switch like that?

Here I do similiar though on one embedded device which talks to Z-Wave, Zigbee, X-10 and UPB on the switch side and multizone amplifiers on the audio side.  (and HVAC).  The zoned amplifiers talk via a serial link.  (today though that could be a network link wired or wireless).

The buttons on the light switch can talk directly to the connected load(s) or send out commands on the power line bus.

It is easy to do functionwise.  I have though not to date seen an 8 button Z-Wave / Zigbee switch.  It would be more like a scene switch with redefined buttons on it.
[img width= height= alt=" width="250" height="52" class="bbc_img resized]http://forum.securifi.com/Themes/Firox_multicolor_by_SMFSimple/images/logo.png[/img]
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Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 03:49:08 am »
Yes,  our products support both Zigbee and ZWave.  Unfortunately in the Home Automation world,  not all manufacturers use Open Standards,  which is why a listing of List of compatible sensors - Almond+ 2014 is available.  We are dilligently attempting to keep this listing as up to data as possible.
Yes... It supports it...  But can it be addressed over the network? The IFTTT is a bit blurry to me... Is something like this possible:
-
IF (some command is given via the network) THEN (switch on zwave actuator x)
-
And then of course, the next question is: what does that network command look like? HTTP POST? HTTP GET? I already know it is probably not UDP. I also learned the screen cannot be used for showing websites. But is there some "page" or "panel" that can displayed on the screen on which the user can display things?

Jörg

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2014, 04:18:32 am »
I think you're confusing things a little bit here.

1. We don't have support for IFTTT as such, we might do in the future though.
2. We're still working on the whole automation part and we expect to have the first parts ready before the end of next month.
3. The LCD UI is custom developed by us, but the SDK contains code that will allow for custom LCD apps. There are limitations as to what can be done on the LCD, but we'll keep improving things here.
4. As to what command is being used, it depends on how things are being initiated, we have our own software running on the Almond+ that communicates with the ZigBee and Z-Wave devices and it acts as a bridge between the two, as well as the various UI's, be it the mobile ones, the LCD UI, the local web UI or the cloud app. Some are done directly (LCD UI) while others use custom TCP commands as they require a lot less data to be sent. I don't have a full insight to how all this works, but we're doing everything in a very data efficient way, hence why we're avoiding using HTTP as it uses a fair bit more data.

The initial automation stuff will take place in the local web UI of the Almond+, as most of these things only need to be set up once anyhow. The longer term goal is to also have this on the cloud UI and possibly a more limited version of it through the mobile app.

We know there's still a lot of work to do, but once we get the initial version out, we'll work with our backers and customers to make it as good as possible, since our goal is to make it easy to use, but we also want to keep some advanced features in place for those that want that.

And this is really quite off topic now  :P
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 04:21:11 am by Lars »

Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2014, 06:03:04 am »
I think you're confusing things a little bit here.

1. We don't have support for IFTTT as such, we might do in the future though.
Ok, my mistake... I thought I read it somewhere...

2. We're still working on the whole automation part and we expect to have the first parts ready before the end of next month.
3. The LCD UI is custom developed by us, but the SDK contains code that will allow for custom LCD apps. There are limitations as to what can be done on the LCD, but we'll keep improving things here.
4. As to what command is being used, it depends on how things are being initiated, we have our own software running on the Almond+ that communicates with the ZigBee and Z-Wave devices and it acts as a bridge between the two, as well as the various UI's, be it the mobile ones, the LCD UI, the local web UI or the cloud app. Some are done directly (LCD UI) while others use custom TCP commands as they require a lot less data to be sent. I don't have a full insight to how all this works, but we're doing everything in a very data efficient way, hence why we're avoiding using HTTP as it uses a fair bit more data.
Ok, so point 2. may explain why eldaria said there is not so much activity on the developer side... It is just too early...
The custom LCD apps sound interesting!
When you mention "bridge between the two", do you mean a bridge between zigbee and zwave?
If zigbee and zwave things are controllable from the local web UI, I would assume that the web protocol can be used by other devices (to send http requests). Ok that http request may use more data, but if it is just to command a switch, traffic should not be an issue. But custom TCP commands would indeed be nice! So it means that there will be a possibility to control devices from the network (but the protocols are not yet provided). That is good.

We know there's still a lot of work to do, but once we get the initial version out, we'll work with our backers and customers to make it as good as possible, since our goal is to make it easy to use, but we also want to keep some advanced features in place for those that want that.

And this is really quite off topic now  :P
I wouldn't say it is that off topic... but ok... Thanks for the comments!

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 06:52:04 am »
Yes, the Almond+ acts as a bridge between ZigBee and Z-Wave devices. For example, your Z-Wave smoke alarm would signal the Almond+ which would switch on your ZigBee lights and unlock your Z-Wave door lock.

We're not sending straight HTTP commands as things work today. In your case we'd somehow have to know what device is connected to the Almond+ for something like that to work. Currently that's something we're working on an API for and for local network data HTTP isn't an issue. Anything that goes over the internet so far is TCP based to try to keep the data sent as small as possible.

Hopefully the our software team will share more information as to how all this work in due time.


Offline eldaria

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 07:06:53 am »
Ok, so point 2. may explain why eldaria said there is not so much activity on the developer side... It is just too early...

Indeed, I am waiting a bit to see how the HA interface and system will work as this kind of determines what I can do, since most of the things I want to do are based on Home Automation and not the router/network parts.

Offline VJ

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2014, 09:39:34 am »
Yes, the Almond+ acts as a bridge between ZigBee and Z-Wave devices. For example, your Z-Wave smoke alarm would signal the Almond+ which would switch on your ZigBee lights and unlock your Z-Wave door lock.

We're not sending straight HTTP commands as things work today. In your case we'd somehow have to know what device is connected to the Almond+ for something like that to work. Currently that's something we're working on an API for and for local network data HTTP isn't an issue. Anything that goes over the internet so far is TCP based to try to keep the data sent as small as possible.
For me, it would be a local network (anything from outside would be vpn). Using my HA server,  a Loxone, I can send various things on the network: TCP packets, UDP packets and HTTP requests. It can also receive any of them and interpret.
So I'm assuming that if there is a local web ui, it should be possible with http requests. But any protocol would be fine for me.

Offline Automate

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Re: Dev / Beta Projects?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 11:36:36 pm »
We're not sending straight HTTP commands as things work today. In your case we'd somehow have to know what device is connected to the Almond+ for something like that to work. Currently that's something we're working on an API for and for local network data HTTP isn't an issue. Anything that goes over the internet so far is TCP based to try to keep the data sent as small as possible.

Hopefully the our software team will share more information as to how all this work in due time.
Now that Almond+ is shipping to regular backers can we get an update on the API status?

 

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