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<Dev Question> Android Remote Interface

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  • <Dev Question> Android Remote Interface

    Now I do not claim to be a programmer in any way, shape or form, but I have an idea, and I am wondering if it is possible.

    The idea would be to allow OpenMobile to exchange information and data with an android device over wifi, bluetooth, and possibly a cell data connection.

    Possible uses for this would be:
    • Remote monitoring and control of your car
    • Using an Android device such as the Archos 28 to be a built in display to show song information/music controls
    • Allow the back seat users to have a "remote control" for their headrest monitors instead of relying a touch screen or other input

    The one thing I would like to do with it it to build the Archos 28 device into the review mirror and have it display current song information, and even notifications such as text messages, emails, anything you would possibly want to send to the remote display.

    So the question is, is this possible from a programming point of view? I really hope so.
    - Project: Unified Car Control
    - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

  • #2
    I too have been wondering about this. My thought was to have an Android tablet be another "zone" of sorts. Wifi networkable. But then, it simply needs a capable media player and navigate the media folders in a pretty way.

    I know you mentioned simply as an input device, and maybe that's because, like I have found, I cannot find a media player for Android that begins playback before the whole file has been downloaded (except maybe flash, which means transcoding server on the main box AFAIK).

    Would certainly make for simple multi-zone installs if there were an Open Mobile front end for Android tablets!!
    03 Cadillac CTS
    ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
    Win7 Ultimate - OpenMobile - Directed HD - Wifi
    OMMaps + MS GPS Puck - WiFi via LTE Android phone
    2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics

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    • #3
      Not too hard, actually. I and others have written remote control interfaces for Centrafuse and Android devices. If you take the TCP/IP route, you can use a standard socket listener approach and everything is very straight forward. There is a drawback though. On many phones and some devices, you can't use Wifi and 3g/4g at the same time, unless you purchase a "hot spot" plan......or unless you have rooted your device. With Bluetooth, you can use one of the serial profiles, but this can present problems as well, since not all BT stacks recognize serial profiles for all devices.

      My semi-informed opinion? The TCP/IP socket approach is easy to implement and just about universal to most devices. BT compatibility can be a pain.

      VegasGuy

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      • #4
        Interesting you brought this up as yeah jmullan and I have been throwing some ideas back and forth on this. I had been thinking about something webservice based. Trying to finish the arduino which I have been short on time on lately before I get too into this.
        openMobile - Download
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        • #5
          There are 2 options out there that you could use to accomplish this kind of easy. The first I know is only ios Touch IR+ but the second has a android beta at least and its called CF iViewer. They both allow for 2 way control but none, that I know of anyway, can play video so it would be a control only option. iViewer is very expensive for the full version but does have a free version that is kind of limited. Touch IR+ on the other hand is very inexpensive but only ios, maybe if you ask he will consider android, the guy is willing to help, he added the 2 way control and full screen options because I asked back in version 2 I believe.
          Last edited by davedave1234; 04-18-2011, 01:22 PM.

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          • #6
            Shouldn't be too hard. But I think that webbased would be better as that would open up for access from any device. Only problem I see is the overhead with including a webserver service.

            Another option would be a specific application for each plattform that would talk to OM over it's own protocol, this would probably be a faster solution for the enduser but would also require more work.

            I've been playing with an idea around this also since I've been planning to integrate a WiFi zone in my car that passengers could use, would have been great to use it for more than just the web.

            I've also been thinking about including DLNA support (both ways in OM), I don't know if this is possible but it would be a great addition.
            Failure is not an option...
            __________________________________________________ ______________________________
            The only full multizone / multiscreen cross platform open source Front End -> OpenMobile

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            • #7
              I have been thinking elsewhere (this thread) of using cheap Android tablets for the rear passengers, not as portable devices in addition to rear screens, but as the rear screens themselves. I tried to buy two Kyros MID7015 for $89.00 last week, but I didn't get the online deal on time. I was thinking now of using the Kyros 7024, way more expensive, but cheaper than any 7" headrest screen with touch and digital input.

              The idea would be to connect the Tablets via wifi to the main PC music and video library, etc. I too was looking for a proper media player capable of dealing with remote content. However, I didn't realize that Android OS does not allow for streaming video? Oh man. I thought the big advantage for Android over iOS was a. more cloud based content/sync; b. not relying on a tethered PC as with iTunes/iOS. What about Orb? Does it work for video?
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              • #8
                Exactly Borte. I was thinking web so there could be a web interface along with web services to custom apps. Had been holding my ideas secret. hehe I had also thought about UPNP, but not DLNA. As jumllan and I have been talking, the issue on some of these is the transcoding since devices can be picky about formats and the carpc could be an atom 230... I got a little prototyping time into it. Will start a wave on it once I get the arduino stuff wrapped up.
                openMobile - Download
                Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jmullan99 View Post
                  I know you mentioned simply as an input device, and maybe that's because, like I have found, I cannot find a media player for Android that begins playback before the whole file has been downloaded (except maybe flash, which means transcoding server on the main box AFAIK).
                  Would this work? https://market.android.com/details?i...play.twoplayer
                  Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
                  Skin: MetroSex on the Beach preview

                  07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
                    I have been thinking elsewhere (this thread) of using cheap Android tablets for the rear passengers, not as portable devices in addition to rear screens, but as the rear screens themselves. I tried to buy two Kyros MID7015 for $89.00 last week, but I didn't get the online deal on time. I was thinking now of using the Kyros 7024, way more expensive, but cheaper than any 7" headrest screen with touch and digital input.

                    The idea would be to connect the Tablets via wifi to the main PC music and video library, etc. I too was looking for a proper media player capable of dealing with remote content. However, I didn't realize that Android OS does not allow for streaming video? Oh man. I thought the big advantage for Android over iOS was a. more cloud based content/sync; b. not relying on a tethered PC as with iTunes/iOS. What about Orb? Does it work for video?
                    I've got a 7015 I bought for exactly this type of project. In my case, it was remoting to/from Centrafuse. The 7015 runs android 2.1 (Eclair) and it doesn't look to me like it's likely to get Honeycomb (Android 3.0) anytime soon (if ever). So whatever can be done has to be done with the interface available in Android 2.1. To use any kind of streaming media that wasn't hosted on Youtube or some other web-based service, you'd need to find (or write) your own media player. The point is that it will take some pretty extensive Android development in order to create the necessary UI and apps for a easy-to-use infotainment system for the back seat. Not impossible, or necessarily more difficult than any other platform...just not a lot there "out of the box".

                    I still think this is "doable"...I just don't have enough time to get as far into the Android development ecosystem as I need to make it work. At this point, all I have is a gigantic 7" remote control for Centrafuse which is terrific if you want to operate your car pc with snow mittens on

                    VegasGuy

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                    • #11
                      What I have gathered so far:

                      * Users want to use tablet devices as a zone. Requiring full bidirectional access to OpenMobile.
                      * Users want to use cheap devices, be they Android or other OS, as display devices. Depending on the application, may or may not require full bidirectional access to OpenMobile.
                      * Users want a web based interface, to control parts of OpenMobile, and also to be able to view data from OpenMobile.

                      What I see here is the need for two new independent services:
                      * Web Based Service
                      * App Based Service

                      It has been brought up that each app should be tailored to the mobile OS, which even though may be a longer process, I believe it is the right one. In order to provide the best end user experience, I suggest going this route.
                      - Project: Unified Car Control
                      - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

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                      • #12
                        Yup, basically what I have been thinking. Just need more free time... ugh
                        openMobile - Download
                        Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
                          I am reading about it now. Seems it would be fine for music playback. But I also need video playback, and without having to download the whole file first.

                          Now, I have found Plex. It has a free server, pay-for clients (iOS, Android) and tested it in home. The functionality is there, but would also mean having yet another app chewing up resources.

                          ---------- Post added at 09:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:33 AM ----------

                          Originally posted by VegasGuy View Post
                          I've got a 7015 I bought for exactly this type of project. In my case, it was remoting to/from Centrafuse. The 7015 runs android 2.1 (Eclair) and it doesn't look to me like it's likely to get Honeycomb (Android 3.0) anytime soon (if ever). So whatever can be done has to be done with the interface available in Android 2.1. To use any kind of streaming media that wasn't hosted on Youtube or some other web-based service, you'd need to find (or write) your own media player. The point is that it will take some pretty extensive Android development in order to create the necessary UI and apps for a easy-to-use infotainment system for the back seat. Not impossible, or necessarily more difficult than any other platform...just not a lot there "out of the box".

                          VegasGuy
                          Yes. The problem is that iOS and Android support MP4/M4V and the files do not support streaming (or so I have read). Transcoding requires some horsepower. Newer Android OS (2.2 +) now supports flash so maybe that means either transcode or convert?
                          03 Cadillac CTS
                          ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
                          Win7 Ultimate - OpenMobile - Directed HD - Wifi
                          OMMaps + MS GPS Puck - WiFi via LTE Android phone
                          2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics

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                          • #14
                            Are we talking about playing the files on the unit it self or remote controlling the OM zone? I know this could be hard for video but for audio a remote playback control would work just fine.
                            Failure is not an option...
                            __________________________________________________ ______________________________
                            The only full multizone / multiscreen cross platform open source Front End -> OpenMobile

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                            • #15
                              Both. I am doing some android and iPad projects for work so hoping I can apply some of that knowledge to all this once I get better at it.
                              openMobile - Download
                              Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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