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A Control Panel for IoT-Based Smart Home Automation System

IoT Embedded hardware development Smart home Kernel and driver development Linux

A home automation system is a complex network of items that typically involve lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems. To control various home automation systems, manufacturers provide a control panel which is operated intuitively by means of a touchscreen display.

Request

A provider of a smart home system based in France was looking for a reliable supplier experienced in electronics engineering. They needed to build a custom control panel for their IoT-based home automation system.

Solution

Integra Sources developed a tablet-style smart home head unit based on the Allwinner A20 microprocessor. We made the schematics, designed the layout and provided prototype testing. The device has a 7-inch touchscreen, NFC module to control access to the system, and a radio frequency (RF) module for integrating the tablet into the IoT ecosystem. We also provided software development for a custom Linux build and driver development for different modules of the system.

The part of the main Smart home control panel PCB
The part of the main Smart home control panel PCB

Technologies Used:


Scope of work

Embedded hardware development

We provided hardware development for three printed circuit boards: the main board, the LCD adapter board, and the LED backlight board.

Kernel and driver development

Automated testing

We created a console application that tested the performance of the embedded system. This application allowed us to test each component of the tablet: the display, the touchscreen, the speaker, the microphone, the battery, and so on.

Flexible PCB connected to the LCD screen
Flexible PCB connected to the LCD screen

Challenges solved

IoT circuit board

The main circuit board for the home automation system provides broad wireless network connectivity: via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and radio frequency.

LCD adapter PCB 

This board enables the changing of LCD displays connected to the main circuit board without having to change the main board.

LED backlight PCB

The control panel supports multiple backlight colors with the help of the LED printed circuit board. To enable backlight control on the tablet we wrote a custom LED stripe driver.

NFC module 

The existing driver for the NFC module didn't work with the Linux-Sunxi kernel. We adapted the driver to run on the legacy system.

Qt app with EGLFS

For performance optimization, we used the eglfs plugin to run Qt applications on the embedded board with accelerated graphics and without using X11.


Result

The smart home control panel is a custom tablet placed on the wall. It integrates all smart home devices in an all-in-one app. With this device, users have the flexibility to monitor and control their home’s temperature, locks, lights, and other items.


Broad network connectivity

Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Custom RF network

Boot time

< 3 Seconds

Make some noise

Make some noise

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