In a race to optimize everything, developers often go to extremes to build software that performs routine tasks. MissionControl is a system that allows users to program a control center that stores interfaces with attached hardware sensors, allowing the users to control any other devices that can be activated via the underlying protocol. For demo purposes, the MissionControl build at this point is compatible with the Phidgets IR hybrid sensor.
The system has two core components:
- A server application, which is a Win32 console application that handles incoming queries and returns data to the connected clients. This application runs on the desktop machine with the connected sensor.
- The Windows Phone application that sends requests to the target server and can trigger a variety of pre-programmed commands.
Hardware and Communication Infrastructure
One of the most important parts of the project is the signal capture and replication hardware. For the purposes of this project, I decided to use a dual-mode Phidgets IR sensor. It supports both IR code capture and subsequent replication. From a user’s perspective, this device also eliminates a substantial code-learning overhead as well as the potential error rate. Instead of searching for a device-specific hexadecimal sequence that later has to be transformed in a working IR code, the user simply has to point his remote control at the sensor and press the button that he wants accessible from a mobile device. Given that the capturing software is running on the target machine, once the sensor detects that a code can be repeated within an acceptable precision range, it will be automatically captured and stored, with all required transformations worked out in the backend using the free Phidgets SDK.
The book, errr, I mean, article, from Clint and Den is done and now out...
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