7” Wallpad: The Open Source Modular Touch Computer
7” Wallpad: The Open Source Modular Touch Computer
ARM based open source platform for building IoT devices such as home automation and smart appliances. Supports PoE, Linux, and Android.
ARM based open source platform for building IoT devices such as home automation and smart appliances. Supports PoE, Linux, and Android. Read more
About this project
The HIO Wallpad is a 7” touch computer powered by HIO Project’s modular expandable hardware platform. It can be used for building touch enabled embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Some of the main features include:
- An open source modular architecture
- 7" LCD touch screen
- Compact core-board, only 80mm x 72mm
- Fits in a standard 2-gang electrical box
- Powered by a Freescale i.MX6 Cortex A9 dual core ARM processor
- Supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) IEEE 802.3af standard
- Comes with either Yocto Project embedded Linux + Qt or Android preinstalled
Working demo of the 7" Wallpad at Freescale Technology Forum 2015 in Austin, TX:
Showing the 7" Wallpad mainboard HIO-EMB-1200 and Yocto embedded Linux running when power with DC or POE module:
Its size, open architecture and modular aspects opens up many possibilities. Developers are able to buy the core-board, select the ready-made modules or design custom modules to build their intelligent, application-specific embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Wallpad can be used for endless applications such as:
- Home automation
- Office automation
- Smart appliances
- RV controller
- Audio equipment
- Home intercom
- Security surveillance
- or whatever your embedded needs are
The Wallpad is made up of a 7" touch screen and HIO core-board, panel board, optional POE module that are connected by HIO core-board's 200 available pins.
The first board is the HIO core-board which holds the CPU, memory, storage, Ethernet PHY, Audio codec, USB, 5V DC power input, HDMI, and power management.
The second board is the 7" panel board, which is for connecting the LCD touchscreen, provides Wifi, speakers and microphone ports.
The optional PoE module provides PoE power input or 12V DC power input instead of 5V power DC power input to the core-board. The PoE module also provides up to three serial ports for additional controls.
The core-board (HIO-EMB-1200) is powered by the newest Freescale Cortex A9 1GHz Processor and comes loaded with Android 4.4 (Kit kat) or optional Yocto embedded Linux with Qt GUI framework.
- PROCESSOR - Freescale Cortex A9 1GHz i.MX6 DualLite
- MEMORY - 1GB on-board DDR3
- ETHERNET - 1x Gigabit Ethernet PHY
- STORAGE- 1x microSD slot (internal), on-board NAND Flash (4GB default)
- USB - 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG (device only), 2x USB pin header
- AUDIO - Codec on board with MIC-in internal header, 2x 1W internal speaker header on panel board
- OS - Android 4.4 (KitKat) or Yocto Project embedded Linux + Qt
- FCC and CE certified
Why we opted for the Freescale ARM Cortex A9™?
The ARM Cortex™-A9 processor is an ideal solution for designs requiring high performance in low power or thermally constrained cost-sensitive devices. It also provides a long life cycle support for embedded product development requirements.
Unlike other community or development boards such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi that use a low-performance MCU or CPU and can't easily be used for mass production, the HIO core-board can be used across the entire product development cycle - from evaluation, development, prototyping to production. It has a high performance ARM processor that is backed by Freescale with long term support.
The POE power module (HIO-POE-1260) adds Gigabit Ethernet port, POE 802.3.af power input, standard 12V power input, a standard RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, and three serial ports.
What is PoE?
Power over Ethernet or PoE is a standard for sending power and data in Ethernet cabling through a single cable. It is commonly found and used by VoIP phones, IP cameras, wireless access points, network switches, wall clocks, home and building automation and LED lighting among other things.
Similar to USB, PoE can power devices through data cables, however, PoE allows long cable lengths and is readily available in many homes and office buildings.
There are many benefits to using PoE. First, it is easier to install Ethernet cables than electrical wiring. Secondly, many already have CATx cables in their walls that can be leveraged or can easily add extra outlets in undesired areas. Thirdly, PoE does not require expensive equipment, and most equipment is plug and play.
Since the Wallpad uses HIO Project's modular architecture, you can swap out the standard boards and modules in the future while using the same platform and OS.
In addition, since it uses an open architecture design, you can develop your own add-on board for whatever your needs are.
HIO Project’s founder Bin Lin is a maker at heart who always had a passion for building embedded systems. About 12 years ago he replaced his factory car stereo with an in dash touch screen computer that had GPS, webcam, rearview camera, WiFi, Cellular GSM connectivity and DVR, which allowed him to monitor his children in the back seat among other things.
This was before Apple introduced the iPhone, iPad, before Google Maps or even GoPro cameras. It was fairly complicated to build a custom system back then. Over the years Bin became frustrated by the long development effort of building custom embedded boards.
Technology has come a long way. Processors are less expensive and don’t need large fans or batteries. In addition, Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a lot of ideas and smart people to this space that now is the time for an open source modular platform like the Wallpad.
Risks and challenges
The boards and modules have been tested and are ready to ship. The funds we are seeking are for complete the tooling to manufacture and mass produce the 7" touch screen. With key building blocks completed, there are not many risks involved when it comes to a successful kickstarter.
Some issues that we worry about are the production lead times. With board production, sometimes one component's lead time is 6-8 weeks, but sometimes can take up to 10 weeks. This will be the determining factor for the final delivery time.
Then, the next challenge is the complete tooling producing process. Small tooling modifications and perfection of designs, can extend the timeframe for a few more weeks.
Other than those two issues, we are confident we can support our backers with the best service and communication. We will always keep our backers up to date with the progress of the HIO Wallpad and our backers will always be the first to know what is going on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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