An ARM based open architecture in-wall Power-over-Ethernet touch controller to connect and automate everything in your home or office Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 8, 2014.
About this project
The HIO Wallpad is a way to completely connect and control your entire home or office in one centralized easy-to-install unit. Running off the latest generation ARM Processor, the Android powered Wallpad is universally compatible with a number of different control and home automation applications.
Produce an affordable standard in-wall Android device.
Make a hardware platform easy-to-install using standard electrical box and using only one Ethernet cable for power and network connectivity.
Develop a modular hardware platform for future compatibility with Z-Wave, Zigbee, & other wireless communication protocols.
Create a standard wall-mount platform that is easy-to-upgrade for different I/O configurations and screen sizes.
- Provide an open architecture platform for Do-It-Yourself-ers and developers with an expansive community to make awesome projects.
We consolidated the data and power into one port with Power over Ethernet. This provides the HIO Wallpad with power and network connectivity using only one standard Ethernet cable. The Wallpad includes the low-voltage PoE module to adhere to building safety codes so you don't have to worry about running new high-voltage electrical lines to power the unit. We know how expensive it is to have licensed electricians and installers work in your home or office. With the Wallpad, installation is now as easy as running an Ethernet cable through your wall without violating building codes, creating fire hazards, or voiding insurance claims.
Power-Over-Ethernet also makes the HIO Wallpad a dedicated and secure network controller without the hassle of WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity issues.
Accomplishing this small form factor was no easy task. We developed a modular design to both save space in cramped areas (like a standard electrical gang box) as well as making upgrades super easy.
The Wallpad control panel is made up of three different boards connected by HIO Project's 200 available pins. The first board is the HIO Main Board which holds CPU, Memory, and Storage. The second board is the Display Board, connecting the LCD touchscreen, and the third board is the PoE Board which provides Power Over Ethernet, serial interface, and 12V DC power option.
With this modular design, the HIO Wallpad allows you to swap out different screen sizes for the touchscreen, making expansion and upgrading easy in the future, based on the same platform. Also, additional stackable boards can be developed for a number of display interfaces, camera ports, audio input/output, and other home automation communication protocols.
The Wallpad is an open architecture design, allowing you to code your own software and develop your own hardware to control almost anything. The Wallpad is powered by the newest Freescale Cortex A9 1GHz iMX.6 DualLite Processor and comes loaded with Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean).
As mentioned in the video, many home automation installers are using Apple products like iPods and iPads to serve as controllers. This only adds to the overall cost of a wall-mounted touchscreen controller. As we all know, iOS is a closed OS platform which restricts you to what is only available in the App Store. Also, Apple products requires a proprietary power connector, limiting in-wall power options and making installation difficult.The HIO Wallpad is an open architecture design, making this unique system easy to install and ready to hack.
The HIO Wallpad comes with a 3.5" LCD Touch Screen as your control panel interface. In the future, we will be able to design, develop, and create different screen sizes for the Wallpad, expanding user experiences. Upgrading is as simple as putting Lego bricks together with our modular design.
Standard Gang Box Ready
The HIO Wallpad was designed to easily fit inside a standard 2-Gang Box making installing relatively quick and easy. This was accomplished through our newly created form factor of the HIO Project board which is only 72mm x 80mm. Also, having a screwless design, installation is effortless.
We came up with a way to keep the Wallpad looking sleek and integrated into your wall with two rare earth magnets which hold the unit to the included metal bracket. As stated, there is no need for screwdrivers to remove the HIO Wallpad. Simply pull the device out of the wall to make quick adjustments.
Customizable Face Plates
We will provide you with the CAD files, Gcode, and STL files, and drawings of the standard faceplate. You can 3D print your own custom faceplate in different colors and different shapes to match your wall colors and room decor.
Controlling your home just got easier with the HIO Wallpad centralized touchscreen control unit. With plans to develop and build hardware platforms to connect with standard home-automation communication protocols such as Z-Wave, the Wallpad controls your home effortlessly.
With WiFi, Z-Wave, and Ethernet you can control your entire home's lights, HVAC system, and set your thermostat. With screen mirroring you can view your entire security feed all in one place. In addition to security features, the screen mirroring can be used to share videos and pictures from your home or cloud servers.
Other Home Automation Activities
- Remote Slow Cooker - for a hot and ready meal for the entire family after a long day at work.
- Smart hub for all media around your home - connected to a home server or the cloud, the Wallpad can be used to play music and videos through your home entertainment system.
- With screen mirroring and WiFi option, the Wallpad serves as a hub to which you can stream apps onto your TV screen or projector.
- Home intercom system - with plans for new screens and camera options, you can use the Wallpad as an intercom system to check who is at your front door or connect with your family members around the house.
With the combinations of our PoE dedicated system and third-party home automation software, the HIO Wallpad can be used as a stand alone home automation system. In the future, the open architecture community can provide more applications and uses for the HIO Wallpad.
Having a single location where you can make sure your office building is secure and safe can make your life and business easier to manage. Knowing you can lock your doors and monitor your company's sensitive material guarantees your peace of mind.
You can program the HIO Wallpad to control
- Indoor, outdoor, and perimeter security lights
- Security Surveillance Systems
- Conference room projectors and screens
- Office thermostats
The HIO Wallpad can also help save energy costs, limiting how long your A/C or heater is running and making sure lights are off.
With many TV shows moving towards online streaming, more and more dedicated streaming devices are launching like the Chromecast, and Roku. If you have a screen mirroring capable TV, the HIO Wallpad with WiFi option can be used as a host device to provide all your online video content.
General Control Panel
You can also use this as a smart controller for a much bigger project. For example, you can use it on a dispensing machine like a custom soda mixer, ice cream vending machine, or any general vending machine. With 400 available pins bringing out different I/O and customizable board modules, you can control almost anything with the HIO Wallpad.
With HIO Wallpad's Open Architecture model, we have given the public the freedom to create anything they can think of. Creating home automation apps and other control apps is just the beginning. With time and your help, we could start and grow a community around the HIO Project and help each other accomplish our goals. Our plan is for www.hioproject.org to have an extensive library of projects and an active forum where anyone and everyone could suggest ideas, help others, and ask for help.
The Main Board
PROCESSOR - Freescale Cortex A9 1GHz i.MX6 DualLite
MEMORY - 1GB on-board DDR3
ETHERNET - 1x Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi - Internal USB WiFi module (With HIO Wallpad WiFi Option)
STORAGE- 1x microSD slot (internal), on-board NAND Flash (4GB default)
USB - 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG (device only, internal)
AUDIO - MIC-in internal header, 2x header to 2x 1W internal speaker (optional)
DISPLAY - 3.5" LCD Touchscreen Panel
INTERFACE - Parallel RGB
RESOLUTION - 480x800
BRIGHTNESS - 500 cd/m2
CONTRAST RATIO - 500
TOUCHPANEL - Projective capacitive touchscreen
The PoE Board
POWER - RJ-45, Power Over Ethernet 802.3af compliant
ETHERNET - RJ45 PoE input or standard GbE input without PoE module
DC INPUT - 2-pin terminal block or RJ45 12V DC power input
SERIAL PORT - 1x RS-232 (Tx,Rx) via RJ45, 4x RS-232 (Tx,Rx) via internal pin header
BEZEL - White (default), interchangeable
MATERIALS - Plastic, Aluminum, Steel
COOLING - Fanless
MOUNTING - 2-Gang box (vertical), Screwless faceplate
OPERATING TEMPERATURES - 0 - 50°C
DIMENSIONS - 164 x 114 x 40 mm
September 2013 - Project concept definition, system mechanical definition.
October to November 2013 - Board specification and design.
December 2013 - First version board engineering samples, board debug and preliminary testing.
January 2014 - Initial system prototype production, hardware and software testing and evaluation.
February 2014 - Second version board design and system enclosure modification.
March 2014 - Second version board sample production and testing.
April 2014 - Pre-release system prototype production, hardware and software testing.
May to June 2014 - Board component and PCB acquisition, building enclosure tooling.
June 2014 - Pilot batch production Pre-Release Testing, OS Release.
July 2014 - Commercial production and early adopter product fulfillment.
August 2014 - Customer fulfillment.
When you become a backer, you have a choice of:
HIO Wallpad PoE - Complete system which includes the PoE module. 3.5" Touch Screen, Standard white faceplate, metal mounting bracket & enclosure, pre-loaded with Android 4.2.2. Does not include standard 2-Gang box, PoE injector/switch or network cables.
HIO Wallpad WiFi - includes Option 1 and on-board WiFi module.
With the development kit, we will provide you with (1) HIO Wallpad WiFi (Option 2). Additionally, we will include a 7-inch touchscreen and compatible Display Board sample.
We will work with you to develop your Z-Wave enabled Wallpad controller. We need someone who is familiar with Z-Wave technology and software stack to help develop a Z-Wave enabled module to be used with the HIO Wallpad for your own in-wall controller.
Having extensive experience in the embedded computer industry, we at The HIO Project will be able to get the HIO Wallpad to you no matter where you are in the world! As long as we can get your support and successfully fund this Kickstarter campaign, you will get your HIO Wallpad once they are in production. Back us and get your HIO Wallpad pre-ordered today!
The HIO Project (www.hioproject.org) is a team of out-of-the-box thinkers, who operate on the open source and open architecture model, from HABEY USA (www.habeyusa.com). During the past couple of decades, we have designed hundreds of unique embedded boards and systems and produced tens of thousands used in embedded computers around the world.
Bin Lin - Chief Architect
Bin is the CEO of Habey USA and holds a Master's in Electrical Engineering. His vision was what sparked the HIO project and subsequent products like the HIO Wallpad. In his 30 years of experience in the embedded computer industry, he's created a number of innovative designs. With his ideas and designs, the HIO Project came to life, and with your help, so can the HIO Wallpad.
Zack Hu - Project Engineer
Zack has many years of experience with computer hardware engineering and holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering. He serves as the lead engineer for the HIO project and also serves as a sales engineer at Habey USA.
Richard Fabiero - Product Manager
Richard also comes from an embedded systems background. He has years of experience in dealing with embedded hardware and helps us collaborate with the manufacturers.
Caleb Wu - Product Marketing Manager
Caleb in charge of marketing operations at Habey USA. With his years of marketing experience, he is also tasked with all marketing related tasks for the HIO Project and HIO Wallpad
Kyle Yadao - Marketing Associate
Kyle is the man in charge of artwork and marketing content. He brings his creativity to illustrate the message of the HIO Project and Wallpad in a way we can all understand.
Though some HIO Project boards are up and running in multiple OEM projects, we need your help with tooling and production materials for the HIO Wallpad. With the funds generated from this Kickstarter campaign, we will have the resources to fully complete the HIO Wallpad and offer it to the community.
Risks and challenges
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
This is by far the biggest question we see about this project. What does the Wallpad do differently? Let's break it down to the biggest benefits of the Wallpad versus a handheld device. 1. Power 2. Physical Connectivity 3. Long life cycle hardware and support.
1. Power - The PoE option is a huge benefit over a phone cradled in a dock. Docks and other types of mounts used for handheld devices still need to have a power cable routed to it. If it's an in-wall solution you want or need, this can become a giant headache. First you'll need to devise a way to get a power solution inside your walls to your device. There are no power outlets inside the wall, so it gets a bit tricky. If you plan on connecting it to existing power outlets from the inside, you may want to consult an electrician which adds more cost to your project.
2. Physical connectivity - This is a huge factor for people who want a dedicated in-wall control solution. Many people who have used handheld devices in lieu of a dedicated device have reported wireless connectivity issues, be it bluetooth or Wifi. Any wireless signal can be attenuated over distance, physical and electronic interference. For a device like this, it needs to be free from these types of failures.
1 & 2 - The best part is you can run power and connectivity all with one cable. Ethernet cables are easy to make or acquire in a number of lengths. They're also pretty easy to run through walls and ceilings and don't require any special hardware or connectors to install.
3. Long Lifecycle hardware and support - What does this mean? We come from an embedded systems manufacturing background. An embedded system is any device that is not a laptop or a PC. They are often used for a number of industrial and infrastructure computers. This means they must be built to last. Our boards are all "industrial" grade to put it in layman's terms. Additionally, the SKUs of the hardware we use are not your typical consumer level SKUs. This means that they will continue to receive updates and support over the course of 7-10 years instead of the 2-4 years for most consumer SKUs. For something dedicated like this, you don't want to have to upgrade every 2 years like you do with a tablet or smart phone.
No, this current run of Wallpads does not come with Bluetooth connectivity. The board itself is capable of having Bluetooth capability, but a module will need to be developed by the community or the HIO Project.
No, this current run of Wallpads does not come with any speakers or microphones. There are cutouts for implementing audio hardware, but that is for the benefit of DIY'ers to be able to custom fit an audio solution for their own needs.
Most Definitely! If it will run on an Android Phone, it will run on the Wallpad. The difference is of course, no finicky WiFi connection problems and you have a power solution for your dedicated in-wall device!
When you back us at the $499 level, you get the development kit. The kit includes a complete Wallpad along with an additional 7" Display and corresponding display daughter board. This will allow you to build your own larger display based off of your designs.
We do have a 7-inch option in the works, but that is reserved for some OEM customers. However, at this time, we have not released a complete solution for a larger screen option for this Kickstarter campaign. We may release one through a stretch goal, second Kickstarter campaign, or as a standalone product on our website in the future.
- (30 days)