This page last changed on Jan 26, 2014 by technoholic.


I'm currently a Demopad user with a custom 1 room, multiple activity controller running on an iPad. I'm considering moving to something more scalable and would like something that I can program myself rather than having it dealer based.

I'm considering OpenRemote but would like to know if it has the potential to do that following things that I cannot easily do right now.

1) Replicate the activity based, per room interface that I currently have, with access to lighting/climate/security panels

2) POssibly install wall panels that can control the lighting etc as well as maybe start an activity for that specific room, and then maybe act as a controller for that activity, e.g. if I start "Music", that the wall panel changes to the music control, and also in relation to that....

3)....if I start an activity on a wall panel, to have the equivalent iPad for that room update and know about whatever I did on the wall panel.

4) I really like the idea of the RTI hard button companion remotes (SurfIR), are there any sort of hard button remotes that can send commands to an OpenRemote controller. In this respect, are there also any wall panels that are hard button based that can send commands to OpenRemote controllers?

I think OpenRemote can do a lot of this but not sure about wall panels and so on.

Any advice appreciated


anyone got any ideas? Keen to move to something sooner than later.


Posted by technoholic at Jan 27, 2014 13:42

Your requirements are rather unspecified. So it is hard to say. In general, if you are ready to do more or less (Java) programming with the Rule Enigine quite a bit can be achieved. For the panels, you may consider cheap slightly outdated Androids, which are avalable at low prices. You'll need a 24/7 central server for the OpenRemote Controller. Small installations can run from a Raspberry Pi, but for your requirements something more powerfull (and secure) seems to be needed.

Posted by pz1 at Jan 27, 2014 14:11

Ok, lets take one room as an example. In that room I want to be able to "Watch TV", "Listen To Music" etc, and I want these as activities, so on my control for that room (which may be an iPad or Android Tab or something else, I currently use an iPad mini), I want to have buttons that correspond to those activites, and when pressed, jump to a new screen to control that activity, as well as performing a list of tasks such as turning the required devices on (but only if they aren't already on), switching inputs etc.

Secondly, in that same room, I may also decide for example to install an in wall tablet/controller. In that case, if I select "Listen to Music" on the main remote, for the wall controller to display the controls for the music as well as the main controller. So in effect, I want to be able to use one controller to send a command to tell another "controller" to switch screen to something else (i dont know what the OpenRemote term for what i call a controller is, basically a touchscreen device thats an interface for the system)

Thirdly, though not a must-have, id like to potentially have the option to use hard button in wall panels that can send commmands to the OpenRemote server, which would in my case be dedicated to lighting. I might not end up needing this if I can use the touch panels that are in the walls to, for example, display the lighting controls permanently unless that panel is otherwise told to display the music controls as in the above example.

Does that make it a little clearer the sort of things i'd like to (potentially) achieve?

Posted by technoholic at Jan 27, 2014 14:20

OpenRemote consists of a controller with one or more consoles (webbrowser, android, iP***'s). Afaik you can not set the screen from a console from another console.

Look at the various OR videos

Posted by pz1 at Jan 27, 2014 14:31

Most of what you're trying to achieve is possible with OR, except for now, as Pieter pointed out, the ability to change the screen displayed on a console based on some external event. You can change e.g. a label to indicate that the media player is currently playing, but you can't automatically switch to the media player control screen.

The OR controller can act as a "protocol translator", which means that you could e.g. have a KNX switch on the wall to control your media player or your Z-wave lights.

Posted by ebariaux at Jan 28, 2014 11:25

Ok that sounds interesting, can you explain more about the last thing you said?

Say that I have a few zwave controlled lights, what you're saying is that I can have a KNX switch on my wall that sends a command to OR, for example, an AWAY command, and then OR can receive that command, and say, select a pre configured scene for some zwave lights, in this case turning all the lights off? Because that would be perfect, I will still have zwave switches for individual light control, but would like a panel that can centrally select scenes etc to control a bulk of the lights. In this case, would I need a KNX gateway or something like that?

Posted by technoholic at Jan 28, 2014 11:31

I was taking KNX as an example, if you don't have any KNX in your installation, I would not put a KNX switch on the wall just for that.

But the underlying idea is that, if OpenRemote knows how to interface with technology X (Z-wave, EnOcean, Lutron, KNX, X10, ...), then you can have a keypad of that technology on the wall, have OR know when a key was pressed and execute some form of command/macro based on that.

So in your case, you could have a Z-wave switch on the wall, where one of the key is not linked to a Z-wave light directly but that instructs OR to trigger a macro that can indeed turn all Z-wave lights off, turn the TV, ...

Posted by ebariaux at Jan 29, 2014 08:30
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