Over a million developers have joined DZone.

Make a Cheap, Generic Smartphone Remote

DZone's Guide to

Make a Cheap, Generic Smartphone Remote

See how you can make a remote out of your smartphone to control all of the IR devices around your home — all for the cost of a decent restaurant meal.

· IoT Zone ·
Free Resource

Digi-Key Electronics’ Internet of Things (IoT) Resource Center Inspires the Future: Read More

Recently, I have created tested an IoT project for  controlling my IR-based appliances. This Centralized Home IR Appliances Control System is extendable, adaptable, and controls different IR appliances at a very low cost. The system has the following features:

  • It is cheap.
  • It is generic and one can add any number of IR devices.
    • All one has to do to add a new IR appliance is add the IR codes in the form of a property file.
  • Works with most of the smartphones (at present only Android phones)

For implementing initial working prototype, I chose:

  • $9 Chip computer as the central control system where the smartphone sends commands. This device is common for all in-home IR appliances (that are on the same Wi-Fi network). Though  I chose the $9 Chip computer, one can use a Raspberry Pior any computer that has Python 2.7.Image title
  • I bought one IR Transmitter for $1.10 (approximate) .
  • For each IR appliance we want to control, I have put one ESP8266 device to send IR commands (which cost me $2.82). We need to this board for each appliance in case if both appliances are not in the same IR visibility. The wiring to link the ESP8266 to the IR Sender looks like below:Image title

At present, the system controls my TV and set-top-box. In the future, I am going add more devices, like my LG air conditioner.

A brief deployment  diagram of the various subsystems (in different devices) looks like this:

Image title

I have put the code of these three subsystems (Android-App, Python-Control-Server, and ESP8266-FW-To-Send-IR-Commands) in GitHub:

Digi-Key’s IoT Component Selector is your one-stop-shop for the IoT

android 4.0 ,embedded development ,ir ,iot application ,iot app development ,python 2.7 ,home automation

Published at DZone with permission of

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}