Unique remote control method for smart homes

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Dr. Zainkó Csaba
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

Home automation solutions are gradually arriving to our everyday lives. The provided luxuries, due to the technology’s wide gains in consumer affordability, will be such basic requirements as the Internet or television. However current commercially available products operate in many different ways depending mostly on their manufacturers. There is no unified, comfortable way to control such devices. To access the available functions of the living environment, one has to navigate multi-level menus of touchscreens, remote controllers or even smartphones. To enthusiasts these might seem fascinating and exciting at first but after a short while even they will find it cumbersome. Not to mention those users who cannot or simply refuse to learn how to operate these devices.

My aim was to design and create an innovative control system that can provide fast, comfortable and easy-to-learn access to the simple, but most commonly used functions of an intelligent home, such as lamp switching, door opening, channel changing. The basic idea is a simplified remote controller that can be used to complete all tasks by pointing it at the desired device and pressing a single button. Thus tasks can be completed by a natural and intuitive way based on a pont’n’click priciple in the whole accommodation.

The project has started in the autumn semester of 2011 within my Bsc thesis, wherein a fully functional, but strongly restricted one-button system has been realized. This thesis summarizes the research and development carried out in the next four semesters. During this time I reconsidered and redesigned the whole system from the basics, then implemented a part of it: I designed and built the test versions of the components of the system and I programmed, calibrated and tested them.

I created a test environment where the single-button control mechanism can be used as it would be in a real intelligent home. Our fuction of choice can be activated by simply pointing the remote at it and pressing the button. I documented the results and experiences of the research within this thesis.


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