Hey guys, I had an interesting idea the other day, and I was hoping to get some input on it. I was thinking about creating my own touch screen remote control that connects to my HTPC, and I came up with a few ideas about how I could do it. But first, my intentions for the device...
1) The remote will have a rechargeable battery. This would eliminate the need to have a power cord of any kind coming from it.
2) The remote will connect to the PC through some sort of wireless technology, most likely a wireless USB solution. This may cause a few problems, but more on that later.
3) The remote will feature a touch screen with a high enough resolution to show a text list of songs, videos, etc that is easily readable and would allow one to select the desired track/video directly on the device. Considering resolutions 800x480 and higher, although I'll say the bigger the better.
4) The screen will be somewhere between 7" and 10", as anything smaller will most likely not have a large enough resolution and anything larger would just be plain silly for a remote control.
5) The device will look sharp, hopefully something glossy black if all goes well. Nomatter what solution I used, I'm pretty sure I could make this happen by simply painting the finished product, but would, of course, just prefer for it to be like this without me having to get the paint out.
6) The project will cost something like $300 maximum, or less if possible. This point isn't terribly important, as I would be willing to spend more if I felt the return would be great enough, but it seems like a decent place to draw the line.
WELL! anyway, after all that, I have been thinking of a few solutions that could satisfy most of these points, and some products that might assist me along the way.
- 7 inch secondary monitor, UM-740 model featuring a touch screen. This has been my favorite solution so far. 800x480 resolution is tolerable. It costs $190 for the touch screen model, leaving plenty of headroom on the price, plus, it looks great in red and black. BUT: The unit is powered over USB. This eliminates the possibility of using wireless USB to send info to it, as the monitor would be trying to draw power from it. The monitor also has some sort of connector for power on it, if I understand correctly, although it does not come with any kind of power adapter. putting my own rechargeable battery on it or keeping it plugged in might be viable options, if i could find the correct adapter to power it in this way.
- 10 inch digital photo frame that features a rechargeable battery and connects via USB to act as a secondary monitor. It's got everything, right? Wrong. The unit lacks a touch screen. Having to add touch functionality would make this a hellishly complicated project, unfortunately. At least it looks pretty sharp, and runs about $200. The massive 1024x600 Resolution makes it even harder to say I can't use this, unless someone can figure out a decent solution to the lack of touch interface on this otherwise perfect device.
3) Something a little less elegant... Using a netbook. Was thinking about picking up something like an Aspire One (have seen some for around $250) and using Windows Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the HTPC, then just playing music/video like that. Pretty sure there's a lot of holes in my logic here, like trying to log onto the same windows account both locally and remotely, having to deal with whatever crazy lag I would get from going over my network like that, and not to mention ditching the entire touch interface idea. Obviously, not my favorite solution.
4) Using something like a touchscreen car stereo, I could build an enclosure for it. I already have an unused head unit that has a few video inputs. This would be the least portable of the solutions, as it would require power and a direct connection to the HTPC >_> Whoop de doo.http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...1658&CatId=944
- The wireless USB idea. Come to think of it, if you attached the USB to the remote, would it try to draw power from the wireless USB device, or supply it? For the first solution, the unit usually draws power through usb, so i don't think it's a viable option in that situation.
Well, that't that. Tell me what you guys think, if you have a better solution or an interesting suggestion, I would love to hear it!