Home Automation Demo Tips & Tricks

Demo revision

Make sure that you have the latest demo revision: be sure to run Demo version 4.2 onwards.

Compared to demo shipped with the first batch of Atmel Evaluation Kits, an improved demo is available from this very website: Home Automation Demo: latest revision

Touchscreen feeling

For Demo running on a resistive touchscreen, make sure that you use a sharp object such as a pen or stylus. In fact, it is the pressure on the touchscreen film that gives the location information to the SoC ADC controller.

So, remember, a resistive touchscreen is manipulated differently than a capacitive one.

Screen transition & temperature sensitivity values

Home automation screen transitions

When switching between screens (climate to lighting for instance), transitions might seem a little bit slow. This is actually an effect, a transition animation that is controlled by a timing (new screen is sliding from right to left).
The default setting is 300ms for the transitions, done twice.

If you have the feeling that screen transitions and widgets within the home automation demo are too long, you can modify these timings.

Home Automation      Home Automation security screen

Temperature widget sensitivity

Temperature widget also comes with user configurable sensitivity. Default setting for this sensitivity is 2.

Home Automation climate screen

Changing configurable values

  • Screen transition & temperature sensitivity are command line arguments of HomeAutomation application
  • Screen transition & temperature sensitivity can be changed when you launch the application

You can launch the HomeAutomation application from the command line:

  • connect the USB-CDC (J14) serial console to your computer
  • open a terminal with the usual configuration: 115200, 8bit, no parity, 1 stop bit, no hw flow control
  • login as root without password

The HomeAutomation command line syntax is:

# /opt/HomeAutomation -transitions=<value> -sensitivity=<value>

To get an instantaneous screen transition you have just to set transition to zero:

# /opt/HomeAutomation -transitions=0 -sensitivity=2

Modify Application Launcher

You can also modify the Application Launcher to start HomeAutomation with your preferred values:
HomeAutomation is run by shell script /opt/HomeAutomation/resources/HomeAutomation.sh

To modify default values you have just to edit this file with the vi editor that is available in the embedded Linux environment:

# vi /opt/HomeAutomation/resources/HomeAutomation.sh
Modify it to add the command line parameters according to your needs:
cd "$(dirname "$0")/.."
./HomeAutomation -transitions=0 -sensitivity=2

How to Customize the Application Launcher

The Home Automation main menu is managed by the Application Launcher. You can easily customize this graphical menu by simply editing XML files. Background, number of applications presented, application icons and applications started can be modified using a text editor without re-compiling anything.

The Application Launcher is located under the /opt/ApplicationLauncher/ folder:


The bin directory contains the main QT application which is called ApplicationLauncher. This application is launched by its associated script ApplicationLauncher.sh.
When starting the board, This shell script is automatically launched at the system startup by the dedicated init script named /etc/init.d/qtdemo that follows the classical SystemV init procedure.

Here are some entry points to customize some aspects of the Application Launcher:

  • demo background image update
    The background image is managed by the Page.qml file located under /opt/ApplicationLauncher/qml/ApplicationLauncher folder.
            Image {
            anchors.fill: parent
            smooth: false
            source: "../../resources/background.jpg"
            clip: true
  • demo main menu update
    You can add another application to the screen by editing the applications_list.xml file located under /opt/ApplicationLauncher/resources folder.
    Adding another <entry> in the .xml file adds a new application button.
  • link an application to a graphical button
    The applications_list.xml file located under /opt/ApplicationLauncher/resources folder can be modified to change <title>, <link> and <path> properties. These modifications allow you to run the desired application, by clicking a different button image.

Pointing hand Do not forget to restart the ApplicationLauncher after any change:

# /etc/init.d/qtdemo stop
# /etc/init.d/qtdemo start

Here is an <entry> of the applications_list.xml file:

    <title>Home Automation</title>
    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="../../resources/applications/resources/home-automation.png"/>
    <path exec="/opt/HomeAutomation/resources/HomeAutomation.sh" />
    <description>Test Description</description>
    <link rel="enclosure" type="image/png" href="../../resources/applications/resources/home-automation.png" />
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r3 - 21 May 2015 - 13:44:11 - NicolasFerre
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