We’ve all used our touch screens and remotes to control volume or light brightness. What they all have in common is that they aren’t very user friendly to our clumsy fingers. Remember the old potentiometers we had on our car stereos or receivers/amplifiers, you could feel your way to it, without looking, you turn a little and get instant feedback. Compare that with your touch screen’s volume control, you need to be on the right screen and then do click, click to change the volume. In some systems a single click is not enough change to be heard, in other systems you would like to have finer control. What we need is a nice round interface for volume/brightness! And that’s what my idea is about…
Remote Volume Control
I would like to build a small WiFi volume/brightness remote control with a turn-knob that I can hook up into my home automation system. It would be nice if it could be charged or last very long on batteries. Of course it could be used in a car-puter as well! The remote control would just blast out (UDP?) packets with its Id and delta (up/down) and my home automation system (Raspberry Pi, Windows 10 IoT) would pick it up and make the necessary change. And extension would be to create a light dimmer with the same knob so that my home automation system could send commands to it (go to brightness 25%), but at the same time a quick twist of the knob would increase/decrease the light brightness. I know there are light dimmers with knobs, but they are absolute and can’t be remote controlled.
My thinking is to use a WiFi package like Atmel’s WINC1500 or maybe an Electric Imp. It should be low-power, quick connection to WiFi, and be able to interpret the “gray code” from a digital potentiometer (the kind that doesn’t have any stops at the end and may have notches for each click).