Vera + Android tablet + Tasker Home Control Example

I’m not sure where this should go since it spans several topics, but I thought I’d share something I put together the other day. I have’t seen a lot of tablet-based control panel info here, so I thought I’d share mine. I’m always open to comments/critique/questions.

I’ve been in and out of the home automation game for decades and for me, things like irrigation, exterior lighting, and hvac work well when they are automated, but in our home everything else is way too random to be automated. Even a Nest can’t figure out our family’s schedule. So it’s nice to have panels that let us control everything quickly and conveniently, but also give us the option of running scenes.

So I’ve attached a screenshot. It’s basically a repurposed Nexus 10 running Tasker/AutoVera and some other android widgets. The main concept is to have control panels with a mix of information (calendar/weather/media, etc…) along with easy control and status of our devices. It’s a work in progress, but it has near perfect WAF in our house.

Everything in the screenshot is updated in real-time and is also interactive (click on a light bulb to turn it on/off, click on the garge doors to open/close them, etc…). Since it’s android based it’s very quick and easy to clone it to other tablets around the house.

This looks great. I am struggling at achieving something similar. Could you share some insight on how you went about setting this up. Thanks

I have done something similar on my phone (using a somewhat smaller screen). I like that idea of using a larger screen, and adding additinal information like the weather forecast. Good stuff.

One advantage to using Takser and AutoVera is that it is then quite easy to extend the home control to an Android Wear Watch. It great to just be able to tap on the watch to function my lights and other devices.

I use two programs on the watch (LG Urbane): AutoWear is written by the same guy as AutoVera. There is a little bit of a learning curve on AutoWear, but once past that it is very flexible.

And the other program is Watchmaker. Watchmaker is used to make custom watch faces, or you can download 10000s of watch faces made by others (and are often free). Watchmaker has the capability of receiving data from Tasker, and invoking Tasker tasks. The other fun thing with Watchmaker is that it has a scripting language that you can use to extend the watch face’s capabilities. And Watchmaker uses the same scripting language that Vera uses (yes, our beloved LUA).

I waste spend way too much time programming Tasker and Watchmaker. But I really enjoy the results!

[quote=“jmarty32, post:2, topic:189433”]This looks great. I am struggling at achieving something similar. Could you share some insight on how you went about setting this up. Thanks[/quote]You bet. You can use any android device but I chose a large screen nexus 10. Here are the basic steps to recreate it:

[ul][li]Change the launcher to Nova Launcher (free or paid): This lets you have finer control over where the icons and widgets are placed. It also lets you change your icons, labels, and fonts.[/li]
[li]Add your widgets. I used IPCam Viewer for the two cameras (zmodo cameras), the built in date/time widget, the built-in google music widget, Eye In The Sky for the weather, and a Simple Calendar widget for the calendar.[/li]
[li]After placing them where I want them, I saved a screen shot and copied it to my laptop[/li]
[li]I opened the screen shot in Inkscape (a free vector program) and drew the rough floor plan. Since it’s a vector it’s easy to re-size and move if needed. Then I erased everything else, leaving a black background and the floor plan. I saved this as a PNG image (jpg would work too), copied it to the tablet, and set it as the home screen’s background image[/li]
[li]Finally, I added tasker widgets for each light, garage door, and the freezer and positioned them in the correct spots[/li][/ul]

The tasker stuff is more complicated, but still very easy once you get the hang of it. You need three things:

[ul][li]A task for each homescreen widget - These are simple single-action tasks. For example the porch task just toggles the light on or off.[/li]
[li]A single task (mine’s called “update icons”) that updates all your icons - This task just queries each device and changes the home screen icon. For example, If the porch light status = 1, change the icon to the “on” bulb. Else, change it to the “off” bulb.
[/li][li]A single profile that fires the “update icons” task whenever the vera sends a status update. The vera sends status updates whenever a device changes, whether you hit the light switch physically or it changes via software. I also created an second profile that fires that task every two minutes just in case the tablet misses a status update. [/li][/ul]

With all that said, I can provide details on how to set up tasker later or you can check out the autovera site.


Thanks virtus…you have a nice set up. I will try to recreate what you have done on a much smaller tablet but i think it will work out fine. Might look to you again for help if i get stuck. Thanks again for the tutorial

So I’ve been playing with the design a little bit. The floorplan graphic was cool, but not really practical. So now I’ve created some Zooper widgets. I’ve also added a whole-house wattage meter and a thermostat display.It still needs some work but it’s getting closer.

Virtus, your setup is great! That’s what I am looking for. I will try to do something similiar. Thanks for sharing this one. :wink:

The guy that introduced me to tasker gave me this to use. So I thought I’d share.
(?turn on the|change to|light up the|illuminate|activate)(?.+)
I honestly could not have come up with it myself but I’ve had a lot of fun changing it around to make it do different stuff like push to talk intercoms and home ai. You can add this as a tasker_ profile_ state_ plugin_ autovoice_ recognized_ command filter_ with the regex box selected. I’ll add some screenshots as well. I use this mainly as a way to give Google now access to my vera. with it set up on the mounted tablet you can voice control the house from almost anywhere on the first floor. With the Google integration you can let it search and use Google’s responses or make your own. Homer Simpson greats us with one of 11 randomized quotes when we walk into the kitchen, it makes you smile almost every time. Especially when the quote lines up with the weather forecast or news feed " its currently 62? outside" then Mr Burns says “excellent”

Just curious why you didn’t try Imperihome? Seems like what you want to do is mostly there.

Just got my Vera Edge, and this is a preview of mine overview, it is still in “Work in progress” (WIP)… Working with tasker and AutoVera… (see screenshot)

I like and use imperihome as well. I really like the multi platform intergration. My cameras seem to make it want to lock up though

[quote=“tomgru, post:10, topic:189433”]Just curious why you didn’t try Imperihome? Seems like what you want to do is mostly there.[/quote]I had imperihome on my phone for a while, but it wasn’t quite as customizable as I prefer. We use homescreen/widgets config because we wanted more of a family control and information center. I haven’t checked lately, but can imperihome display the weekly forcast, calendars, playlists, and google keep lists?

I just noticed that the Amazon fire 7" tablet is on sale for $35 today, so I ordered a couple for some of the rooms that need touch screens. You can side load a different launcher onto it and install Google Play, giving you access to all the android apps. So for $35 these will make fantastic little displays for our major rooms. Now I just neet to find a good case to turn into a wall mount…

Lots of cool ideas in the forum on how to do this. I pulled romex into a recessed outlet box in stalled, with a USB receptacle. Then mounted the tablet directly to the box with 3M command strips. Covered the tablet with a routered picture frame I bought… looks totally professional… easy to get into and work on.

How hard is it to side load these amazon fires? I may pick up a few as backups.

Send us a picture and if possible, the links of the items you used… :wink:

virtus - Nice set up. Have you integrated any motion detection to turn the tablet display on and off when no one is around? I’ve been using the “Motion Detector” which integrates well with Imperihome, but does not seem to send a wake command to the launcher or any other open app. I’ve tried “Turn Screen”, which is suppose to work, but not on my Galaxy Tab 10.