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AlmaDom.us Home Automation System Fits into Your Walls’ Gang Boxes

November 24th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Almaware, an Italian IT company, has recently launched an Indiegogo campagain for AlmaDom.us, an home automation system with a 4.3″ touchscreen screen that replaces your wall switch, and fits in your wall’s gang box.

Almadomus

Almadom.us specifications:

  • SoC – ARM Cortex A8 720Mhz ARM Processor with PowerVR SGX530 GPU (Texas Instruments AM3354)
  • System Memory – 256MB or more (TBD)
  • Storage – 128Mb Flash or more (TBD)
  • Display – 4.3″ resistive touchscreen (5 points). Resolution: 480×272, 256K colors
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, Z-Wave and WiFi 802.11b/g/n with antenna on external cover
  • Relays – 3 relays compatible with 110V and 230V (US and European Standard), with a maximum of 10A for single electrical equipment
  • Misc – Temperature sensor, Infrared proximity sensor (to turn on/off screen), microphone and speaker.
  • Power consumption – Active: 0.2 – 2W, Standby: 20 – 100 mW
  • Operating temperature range – 0° to 70° C
  • Board dimension – About 70×30 mm
  • Gang boxes compatibility – US single gang boxes, Italian 503 boxes

Almadom.us currently runs Debian with Linux 3.2, but Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 is considered too.

Things you can do with the box:

  • Using the touchscreen to turn on/off switches
  • Use the device as a Thermostat and control your heating system, as well as logging temperature data points thanks to the built-in temperature sensor
  • If you use several Almadom.us boxes around the home, you’ll be able to control connected devices from any room via the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity will allow the control of other devices like a Wemo switch (TBC), and using your smartphone (web interface, and later Android/iOS apps) to turn on/off devices, or adjust the thermostat.
  • Microphone and speaker will let you use the device as an intercom, and for voice commands.
  • Measure power consumption per connected devices
  • Schedule on/off times
  • Automatically shutdown devices such as lights during the day, or at night when nobody’s around.
  • Control devices from anywhere and anytime, as long as there’s a 24/7 Internet connection at home.
Almadomus_User_Interface

Almadom.us User Interface Screenshots

The company also plan to release an open API to let developers access Almadom.us from their own applications or/and products. Developers will also be able to create themes and plugins for the device, and if the community becomes large enough, a marketplace will be launched.

Almadom.us is obviously more expensive than headless automation systems, and you’ll have to pledge $299 (early bid) for one unit, plus $20 for shipping, which should include the display and board, and the mounting mechanism, but if you want to control your complete home, $1129 will get you 4 Almadom.us. Delivery is scheduled for June 2014. Bear in mind that if you don’t live in the US or Italy, it may not be possible to fit the device in your wall with some extra work. I’ve also been told that 90% of installation in Italy use 503 gang boxes, so you’d better check if your house is compatible first. The video gives an introduction, shows how to install the box, and demonstrates some use cases.

Beside the Indiegogo page, some information is also available on Almadom.us.

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  1. November 24th, 2013 at 14:02 | #1

    What exactly does this provide over the Almond+ Wi-Fi router / home automation gateway which is $100 cheaper and well on its way to final production? http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2037429657/almond-80211ac-touchscreen-wifi-router-smart-home

  2. November 24th, 2013 at 14:49 | #2

    @Ganesh_AT
    I somehow missed that one. Almond+ price was actually $109 + shipping (when it was in kickstarter), so price difference may even be larger. I can’t find the (estimated) Almond+ retail price.

    Differences: Almadom.us has 3 relays, supports Bluetooth 4.0, and it can act as a thermostat, not only control thermostats. It completely fits in your wall, Almond+ can be wall-mounted but you still get the full height out of the wall. Almadom.us is not a router, and there’s no 802.11ac capabilities, and all the GbE ports. Zigbee is not supported either. Nevertheless, the price difference may not be justified, and you’d have to wait 6 months to get the device.

    With Almond+, you’d have to add relays to get the same functionality. I’ve just tried to look for some wall mounted systems with 3 relays and Wi-Fi, but I haven’t been successful. I could just find some Wi-Fi relay boards with 2 or 4 relays – http://www.controlanything.com/Relay/Relay/Wi-Fi_Relay_Controllers, but they are not cheap either. Not sure why because I can find standard single 220V/10A relay boards online for about $3.

  3. November 24th, 2013 at 15:05 | #3

    @cnxsoft
    I think there is a UK version of this : http://anandtech.com/show/7530/ubiquiti-networks-mfi-mpower-wifi-power-strip-review ; Three relays and Wi-Fi, but has proper electrical outlets. You can always disassemble to the board level , but it might be an overkill for your needs / too much work to get to your intended usage.

  4. November 25th, 2013 at 01:20 | #4

    Hi,
    I’m Alessandro, one of the founder of the project AlmaDom.us.

    Here are some details missing in the article because not well explained in our Indiegogo campaign:

    – “SoC – ARM Cortex A8 720Mhz ARM Processor with PowerVR SGX530 GPU (Probably Texas Instruments AM335x)”. You’re right. We will use a Texas Instruments AM3354 CPU.
    – “Storage – Unknown”. Storage will be at least 128Mb.
    – “which should include the display and board, the mounting mechanism, and maybe a power supply (but it’s not clearly listed)”. Power supply is included inside almadomus and compatible with 220V and 110v standards.

  5. November 26th, 2013 at 12:20 | #5

    Almond+ looks great, too bad its another kickstarter and will _maybe_ ship in 2 years :(

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