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I have a Nexus 7 and I find it really useful for everyday use. I would like to improve it as a remote controller for my apartment, like:

  • play music (the mp3 files are stored on the computer, N7 is only a remote controller that shows the playlist and has the controls)
  • play videos (I have seen that this seems to be possible using vlc),
  • check the door (It would be great to have a webcam pointing out on my front door that I can check with my N7 and push a button on the app to open the door)
  • dim/control lights or other devices like tv, dvd player and so on

Do any knows any projects that covers even one of my wishlist, or has tips to help me build those things by myself? I know that some of those will require the use of a microcontroller, like arduino.

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2 Answers

There are several different VLC remote apps available which will let you control audio/video playback on your PC when you are connected to the same network. It's probably not for the un-technical, but it does feel very cool controlling your "stereo" from the other end of your apartment. You will generally need to:

  1. Install VLC on your PC
  2. turn on the web interface by going to (Tools>Preferences...>Show all (bottom left)>Interface>Main Interfaces>Web)
  3. determine the IP address of your computer (Run command, Run ipconfig)
  4. Install a VLC remote app on your N7 (there are a multitude, try a free one first)
  5. Your VLC app will have somewhere to enter the IP address of the PC to be controlled

Note, if you can configure your router to assign a static IP to your PC you will save much re-entering of settings.

I suspect a camera streaming to a static IP you could browse to from any device on your network should be possible, but I'm afraid I'm even less sure about the other stuff. That said; I suspect you might want to look into Arduino.

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Note that you can use a VPN tunnel to connect to a private network, even when you are connected remotely. That way, you are effectively on the same network even when you aren't directly connected to it. –  Mark Booth Sep 25 '12 at 9:28
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For the lights and the cam, I use an app called NetIO, which can control any kind of hardware (microcontrollers) or pcs.. also ip cameras can be included. And the best part is, you can layout buttons and switches online. http://netio.davideickhoff.de

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