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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    SF Bay Area, CA
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    10

    iPad instead of HMI?

    Has anyone tried using an iPad as an HMI? We normally use Loytec or EZ Automation, but with these iPads getting so cheap they surpass in processing power, memory and hdd space for the price point. However there is some R&D involved to get the to work I'm guessing. My other question would be has anyone made a panel mountable kit for them?

    We would probably use this either on a Metasys system or a Tridium AX system. Any info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    San Diego, CA
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    1,327
    Ipad can't run the JRE, so if you go with a Tridium front-end you have to design your UI around Hx, not Px.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Pacific Time Zone
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    From what I've been reading/hearing a jailbroke ipad will do it. I am looking at breaking mine, but I haven't yet...

    The motorola zoom might be a better option?
    "How it can be considered "Open" is beyond me. Calling it "voyeur-ed" would be more accurate." pka LeroyMac, SkyIsBlue, fka Freddy-B, Mongo, IndyBlue
    BIG Government = More Dependents
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    2,459
    I'm a bit concerned about the mounting as well. If you mount an ipad on the wall, eventually someone is going to walk off with it.

    If you use an application specific device, very few people would have a legitimate use for it and the chances of it being ripped off the wall shrinks significantly. Since you already use Loytec, I'd stick with the L-Vis over an iPad.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    SF Bay Area, CA
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    I didn't know that it couldn't run JRE.. thanks for the info. I've been talking to some friends about this specific iPad/iPhone applications and problems like this they've ran into trying to make them work. I know it's not easy. I think in reality it's going to end up being much more expensive to program these but I still think it would give the end user/customer more options and might even be able to be used as a panel mount computer.

    I have a wide variety of customers, some in basic office space applications but others in clean room/fabs/manufacturing. I know someone is eventually going to do it... it's only a matter of time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    San Diego, CA
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    1,327
    Quote Originally Posted by crab master View Post
    From what I've been reading/hearing a jailbroke ipad will do it. I am looking at breaking mine, but I haven't yet...

    The motorola zoom might be a better option?
    While Android is written in Java, it doesn't implement or use the JRE, which means many of the APIs that are used by java web applets don't exist on the Android platform.

    Now If you're the kind of guy who's willing to chroot install an ARM version of Ubuntu onto the Xoom and access it via VNC...
    http://trsohmers.com/2011/03/06/how-...motorola-xoom/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    At The Office
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    97
    If your going to mount an iPad or XOOM to the wall anyways why wouldn't you just buy an HP Touchsmart. Much bigger screen and you know it will work with any front end because it runs Windows 7. So whether your using supervisor or the webUI its going to work. You wouldn't have to worry about people stealing it and if a problem occurs you won't have to take it into see a "genius." You have the "touch screen" functionality that you would get from an iPad or XOOM with the power of a Windows PC. Seems like a much better deal in the long run. Mounting brackets are available.

    Just a thought.
    -TheCiscoKid

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,459
    The touchsmart looks like a powerful computer.

    That said, I still think that an off the shelf computer/tablet has a higher chance of being stolen than a dedicated interface.

    Let's be realistic- not everyone in this world is honest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Edmonton, AB Canada
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    599
    Quote Originally Posted by psycheus View Post
    Has anyone tried using an iPad as an HMI? We normally use Loytec or EZ Automation, but with these iPads getting so cheap they surpass in processing power, memory and hdd space for the price point. However there is some R&D involved to get the to work I'm guessing. My other question would be has anyone made a panel mountable kit for them?

    We would probably use this either on a Metasys system or a Tridium AX system. Any info would be appreciated.
    Good day Psycheus,

    We looked at doing this (using an iPad) for a medium sized commercial building Lighting Interface project, but decided against it for several reasons:

    1. If you decide to use the Apple's software tools then you must do your development on a MAC. This is somewhat of a pain for us, as all of our other development tools are on a PC and so supporting another computer and O/S is an issue.
    2. If you are planning on using third-party dev tools so that you can work on a PC, then there are issues here too... i.e. how well does the dev tool work with newer firmware iPad firmware releases, etc. Thus, support and potential difficulties can result.
    3. A few power iPad/iPhone/etc developers I know of had to go through a bunch of hoops to do some things programmically that would normally not be an issue, as Apple abstracts some of this info from the application.
    4. If using a non-hacked iPad, then your App has to be "approved" by Apple and deployed through iTunes.
    5. Physcial mounting was an issue, although we did find a few firm's selling mounting brackets relatively cheap. However, security can be issue as some have stated, although in our case it was not, as the device is used by the Security personnel.
    6. Connectivity is via Wifi and so this can create some issues (more setup efforts, cost, etc) are now your receiving device must be Wifi enabled.
    7. Although Apple's engineering is top notch I would be concerned on using it for Industrial and long-term (i.e. 24/7/365) applications. Remember these products were designed for a consumer market and not industrial which has a much different requirements.

    In the end after balancing the time, effort, cost, and risk we decided to go with an Industrial embedded display with our own custom hardware (which connects to a FX-60). This approach turned out to be slightly less expensive in the end and has the benefit that we can easily support the system for years to come (i.e. we can directly provide migration paths to the customer, it is easier and faster for us to address bug fixes, additional feature requests, long term hardware availability, etc).

    Now I am not saying that the iPad cannot be used or shouldn't, but in our case and a few of our upcoming projects it is somewhat of a tough sell when we consider the other technical and non-technical factors.

    Cheers,

    Sam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    10
    Sam,

    Thanks for the great information I really appreciate it. These are all good factors on why it's probably not great for the application. What screen did you use with the FX-60 Jace and what was your specific application?

    Thanks, Rick

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Enable the VNC server in your LVIS and then you can put a VNC Client on your iPAD and easily run it that way remotely.

    Remember, the iPAD is not a device on the network so it requires another layer.

    It would be nice to use a LINX with LWEB and the iPAD but really you need to run .NET on the iPAD.
    http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page
    This could be a very nice low cost solution if you can get it to run because LWEB supports widget and kiosk mode. Would look really slick on an iPAD.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Near Philly
    Posts
    512
    I have a logitech box connected to my TV, it's an android product. While it cannot run the JRE, It can view and operate any site I have an RDC or LogMeIn account for. Using this type of system with any of the tablets would be great for a walk about tool. Why plaster it to a wall?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Near Philly
    Posts
    512
    Opps, I forgot, I never was really able to overcome the lack of right click function associated with the Android system. It could be just a minor thing, I didn't spend much time on it.

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