The Texas Instrument Beagle Board appears to me as the perfect base for making some DIY home automation system…

It’s cheap ($150), powerful, it supports a lot of embedded OS, has nearly every interface needed and has a power consumption of less than 2W… Plug in some USB keyboard & mouse, a DVI-enabled LCD and you’re ready to go (with a graphic output up to 720p!). Still being in the world of electronics, the board allows you to use some of its SPI, RS-232, UART, I2C, GPIO pins for you custom needs. The main drawback I can see about the BeagleBoard is that it’s hard to interface it with small touch enabled LCD modules.

Among the few clones of the BeagleBoard, I’ve noticed the Thunder Pack from TechNexion ($250). It comes with a TTL touchscreen interface and a 4.3″ touch enabled display (among other extra features).

With that stuff, you can consider having a home automation system featuring voice recognition, voice synthesis, computer vision, internet/RF connectivity at low cost and with low power consumption.

I should receive my Thunder Pack soon…

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