July 13, 2009
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
Bharath B Atreya, Bharat Sridhar, Pratheek Unnikrishnan, students of final year ECE at Coimbatore, were honored recently when their paper titled Design and Implementation of a Whole-House Audio Control System using a Windows-based PDA (see abstract) won a best-paper prize in a tech fest organized by the MindTree Ltd. This Osmosis student paper contest saw participation from nearly sixty colleges across the nation.
The paper described a novel implementation of a client-server system for audio control in a home. A general-purpose PC was made the server, which provided music library information (ID3 tags) to a PDA using an existing WiFi router. The PDA, powered by Windows Mobile 6 platform acted as the client that allowed the user to communicate with the server-computer, create and modify playlists, enabling content selection and control of speakers with ease from any point in the network.
The unique thing about the project was that the proposed system was actually implemented in a real-time digital home installation. A HAI OMNI PRO II home automation controller with a HAI HiFi music distribution system was used to test operability and functionality. Windows Mobile 6 SDK was used to create applications to enable the user to request for library content, create and modify playlists and play the chosen files.
Dr. K. A. Narayanankutty guided these students. He reviewed the conceptual design and clarified queries that the students had. We congratulate the students and their faculty advisor for this honor.
A Digital Home is a contemporary residence which uses the latest technology to network all electronic ware in order to enhance the quality of living. Distributed music (covering multiple locations simultaneously) has become the order of the day with consumers demanding extended control of their music systems regardless of the location.
Technologies like Silent Computing are slowly making their way into homes, even allowing independent control of multiple speakers connected to existing music / Hi-Fi / home theatre systems. Aided by powerful wireless protocols like WiFi, which have become a mundane part of every digital home, streaming of audio into these systems has become a reality. But installing such systems generally requires the purchase of additional hardware (usually expensive) such as media servers and other interfaces for coupling an existing media centre (such as a PC) with a distributed music system.
This paper used the client-server architecture; a general-purpose PC was the server, which provided music library information to a PDA client using an existing WiFi router.