a Stylish Open Hardware Thermostat – Hackaday

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A common complaint about open hardware and software is that the aesthetic aspects of the projects often leave something to be desired. This isn’t wholly surprising, as the type of hackers who are building these things tend to be more concerned with how well they work than what they look like. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with putting a little polish on a well designed system, especially if you want “normal” people to get excited about it.

For a perfect example, look no further than the HestiaPi Touch. This entry into the 2019 Hackaday Prize promises to deliver all the home automation advantages of something like Google’s Nest “smart” thermostat without running the risk of your data being sold to the highest bidder. But even if we take our tinfoil hat out of the equation, it’s a very slick piece of hardware from a functional and visual standpoint.

As you probably guessed from the name, the thermostat is powered by the Raspberry Pi Zero, which is connected to a custom PCB that includes a couple of relays and a connector for a BME280 environmental sensor. The clever design of the 3D printed case means that the 3.5 inch touch screen LCD on the front can connect directly to the Pi’s GPIO header when everything is buttoned up.

Of course, the hardware is only half the equation. To get the HestiaPi Touch talking to all the other smart gadgets in your life, it leverages the wildly popular OpenHAB platform. As demonstrated in the video after the break, this allows you to use the HestiaPi and its mobile companion application to not only control your home’s heating and air conditioning systems, but pretty much anything else you can think of.

The HestiaPi Touch has already blown past its funding goal on Crowd Supply, and the team is hard at work refining the hardware and software elements of the product; including looking at ways to utilize the unique honeycomb shape of the 3D printed enclosure to link it to other add-on modules.

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Published by Tom Nardi

Tom was weaned on the flickering light of the MS-DOS prompt, but didn’t see the true path until somebody handed him a Slackware install disc in high school. Since then, Tom has been a passionate supporter of open source hardware and software, and believes the free exchange of information is the cornerstone to any successful endeavour. While Tom has contributed to and developed a number of open source projects, a desire for getting his hand’s dirty kept him away from a career in software development. At the crossroads of open source and hardware tinkering Tom found a new obsession in 3D printing, and most of his recent exploits have involved finding ways to capitalize on this exciting new era of home manufacturing.

When he isn’t printing, Tom is usually tinkering with embedded Linux, wireless technology, quadcopters, and anything else sufficiently indistinguishable from magic.



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