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Home automation

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I quite recently procured myself an HTC Desire Z phone and I was amazed by the sheer amount of awesome applications found in the market place. After messing about for a bit, I obtained iRemote for iTunes and VLC remote, which nicely lets me control iTunes and VLC through my phone. Which is awesome, since most of the time, my laptop is set up to play music while I am running through the house doing things.

But, this got me thinking, this can be so much more fun. I have most of the things in my house hooked up to a remote controlled switch box, so I can turn my lights off/on with a remote. I technically could mold all these into 1 single machine and control it all through my phone. Pop a laptop in my TV stand, hook up TV and audio to it, install iTunes and hook up my lights remote to it as well. That way, I can just open an application and change lights, start a movie, etc.

Who here uses one of these systems, and what do you use / what did it cost? I could technically roll my own, which I *might* do because there are plenty of open-source products to control VLC, iTunes, etc and I could merge them into a single application.

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