Nowadays, Linux has been used for so many gadgets and computing appliances – some of those who use them does not even know Linux powers it. While Linux is not the bona-fide desktop OS in term of market share, it is a very powerful operating system that many average Joe still afraid of giving it a try. Control4 is one of the companies that take advantage of Linux for its flexibility and low cost. Recently Control4 introduced a new home automation controller, the Linux based HC-500.
The HC-500 primary function is as a media server, for home theatre setup that requires many I/O connections for device control. Other functions include lightning coordination, temperature, video cameras, and other manual controls such as garage door openers.
HC-500 sports DaVinci processor (manufactured by Texas Instruments), a 160GB hardd rive, two USB ports, one Ethernet port, four serial ports (DB9), analog and digital audio I/O jacks, and optional WiFi module.
If you have a Linux hacker or software developer, Control4 provides SDK to allow you to develop your own serial-based drivers for home automation devices – the SDK costs $2000 ($2900 for professional version). The HC-500 is now shipping and priced at $1500.