Project Overview


We are currently setting up a lecture room equipped with several gadgets like beamer, cameras, video conference system etc. The operation of those devices during lectures using IR remote controls is not feasible due to the number of devices and the distance between lecturer and equipment. So we made investigations about solutions for device control integrated in an easy to use graphical user interface. We found a commercial product that fulfils our requirements but exceeds our budget :-( The only open software project we found (Java Home Automation) was not suitable for our purpose since our focus lies on an easy to use GUI and the control of devices typical for a lecture room.

Figure 1: Overview of the J/Comm scenario.

Now we are developing a device control that complies with the following requirements:

  • flexible and easy adjustable user interface
  • devices are controlled via RS232
  • local control and remote control via internet possible
  • OS independent (client and server)

Software Architecture

The system has a client/server architecture and is written in Java. The server is a Java program that runs on the computer where the devices are connected to via RS232. The client can be any computer having a web browser, JRE and access to the device control web site on the server. The web page communicates with the server through an embedded Java applet (RMI).

Server requirements:

  • as many serial ports as devices to control
  • JRE 1.3 or better
  • Java(TM) Communications API 2.0 or better

Client requirements:

  • Web browser (IE5 or Netscape6)
  • JRE 1.3 or better

Device requirements:

  • remote control facility via RS232
  • availability of communication protocol and control codes


The software is in early development stage.

Supported Hardware
- EPSON EMP-81x0/9100
- EPSON EMP-7x00/5600
Conference Systems
- Tandberg 500-7000
- KHi RGBHV 20xxx
- KHi RGBHV 50xxx
Click for larger image GUI Example:
Sony EVI-D31 Cameras (generated HTML page in browser).
Click for larger image GUI Example:
Click for larger image J/Comm Server.