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.
Now we are developing a device control that complies with the following requirements:
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).
The software is in early development stage.