Control almost anything from your smartphone with Switcheroo!
Have you ever thought it would be cool to control things around you with your smartphone? Switcheroo is a tiny Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy platform you can use to upgrade existing products to enable direct smartphone control, or use it to develop your own smartphone control projects. The Switcheroo can do things like control toys, unlock doors, start your car, turn on your lights, control your heat, and much more!
How easy is it to upgrade my stuff with a Switcheroo?
We have some simple projects posted to Instructables that walk you through just how easy it can be to upgrade various devices with the Switcheroo, and there’s more to come! Visit http://www.instructables.com/id/Switcheroo to check out those projects.
Ok, can you show me some working examples?
Sure, here’s me controlling the human door to my garag
Now here I am controlling the car door to my garage!
What about the mobile app?
We are working on open source Android and iOS apps that will be published to Google Play and Apple App Store around our ship date for Switcheroo. Here are some screen shots of what we’re working on…
How does it work?
Vehicle keyfobs, toys, garage door openers, TV remotes, and certain home appliances all have push buttons people press to control the device. These buttons typically actuate small internal switches which pass low voltage DC current to a microprocessor when the button is pressed. The Switcheroo can be easily wired into this simple switch circuit to take the place of that switch or act in concert with it, upgrading these devices to allow direct smartphone control. Of course that’s not the only thing Switcheroo can do. It can be used to create custom control solutions for things like access and locking systems, robot and toy control, vehicle ignition systems, etc.
The Switcheroo has 4 opto-isolated outputs that can switch DC voltages from 2 to 24 volts, up to 150mA of current per output. For AC voltages or higher current applications you can connect relays or solid state switching ICs to Switcheroo and do even more!
Can you explain direct control?
Your phone communicates directly with the Switcheroo. There is no 3rd party server involved, no monthly fees, and no internet access is required for your phone or the Switcheroo.
How is it powered?
Switcheroo can operate on a single CR2032 coin cell battery for up to a year (depending on usage), or an optional 3.3v regulator can be soldered in place of the battery clip. With the regulator installed, unregulated DC power between 4v and 20v can be used, which makes upgrading existing devices and products easy – Switcheroo can just sip a tiny bit of power from that device’s existing battery pack or power source.
What about security?
Bluetooth Low Energy itself offers AES-CCM encryption to secure the low energy link between Switcheroo and your smartphone. Switcheroo itself can operate in two distinct security modes: open and secure.
In open mode, anyone can connect to the Switcheroo and control any of the outputs. In secure mode, outputs can only be controlled after sending an authorized access code.
What if someone steals my phone?
Keep your access code safe, and even if someone steals your phone, they won’t be able to start your car.
What if I lose my phone or the battery dies?
If you lose your phone then just borrow one, install the app, and use your access code!
Is there an open API?
The Switcheroo was made for you – the tinkerers, developers, and makers of the world. Your creativity and ingenuity are what has been making life wonderful for everyone since the beginning of time. I humbly submit the Switcheroo to this vibrant community and can’t wait to see what you do with it.
You mentioned the apps were open source?
All Switcheroo app code is available now and will be maintained at http://github.com/switcheroo
So who else is talking about Switcheroo?
The guys over at XDA Developers sure like the Switcheroo. Turns out Android developers like playing with hardware too!
What about remotely controlling my Switcheroo enabled devices over the internet?
Droplit is a home automation hub that focuses on connecting your life, not just the products in it. They are currently running an interesting beta where you use their software stack with a Raspberry Pi. Support for the Switcheroo will drop soon
At this point we feel the risks are minimal. We’ve got working prototypes, an established relationship with our contract manufacturer, and we’ve got previous successful crowdfunding campaigns under our belts: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-xnt-implantable-nfc-chip
We think the biggest risk will be in shipping and fulfillment – getting things to you backers on time. Supply chain management can be difficult, and relies on several other companies to all work together to manage lead times on parts and delivery of those parts on time. Of course we’re making every effort to ensure a smooth supply chain and that everyone involves delivers on time, but some things are simply out of our control. So far, things look good and we’re confident in our shipping dates.