Home automation assistant devices, like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, have become very popular over the last few years, but they don’t always offer enough flexibility for every situation. Maybe you don’t want to be stuck in one ecosystem or you have a unique setup that requires a more customizable solution. Whatever the case, there are a number of tools, hardware options, and software packages that can help you create the IoT system that is best for you. Redditor Tyler Danielson has a great example of that which combines a bunch of different software in a single device.
The centerpiece of Danielson's setup is the control panel, which resembles an Amazon Echo Show or a Google Nest Hub. In reality, it isn’t based on any proprietary hardware like those. Instead, it’s a Raspberry Pi SBC paired with a 7” touchscreen LCD display. It looks just as good as any of those Big Tech devices, but contains significantly less hardware that is designed to spy on you and log data about everything you do. That’s true of the software too, which, while it isn’t all open source, is at least completely under your control.
The primary underlying software is the fantastic Home Assistant IoT control software, which is open-source. That’s running the Tileboard user interface theme, which has support for custom iframes. Danielson is using an iframe to display a Dakboard window that contains a synced calendar and other organization tools designed to keep the whole family’s day running smoothly. This control panel displays photos and that calendar, and also provides home automation lighting control, personal scheduling, and even Spotify music control. Danielson has a blog post explaining how he accomplished a lot of that, so be sure to give it a read if you want to build your own Home Assistant device that you can tailor to your needs.