From the Desktop to Raspberry Pi

Erik Fohlin is the CEO and co-founder of Moodifier Limited in the United Kingdom. For the last few years he and his team have been developing Moodifier an environmentally friendly IP-connected LED lighting control and home automation/security system. They developed both their own hardware and software products for the system, but they have also integrated support for other products, like Philips hue and IP-cameras.

The Moodifier's control software is developed with Xojo and available for both Mac and Windows. It is a desktop app that runs 24/7 on a Mac or Windows computer/server in the home. They also offer standalone iOS and Android apps, but due to platform regulations, restrictions and for other reasons they have kept these apps pretty limited in functionality compared to the home server app for Mac and Windows.

Over time, they felt a growing need for a more energy and cost-efficient dedicated smart home server that anyone can afford, so they decided to look for different ways to run the software. After looking at units like the Intel compute stick that runs their Moodifier software for Windows just fine, they have found it is limited in ports and stability.

“We have also looked at the Raspberry Pi 2 and found that to be much better suited for our needs, and much better priced as well, pretty much perfect for us,” commented Fohlin. “The problem with the Raspberry Pi 2 has been that to use it we would have had to develop and maintain the software for it separately for that single platform. For a small startup company like ours it could be a financial death sentence to develop and maintain separate applications for too many platforms.”

“Running a company from a business perspective as a developer and CEO, I was very happy to see that Xojo now lets us compile for the Raspberry Pi 2,” continued Fohlin. “This has finally made it financially defendable for us to make the move to the Raspberry Pi platform since we can re-use all our current code and also use the resulting software on all other platforms (OS X, Win, x86 Linux) as well. We are now developing a new Moodifier web app for Raspberry Pi 2, OS X, Windows and x86 Linux with similar features as our current Moodifier desktop app for Mac/Win. The RPi2 GPIO will also let us explore new possibilities when it comes to home automation and security.”

“To keep things super snappy on the Raspberry Pi 2, even with many simultaneous users, we plan to make extensive use of the HandleURL event of the web app (much faster with no sessions, no client code executed on the server, just respond and spit out html),” continued Fohlin.

In short, they are now building the next heart of the Moodifier system and the smart home for the Raspberry Pi 2 (and OS X, Windows, x86 Linux) via a standalone Xojo web app. This will let them continue to offer a competitive and affordable smart LED lighting solution for the residential market.

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