PiBox Media Server streams webcam as Flash
So where does the project go from here?
PiBox Media Server 1.0 (beta 0.6.0) is about to be released. I need to do some packaging first, but that release is tested and working. I can stream from the USB webcam using flash to tablets or my desktop. So now I need a plan for where to take this next.
My goal is to create a kickstarter campaign to fund development of the 2.0 product, which I hope will be a financially self sustaining product, using the 1.0 release as the product for the kickstarter campaign. To do this I need a plan for what I'm creating and what I want to do next. I've created that as an issue (RM #226) to track my planning, but here it is again just to get the word out about what I'm planning.PiBox is now multiple projects:
- PiBox: A platform for custom development
- PiBox Media Server: A media server that can stream webcams and video files or serve them up as NFS files.
- PiBox Media Player: A media player based on XBMC or other media players
Additionally, PiBox Media Server will include (over time) support for sensor management making it similar to a home monitoring system.
PiBox, the custom development platform, is essentially ready. It can easily be modified to provide additional features in the core but is intended to be extended with opkgs.
PiBox Media Server's prototype is ready. It currently streams from a USB webcam and is initially intended for use in small trailers as a simple rear-view camera that can be monitored from the tow vehicle. Additional work is needed to provide support for streaming video files as Flash to tablets via USB mounted SD cards. Future development will include support for USB digital TV sticks that can be streamed to the Media Player. Support for temperature, humidity and air flow should be easy to add in the near term. A small touch screen will be integrated to display current configurations and sensor readings. A prototype touch screen is on order. The media server will utilize an externally powered 10 port USB hub. Plans are to integrate (and possibly custom design) a 10 port USB hub with external connectors that will allow installation in travel trailers to be more cleanly integrated with cabinetry.
PiBox Media Player is partially done but needs more work. XBMC is not properly tested and sound has not been tested. Additionally, playback with hardware accelerated media players needs to be integrated as opkgs. The media player is intended to work with lightweight DLP projectors via HDMI, with the intent that we display on the side of the trailer for a "personal Drive In Theater" experience (using headphones, to avoid annoying the neighbors). This work is waiting on the Media Server to be completed.
Both the Media Server and Media Player need work on the web server to support configuration of the devices. Currently this is done with bui-network-config, a GTK+ application. What should be done is to port the file configuration support from bui-network-config into piboxd and then use the web server to send commands and data to piboxd to perform the configuration.
The initial target market for these devices are travel trailers, as a replacement for overweight TVs and supporting video players. However, this is just an initial target audience and the applicability of these devices to other audiences needs to be explored.
All of this needs to be pushed to the wiki before plans are written up for a kickstarter project.