I'd like to see a small box (similar to the PS3IR-PRO in size/cost) that receives IR commands and can control GPIO lines, or possibly drive RS232 signals. Ideally: a pair of RS232 ports, 4 TTL I/O lines, and 4 output-only lines that could directly drive small relays. Like the PS3IR-PRO, it would have an IR receiver, programming/power port, and hardwired IR input.
Why? For example, I've got a powered screen that I'd like to control via IR (no, I didn't spring for that option when I bought it). My projector has an RS-232 input that provides discrete on/off control, which would be handy to drive in conjunction with the screen.
This box could have some basic built-in behaviors, but to be really useful you'd need some way to program what actions to take when an IR command is received. This could be coded as XML, or just a table of code/action pairs, where the action looks something like:
TX1(21 89 01 50 57 31 0A); IO1=1; Wait(15000); IO1=0;
This action sends the "turn on" sequence for my projector via the 1st serial port, then starts the screen coming down, then waits 15s, then turns off the power to the screen.
The scripting language could be enhanced to accept inputs from the IO lines and RS232. With that, you could do things like place light sensors over the LEDs of equipment and use that data to modify the script behavior. Obviously, this could be taken to the extreme and start to look like a real programming language, but I'm guessing a significant number of interesting problems could be solved with a pretty simple table-like spec file.
There would need to be a tool that "compiles" that table into something that can be downloaded to the box.
I suspect folks would come up for all kinds of uses for something like this. I'd buy at least two of these