Tuesday, January 10, 2012

iPad for home control?

We all know the iPad can do a lot of great things but I bet you didn't know that within one app you can:

1) Control and automate your home theatre.

2) Control and automate lighting, temperature, irrigation, security, spa and much more.

3) Control all of these systems from anywhere in the world.

4) Access your songs and playlists from iPods, music stored in hard drives and in the cloud.

These are so elegantly executed on the iPad that many home automation product manufacturers have been forced to discontinue selling a significant number of proprietary touch-screen controllers that used to sell for hundreds or thousands - now a hard sell when, in fact, they would not be able to compete with many aspects of iPad's performance.

The fact that there are so many iPads out there means home automation companies have unprecedented opportunity to introduce their benefits to a mainstream audience. All it takes is the addition of an integration processor and some programming - an investment that can start somewhere in the range of $1000. It doesn't sound like a lot once you compare that to the similar cost of a traditional handheld colour touchscreen controller before it's even programmed.

Many clients tend to gravitate towards the benefits of using an iPad as a system controller, which include:

1) A stunning, colourful display with lots space to display custom, intuitive user interface graphics.

2) Excellent WiFi reception to keep you connected to your system consistently.

3) The ability to have quick access to other useful apps.

However there are also some drawbacks to consider before deciding to use an iPad as your main controller such as:

1) The lack of tactile buttons that can allow you to use a controller without looking.

2) The inherent lag time involved in turning on a control app when you need it immediately (imagine the slight frustration of having to wait for a moment when you want to turn the volume down to answer the phone).

3) The chance that you won't have a TV controller if someone decides to borrow the iPad to use in another room.

If you find yourself getting excited about using your iPad for home control, don't hesitate to call Home Digital for a quick demonstration or download the RTiPanel demo app to experience iPad control immediately. I guarantee you'll fall in love.

Tristan Leynes - HomeDigitalAV.com

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