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iPort Control Dock Turns iPod into In-wall Touchscreen

Unlike other iPod docks, this one mounts your device for good, in order to turn it into a controller for whole-house automation and mulitroom audio/video


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The magnetic flaceplate on the Control Dog snaps over the iPod, which is powered through the dock. Buttons provide access to iPod power and menu buttons.

Consumers always seem to ask: Why do I need an expensive touchscreen for home automation when I control the house through an iPhone or iPod Touch?

Two reasons: The iPod products don’t work as quickly and effectively as dedicated touchscreens and you can’t mount them nicely in a wall.

iPort, at least, is solving problem No. 2 with the forthcoming Control Dock, a prototype of which was shown in the Control4 partner pavilion during CES 2010.

Unlike other in-wall/on-wall docking stations, this one mounts your iPod for good. Also, it is targeted at home-control applications, rather than just accommodating an iPod for multiroom audio distribution. Virtually all home-automation vendors today offer an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

With the Control Dock, the iPod snaps into a cradle that is mounted to the wall. A magnetic faceplate seals in the screen. The dock supplies power to the device, and two exterior buttons on the faceplate enable access to the iPod power and menu buttons.

What else could you expect from the same company (Sonance) that brought us TruFIG, an architectural system that makes can lights, switches, electrical outlets, touchscreens and other electronics virtually invisible.

Will the Control Dock join the TruFIG lineup?

“We’re looking at that right now,” says VP of sales Jason Sloan.

Pricing and availability have not been determined.

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RELATED:
Philips Pronto In-Wall Touchscreen




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Article Topics

News · Product News · Events · CES · Ces 2010 · Iport · Iphone · Architectural · Ipod · Control Dock · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

7 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Red Atom  on  01/14  at  06:05 PM

This is EXACTLY what we our clients have been looking for.  Advice- don’t tie it to C4.  Make it accessible to all.

Posted by jiveturkey  on  01/14  at  08:09 PM

Why would one put a piece of hardware that has a life expectancy of 1-2 years in one’s wall?  Explicalo por favor…todavia, yo no puedo comprender.

Posted by Jeremy Burkhardt  on  01/14  at  11:49 PM

Great idea and well done.  We have had requests for this from many dealers.

Posted by Jonathan Foulkes  on  01/15  at  03:35 PM

This is very cool.

With the huge volume of HA software coming out for this platform, this is EXACTLY what’s needed to integrate it (securely) into the home.

Posted by 39 Cent Stamp  on  01/16  at  06:17 PM

If its permantly docked then battery life shouldnt be an issue. Since its an inwall its use will be limited so hopefully it lasts longer than 2 years. If not.. its only $200 bucks which is much less than a similarly sized touchpanel.

The resolution on the itouch BLOWS AWAY anything else on the market for inwall touchscreens @ that size.

I am not a fan of using the apps to control AV. I need a real control system on the back end. Im not interested in wasting my life trying to turn an imac into a PRO2 but i am willing to be flexible with subsystems. Lights/HVAC/Security apps would be fine.

The only other minor annoyance is that i have to hit the power or home button to turn it on vs tapping the screen.

Posted by cm  on  01/24  at  01:12 PM

i have difficulty getting over what a hack this is.  a much more elegant solution would be a purpose built touch screen that runs the iPhone OS and uses an OEMd version of the iPhone screen.  i’m guessing this would require cooperation from Apple that isn’t on the table.  or maybe the market isn’t big enough to warrant the r&d.  too bad.

Posted by KP  on  01/31  at  10:32 PM

How about doing one for the iPad? Very nice job. If I can afford a control system I am sure I could afford multiple iPod Touches.

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