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Remote Automation Spotlight
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Is iPad Mini the ‘Perfect Size for Home Automation’?

Will iPad Mini create a surge in home automation and A/V control, as the original iPad did?


iPad Mini: perfect size for a remote control?

No big surprise that Apple introduced the iPad Mini, a 7.9-inch display that is pencil-thin at 7.2 millimeters. At 0.68 lbs., it weighs about half as much as its big brother.

Other than its smaller form factor, everything else appears to be the same as its 9.7-inch counterpart.

Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller would disagree. He said today during Apple’s media event, “This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad.”

To the home automation, audio/video and custom electronics industries, however, that’s exactly what it is—just a smaller version of the original.

But that might be exactly what our industry needs. It’s small enough and light enough to be held with one hand, making it better than a big iPad for use as a remote control.

At $329 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, the iPad Mini isn’t ridiculously cheap like an Android tablet, but it is in line with a decent universal remote—I mean, if you want to wake up the device to launch a command, and then jump from app to app.

Yes, it still has all the flaws of the bigger models when it comes to home control.

Clearly, the original iPad stimulated sales of home control systems because it was adored and well understood by the masses, and a cheap alternative to tradition home touchscreens.

Does the iPad Mini substantially open up new opportunities?

At CEDIA Expo 2012 in September, iPort showed a prototype LaunchPort charging mount for the iPad Mini, complete with a mocked-up Mini.

CEO Ari Supran declared, “We want people to hold it and say, ‘Hey, it’s the perfect size for home automation. Then they’ll get a bunch, and then they’ll need a place to put it.”

Do you agree? Will the iPad Mini create a new surge in home control?

RELATED: Apple iPad Mini is Official: Is $329 Too Much to Pay?
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Article Topics

Blogs · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Remote Automation · Iport · Ipad Mini · 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]

9 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by . ... ........  on  10/23  at  11:05 PM

The title is supposed to be “is THE ipad mini perfect for home automation?” rolleyes

Posted by Urbisaglia  on  10/24  at  02:54 PM

I have already placed my order on it.
Going to mount it on the wall to controll light and other stuff.
Thank you Apple!!!!

Posted by Rich Riehl  on  10/24  at  04:48 PM

I agree this is a better size for control. It would be naive to think this device could put new life into the struggling TV market, or have any impact at all on the current low interest in home theater installations. I wouldn’t suggest hiring more installers or buying more trucks in this home market, which may never return to it’s former levels.

Posted by jbrown  on  10/24  at  05:42 PM

I still think it’s a little big, but definitely a lot better than an iPad for most applications. I’d really like to see a 6” screen with a nice thin bezel. In the meantime, this is a step in the right direction. I’m sure we’ll sell a bunch of them once the in-wall docks become available.

Jason Brown

Posted by Horrible Article Writer  on  10/24  at  08:37 PM

Wow…. the article lack any real content. Just horrible writing in general with misleading titles. We need new writers on new topics that stay focused and organized. Reading the above article left me bewildered and dissapointed.

Posted by Bjørn Jensen  on  10/25  at  10:48 AM

I think jbrown beat me to it as I was going to say the exact same thing.  The size is too close to the original iPad.  I think they would have been better suited to go all the way to a smaller form factor in-between the iPod and the iPad.  6” or even 6.9” would have been much better to fill in the gap and would have made for a great handheld remote.  I use a Galaxy Note for my phone and wish the screen was just a tad bigger as well.

As for the “Horrible Article Writer” it’s funny that he refers to himself as someone that can’t write articles and then disparages somebody else’s.  Ha ha.  If he really is bewildered by such a short and succinct article no wonder he’s such a bad writer.

Posted by JohnA  on  10/25  at  03:21 PM

@Horrible Article Writer

It is advised that you correct your spelling, grammar, and punctuation before you criticize someone’s writing.

Posted by Milehigh  on  10/28  at  03:21 AM

I agree this is a better size for control.I have already placed my order on it.
Going to mount it on the wall to controll light and other stuff.
Thank you Apple!!!!
cheapest home automation systems

Posted by Gordon van Zuiden  on  11/07  at  02:09 PM

I think the iPad mini will have a dramatic influence on our total home control solution offerings.  To get more information on my thoughts for the iOS application based home control market you can download my White Paper entitled “Smart Devices Drive Innovation in the Home” at

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