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Savant Details ROSIE iPad App (Updated)

iPad app will sell for $9.99 on Apple’s App Store. Authorized Savant dealers should be able to resell iPads.

ROSIE 4i iPad App

Authorized Savant dealers will be able to resell iPads.

Update (April 1, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.): The ROSIE iPad App is now available in the App Store. Check out the image below for the description.

Update 2: (April 2, 4:30 p.m.) Savant has released an image of its iPad App, which it called the ROSIE 4i iPad App.

Savant already told us Apple's iPad will redefine home automation.

Soon, we'll know how.

The home automation manufacturer plans to go public with its ROSIE iPad app on April 5. The ROSIE iPad app will cost $9.99 at the App Store.

President Jim Carroll previously told CE Pro that Savant was designing a version of its ROSIE iPhone app specifically for the iPad. "We're going to do some pretty cool things and take advantage of the additional [9.7-inch screen] real estate," he said.

Savant offers this update on the ROSIE iPad app:

Housed in an aluminum casing, the multi-touch Apple iPad will enable users of Savant's control products to take advantage of the iPad's vast native features as well as operating as a touch panel within the Savant Systems automation environment.

The iPad will operate both wirelessly and as an in-wall or desktop device thanks to proprietary in-wall and tabletop docks currently in development by Savant that will also serve to charge the iPad’s internal battery.

Savant has transformed the iPad into a portable control device capable of functionality never before envisioned for the tablet format, including compatibility with Savant's TrueImage Control with GestureTouch technology. Users can gracefully swipe images on the iPad to control lighting and other automated features in their home.

The ROSIE iPad app will be designed specifically to support the ultimate user interface — Savant's TrueImage Control, with iPhone-like GestureTouch navigation, which allows you to touch or swipe actual images of your home to turn on/off (or dim) lights, lower or raise shades, or even turn on and off home theater vignettes.

Savant ROSIE 4i iPad App

It appears that authorized Savant dealers will be able to resell iPads after purchasing them from Savant, based on the company's status as an Apple Authorized Reseller and part of Apple's Proprietary Solutions Provider Program.

Savant founder Robert Madonna will visit several U.S. markets to demo ROSIE iPad control app for authorized dealers. The tour kicks off at Savant's NYC Experience Center on April 5 and hits San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston and Washington before concluding in Miami on April 15.

Madonna is expected to give updates on the availability of the ROSIE iPad app and address authorized dealers' ability to resell iPads during the tour.

Savant authorized dealers attending Madonna's ROSIE iPad app demonstration will each receive one iPad. Craig Spinner, Savant director of marketing, didn't immediately know if the iPads will be distributed at the demonstration or shipped later.


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Article Topics

News · Product News · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Lighting · Savant · Ipad · · All topics

About the Author

Tom LeBlanc, Senior Writer/Technology Editor, CE Pro
Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Follow him on Twitter @leblanctom.

20 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Dale  on  03/30  at  11:30 PM

Savant is bringing tomorrow’s innovation and technology to a home today. I know Savant will put the time, resources and immense effort that’s needed to help reshape the touch panel market. Unlike other control companies, they aren’t just taking an existing app and making it larger for the Ipad. They will help to redefine how the customer installer will approach a project and how an end user can better interface with their home. Good Job Savant! grin

Posted by Smell something funny  on  03/31  at  08:29 AM

Sounds like a plant to me…How are you SURE? Are you sure they will even be in business next year or could they go the way of Colorado VNet?

Posted by Jim  on  03/31  at  11:27 AM

Smell something funny-

Colorado VNet didn’t have any customers to speak of.  They put products into the market done the way They THOUGHT things should be done and ignored all standards, even the common sense practices of placement, wiring standards, and aesthetics.

Perhaps a better example to make your point would be.. “go with the biggest companies in the industry to insure they will be there” like… Tweeter etc. oh, wait a minute how about Circuit city no wait ...

The market has changed.

I have a better idea, go with a company that listens to dealers and customers and builds products they value, and want to own.

Posted by John  on  04/01  at  12:18 AM

Dale, first of all the Crestron app that you are referring to has the ability to be customized however you want so there is no slam in saying that they just made it bigger because there was nothing more needed to make it work on the iPad.

Jim, what are you talking about? “
A company that listens to dealers and customers and builds products they value”.  Are you talking about Apple who could care less about our industry and made the iPad to sell apps and compete with eReaders.  Read the article in which Apple says that Apple TV is a hobby and something they do cause its fun.  They certainly don’t care about Savant except for how many OS they sell.

Are you talking about Savant cause they don’t make the iPad, and in fact they don’t make much of anything that has value.  Their stuff is expensive and nothing more than a bunch of black boxes with apple computers in them.  Come on, you can’t make your own graphic engine for your tp that work on Flash so you create an Apple cpu farm in a closet to run your bulky monitors?

BTW, Savant is a hobby for the owner just like Apple TV is a hobby for Apple.  Either company or both could pull the plug at anytime.

Lastly, your example is flawed as Circuit City hasn’t been the biggest in many years.  Both Best Buy and Wallmart have crushed Circuit for over a decade before they went away, and Tweeter is not even a point of discussion.  That being said, Crestron is the largest company in Automation and they are spending money on making the industry better and coming out with products that are relevant so yes, go with the biggest companies to ensure that they are there.

Posted by Tim  on  04/01  at  01:55 PM

I would love to sell my customers Savant, but the Distributor here in Dallas wont even return my phone calls or emails.  I have no clue on what any of it will cost me or my clients.  I haven’t got a person on the phone yet.  If I would have had a response 2 months ago,  I could have sold 4 of these systems.  But Nothing.

Looks like this product is a winner,  NOT.

Posted by David  on  04/01  at  05:11 PM

I have watched this thread develop with great interest.  I am a Savant dealer located in Dallas, TX.  First of all Tim, Savant dealers enjoy a direct relationship with Savant itself and are not distributed at all.  Perhaps you simply calling the wrong people?  I have spoken many a time with my Savant rep and other factory people well past the midnight hour and even on weekends.  To say that Savant is not responsive is simply untrue and unfair.

I am not unfamiliar with the Crestron app and some of its specific capabilities.  However, the iPad is a very different animal from the iPhone and possesses unique strengths not found on its smaller sibling.  If an app can simply be resized to fully leverage the iPad’s talents, why then did companies such as ABC, ESPN, NPR, USA Today, the New York Times, Ebay, Cisco, Twitter, and Yahoo all spend time and money developing an iPad specific app when an iPhone app already existed?  The answer is simple: an iPhone app will work on an iPad but does not take full advantage of what an iPad can do and all of these companies wanted their customers to have the benefit of a better experience when using the iPad.  Savant is no different in this respect.  Savant recognized the iPad as being a more sophisticated platform and developed an app to take full advantage.  Crestron, obviously, did not and decided to leave the experience in the hands of their dealers.

One does have to question the value proposition of spending enormous amounts of money required to customize a touch screen that only costs $500.00 to begin with.  But, Crestron has never represented a value proposition…it is simply more expensive.

In many respects, Crestron is a lot like GM.  General Motors also was once the biggest company in the automotive industry creating unimaginative and mediocre products.  Savant has simply brought innovation to an industry desperately needed new life.  Savant’s products are not just simply black boxes with mac mini computers inside.  I would suggest that you experience a system first hand before commenting on what a system will or will not do.  Any system…not just Savant.

These are my two cents.  I would appreciate hearing any constructive feedback.

Posted by Tim  on  04/01  at  05:28 PM

I spoke with the Savant AV people at the main office this morning,  they were more than happy to point me in the right direction and get the Dealer to contact me.  What I meant by distribution is that I was not buy directly from Savant, rather through one of its 3rd party Dealers/Distributors.  While it was an Arduous task, I got contact finally.  The Emails were being re-routed into my junk folder, which clears on a daily basis.  Lets hope this product lives up to its hype and this was just a fluke.

Posted by John  on  04/01  at  11:25 PM

David, you obviously are unfamiliar with the Crestron app cause if you were then you would know that you can customize the app like any Crestron touch panel which means if you want a weather feed then fine, monitor your camera’s with no problem, and change the icons, quantity, color, and anything else just the way that you want.  If it is 100% customizable then what needs to be changed for it to adapt to the
“ipad’s talent”?  The other companies you mentioned sell canned applications which do not take advantage of the larger space and are limited hence the change.

Your ignorant comments regarding the cost of the ipad and the cost of Crestron proves that you have no idea what you are speaking about.  First of all you don’t make any money selling an ipad which is why you need to be able to make money selling the programming.  Go ahead and continue to not charge enormous amounts of programming to customize a $500 ipad and see where that gets you.  And, the Crestron hardware costs less then Savant so again you have no idea what you are speaking about.

As far as unimaginative and mediocre products look at the recent article on ce pro about all of the awards that Crestron won and yet Savant didn’t win anything.  You can have an opinion, but your opinion is not shared by our industry.

I have experienced Savant and I do not see anything creative about using a computer platform to control something.  It’s been done forever and is not new. What they have done is used the strength of Apple and Flash to make GUI’s that are apealing to those in our industry who are used to constantly seeing stale graphics on their Control 4, URC, RTI, Elan, Crestron, AMX, Niles, and the list goes on and on.  The reality is most customers who would spend the money on a Savant system or Crestron system want the simplicity of a control system and not the flashy graphics and home image hype stuff.

Above is the response to your opionion. Here is your constructive feedback.  Stop trying to be different just because someone tells you to and you think it’s cool.  Instead look at what successful people and businesses around you are doing, look at who has the best support, look at who has the most projects out there, and jump in.  You differentiate yourself by your company and your solutions and offerings, not by the products.  That being said the products can either make or break your company if they don’t work, aren’t appealing, aren’t supported, etc..  Best of luck to you!!

Posted by Tim  on  04/01  at  11:41 PM

Of course Crestron has won the Award,  Of Course they have more products out on the market than Savant.  On top of that, who cares if it is computer based…  What do you think that control box from Crestron is, A tape machine?  Its also a computer, albeit a proprietary machine that requires proprietary parts to fix.

Its all about ease of use, compatibility, and ease of integration.  No house is identical,  therefore you can’t come up with one product that is the perfect fit for all.  You have to adapt.  The future is with installers who have a broader range of products which WORK TOGETHER.  An interface such as the iPad allows us to tie multiple items and control protocols onto one device, not a dedicated touch pad that just does Crestron or AMX commands, but one that allows you to read a book, turn on the lights, open the front door, look at your security camera, and maybe order pizza from the local pizza place,  all on one hand held device.  While its not perfect, these control companies have the right idea and are embracing the technology by developing apps to work seamlessly in the system together.  Lets hope more like this is yet to come.

Posted by David  on  04/02  at  09:40 AM

John, first of all I am not ignorant nor do I simply sell systems that I think are cool or different simply for the sake of being so.  You derogatory comments are both unprofessional and uncalled for.  I think we can respectful argue on merit without resorting to name calling or baseless accusations.

If I understand you argument, you are saying that Crestron is better because (1) it is completely customizable, (2) it provides more programming fees for you,  and (3) everybody else is using it.  Have I got this right?  Let’s address these point by point.

Customization:  Customization is not a bad thing.  I do understand that you can change every button (both size and shape), every background skin, and the “flow” of the iPad app within Crestron’s programming environment.  However, to create something complete unique and not “canned” (your words) requires both time and money.

The average Crestron with which I have been involved typically requires around $15,000 (or more) in programming fees.  Break this down into a time component and you will find this reflects around 4 weeks of programming time.  I am assuming $100/hour programming time and 35 hours per week actual work done.  At this level, most Crestron dealers use the stock or “canned” templates provided by Crestron itself.  True customization can be much more expensive.

I can have the same project up and running in less than 5 programming days.  Using the same cost assumptions, this makes my programming fee less than $3500.00; significantly more affordable to the end user.

What is truly important here is the quality of the experience.  Can the client use the system effectively and easily.  Savant definitely accomplishes this goal even with its “canned” application.  By the way, every iPhone I have seen looks pretty much the same and functions identically.  None are unique nor are they “customized.”  I highly doubt that average people really care that their iPhone looks and feels the same as everybody else’s iPhone.  They just want it to work.  Customization for the sake of being unique or creating fees is not a good thing.

Cost:  We have already touched on overall programming fees so I am not going to regurgitate here.  What needs to be mentioned is that the cost of developing a “canned” app has already been factored into the purchase price of the app itself.  Ebay, I am sure, spent numerous hours (and money) developing their iPad specific app.  It is already on iTunes.  Various people were involved in the apps creation incuding programmers, graphic designers,  engineers, and managers.  All of these people were charged with delivering the best possible experience to their customers.  The customer doesn’t care that their Ebay app is exactly the same as everyone else’s Ebay app.

The same can be said for almost every other company mentioned including Apple, Savant, Cisco, Disney, etc.; you would be wise to read “Who moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson.  This book deals with the aspect of change in business and the process of adaption to that change.

Consider the Guttenberg bible.  Before the printing press, monks had to hand write each copy of the bible in order to share.  Guttenburg created a printing press allowing the bible to be copied more cheaply and quickly.  This, of course, increased bible circulation throughout Europe.

Crestron systems are similar in that you have to hand program each one.  They are time intensive and expensive.  Savant has created a process by which systems may be installed and programmed more quickly and less expensively.  If your business model cannot handle selling a $500.00 no profit iPad without adding excessive programming fees, then maybe you need to find a new business.  I would suggest you look at Novell Networks…remember them.  They too are lot like Crestron is today.

(3) Everybody else is using it too:  So what!!!!  Innovation always challenges the conventional or the normal.  At one time, everybody rode on horses or walked; now we have cars.  At one time, woman couldn’t vote; now they can.  The list is endless here.

Your absolutely correct in that you differentiate yourself through your solution and not the specific product offerings.  Savant’s solution is different in that allows me to install more of them more efficiently.  How does Crestron make you different?  Oh yes, that is right, it allows you to simply add more fees.

I am not anti Crestron.  Crestron systems can be very reliable and very easy to use.  However, please do not say that they are less money than other solutions out there.  At worst, Savant and Crestron both offer hardware platforms that are comparably priced.  It is what happens after the hardware that makes each company different.  I am arguing that what has been done on the past with regards to home automation systems and their respectful costs of ownership is now changing.  Companies such as Control4 and Savant are challenging the status quo.  Arrogance and a reluctance to change will lead to some companies demise just as it has with GM.

Posted by Dale  on  04/02  at  09:42 AM

John, I don’t think anyone is denying that Crestron is a successful company and therefore isn’t a factor in this sector. Personally, I give credit to where credit is due. My comment about the App wasn’t meant to be targeted at Crestron. I was suggesting that in general other control companies are not putting the necessary efforts in designing a new app to differentiate themselves in how they interface with this new device. Did I even mention the name “Crestron”? 

As defensive as you are about this whole thing it would appear that you are very close to the Crestron group than what meets the eye, in my opinion. I have a lot of respect for the Crestron integrators. I believe that it’s because those guys and the other 1000’s of integrators selling other control systems is what keeps the motor going. In light of the economic challenges, however, I am sure that many have opened their doors to alternative solutions that embrace this technology movement. That being said, I know that there are many control groups trying to change or improve their model to accommodate for current market conditions. Savant, in my opinion, is ahead of the pack with that identity. I realize that Crestron and others are working fast to address the convergence taking place in our industry. I just believe the biggest difference is that Savant’s platform was developed in this era giving them a large head start while many control companies are having to do major overhauls to catch up to the pack.

At the end of the day, it’s all about pushing the technology envelope. In this case, Apple’s Ipad is opening doors to advance control and integration. Tim’s points are spot on. Savant’s direct relationship with Apple does lend itself to endless potential. That being said, I’m sure we will see developments from other control groups as they integrate the Ipad into their system. For now, however, this is the first unveiling of a true integration with Ipad that I have seen.

In reading each post there seems to be a lot of analogies stated to compare big company verse a smaller company. There is no denying the Crestron is a bigger company. In saying that, I would offer up this analogy; PC and Apple. Who is has shown growth even during an down turn in the economy?  Who is gaining market share and who is losing it?

In closing, I hope that everyone keeps this industry on it’s toes and I don’t mean just manufacturer’s but also the integrator’s. As long as we are pushing technology to it’s limits I believe it will benefit everyone. The more advancements offered the more reasons for an end user to spend money. I hope you would agree with that?

Posted by John  on  04/02  at  10:12 AM

Tim, I have no idea what you were thinking when you wrote your response.  I won’t even respond to the first paragraph as you don’t make any sense and clearly didn’t pay attention to what I was saying.

Your comments in the second paragraph completely contradict themselves.  If it is all about ease of use, compatibility, and ease of integration then what is easier then having a product line that was all designed to work together?  I don’t get the 1 product that is perfect for all.  This isn’t a Swiss army knife that we are talking about, it is a product line of several thousand items which were all made to work together and provide unlimited solutions many of which are unique and are not even options from other companies.  ” The future is with installers who have a broader range of products which WORK TOGETHER”, no actually that was the past.  Crestron and AMX who started this Automation segment used to be nothing more than control systems that controlled everyone else’s equipment, but the problem was an integrator had to be an expert at the thousands of different products that exist and being able to make them all talk to each other.  You can still use these brands like that, but it is not easier.  BTW, ask any business consultant and they will tell you that it is better to be narrow and deep with your brands then to be wide and shallow.  This is basic business fundamentals.

Everything you say next about the iPad is completely wrong.  First of all it is not easier to have one device that has multiple control protocols on it.  So I should have my Lutron app for my lights, my Speakercraft app for my audio, my control app for my TV’s, my security app for my security, and my dvr app to view my camera’s?  It is nice to have apps for things like ordering a pizza, etc but since you don’t write the apps, you don’t have control over the experience that the app is going to give to your customer so what happens when their pizza app has a bug that causes their iPad to reset which happens to be the same device which controls their whole house?  Bad customer experience and it’s your fault because you told them it could do EVERYTHING.  I’m sure they will love to make an appointment at the Genius Bar to figure out why they can’t control their TV.  BTW, the Genius at Apple will tell them that it is a problem with the app and that they need to call the developer because they are not responsible for it.

“While its not perfect, these control companies have the right idea”, what control company is that, Apple?  They could care less about the automation industry.  Have you ever seen a Savant system inside of an Apple store?  No! Otherwise, Savant and Crestron have done the same thing in regards to the iPad and that is to create an app that controls their product.  I can read a book, turn on the lights, open the front door, and order a pizza all from my iPad which has my Crestron app, however I wouldn’t do it because as you mentioned before this needs to be easy and if you have used an iPhone or iPad as a control device you will soon realize that just because it can do it doesn’t mean it was easy or that you should.  Good luck in your Savant endeavor, perhaps you should be more open minded and see what the best products out there can do instead of what the flashiest ones can.

Posted by John  on  04/02  at  10:52 AM

David, the points were 1) Savant isn’t doing anything different then what Crestron has done already with a customizable app the only difference being that Crestron didn’t have to remake the app just because it was going on the iPad cause what they created for the iPhone can be customized for either product.

2) I don’ t make money selling iPad’s so I want to be able to make money programming them to work with a product.  You used a very exaggerated example of programming an entire system, not in programming the iPad as a control solution.  I can program an iPhone, or iPad with nice graphics and control of my whole house in about 4-6 hours which based on your $100 an hour means I make approximately $500 for selling a $1,000 iPad control solution.  Is that not fair? 

3) Its proven, many use it because it works and is reliable, and our industry continues to recognize the new solutions that Crestron comes out with to stay relevant.  If Savant was the best new thing out there then why do they not win as many awards for their products?  Why don’t they have that many custom homes being showcased in the magazines and stories on line? Your experience with Crestron is clearly not comparable to your experience with Savant.  Savant cost more in hardware and maybe a little less in programming, but at the end of the day I can create a more reliable solution for the same or less money than with Savant and in my design I won’t be using an iPad unless the customer wants to check up on their house next time they go on vacation or are hanging out at the coffee shop. 

Dale, I am defensive cause I have to sell against the crazy stuff being mentioned on this thread all the time and I just am amazed by some of the opinions on here.  As integrators we need to think about what is best for our business, and our industry and the iPad is not saving the day for either.

The reoccurring point of Savant being better because it is new, different, and works on an iPad is just not accurate.  This is not a true integration with the iPad.  This is an app just like everyone else has.  Did Savant make it so I can run my Savant control app and all of my other iPad apps from the same page making it a multi tasking environment?  No, you have to launch the Savant app, then get out and launch the other apps, it’s the same thing as everyone else.  What has Savant done that is different?  They didn’t even make the foundation for which their products operate from.  Are they easier and faster to program?  Is that what makes them different?  I know both systems and my Crestron programmer can program a system in a similar amount of time from what I’ve seen from Savant.

Competition is good, and I love companies that come out with cool and unique solutions.  Control 4 made the on screen interface acceptable, but they also lowered the perception on what automation should be and cost which is damaging for our industry.  Did it make Crestron come out with some lower priced solutions that I can now sell to more customers?  Yes, which is good.  Savant came out with a flashy looking interface so now when I show my nice GUI people like it more than the guy down the road who looks like Atari designed their touch panels.  Is that good, yes?  But do they really offer anything that I can’t do at any price point with Crestron, no and that is why I will continue to support them.

Posted by Johnson  on  04/02  at  11:17 AM

John, are you actually arguing that Crestron is easy to use and a simple solution?!?!? 

Crestron is an old tired company that has too many integrators, no where near the qualified programmers, and extremely dissatisfied customers.  Show me ten Crestron owners and I’ll show you seven people who hate it or are just unsatisfied.

Crestron is a product that degrades the moment the installer leaves the house.  You want to add a media server to your house?  Oops.  That is going to be an additional $5000 in programming.  So they end up adding it without integrating it into Crestron.

I’m an amazing programmer.  I’ve worked in this industry for over ten years slinging Crestron code.  I have walked into many a home to see a nice wireless touch panel sitting in a theater room with three other remotes next to it because the client didn’t want to deal with Crestron programming.

I made my living off the Crestron platform being seriously flawed.  I was hired to fix the problems of integrators who did poor jobs with crestron and we’re talking about most of them.  I’ve fixed jobs that were published in this magazine and many other magazines.  If Crestron was easy then Savant wouldn’t be growing in the market place.  Crestron wouldn’t be making deals with installers for massive discounts if they won’t pick up Savant.

Lastly you obviously don’t have an iPad.  It isn’t just a large iPod touch.  It has functions that are unique, and you can’t use the Crestron app to take advantage of them.

Oh and yes, there are Savant kiosks in select Apple stores.

Posted by John  on  04/02  at  11:46 AM

Johnson, what you have described with upset customers exists in many industries with manufactures that have dominant market share.  There are a lot of systems done by a lot of people that probably shouldn’t have been dealers or acquired the equipment because the customer asked for it and they didn’t know what they got themselves into.  I don’t believe that 70% of all Crestron customers are upset with their system.  We have many customers that are very happy with their systems that we have provided them, and have been for many years.  We also have many customers who contact us with the same concerns that you mention and we do our best to take care of them and turn them into life long customers.

Savant is growing because they are just starting.  Of course they are growing, they don’t have anything else to do but grow.  It isn’t about Savant being easier, it is just fresh and new so people are interested, just like people are interested in 3D right now because it is new.  I don’t know about the deals that Crestron is making, but I’d love to get some money for being a loyal dealer if others are.

So in all of your rant, you failed to give any of us real information that could bring value to the discussion.  So since you seem to portray yourself as having an iPad before everyone else why don’t you tell me what functions it has which are unique and different from the iTouch or iPhone?  How does Savant take advantage of these unique functions?  What stores have Savant Kiosks that I can go check out so I don’t have to just see the product at a trade show or road show?  You throw out a lot of opinion, but I would love to get some facts from you.  Thank you!

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