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Sling Founder Brings Android to Home Automation

Blake Krikorian, founder of Sling Media, to demo Crestron automation app on Android-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab during CEDIA Expo; other Android apps to be shown as well.


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A few early-release Samsung Galaxy Tabs will be hand-delivered to CEDIA so Blake Krikorian can demo his Android app for home automation.

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These features are easily achieved via any respectable home-automation touchscreen. But the trick is to make them doable with an off-the-shelf multipurpose device such as an iPad or Android tablet.

What lured Krikorian into the Android camp – besides his long-time friendship with Android founder Andy Rubin -- is that the open-source platform has no “gatekeeper for any new functionality,” he says. A developer can dig down deep and make changes to the source code to suit his apps.

Krikorian enjoys the flexibility to customize his Android desktop with "widgets,” just as he can do on his PC screen. An Android widget displays an application's most important functions or timely information at a glance, on a user's desktop.

In the case of home control, instead of just putting the shortcut to the Crestron app on the desktop, he suggests, the homeowner might want to populate part of the desktop with some of the most-used commands or important status updates, for example, MUTE, CHANNEL UP/DOWN, PLAY MOVIE, INTERCOM, LIGHTS, GOODNIGHT or SECURITY STATUS.

CEDIA: Control a Home with Samsung Galaxy Tab


Krikorian has arranged to have a few pre-release Samsung Galaxy Tabs hand-delivered to him in Atlanta, just in time for the CEDIA Expo.

The hugely hyped 7-inch tablet is one of many large-screen Android devices expected to flood the market in 2011.

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"While I initially built this app for myself, I found that it is just too cool not to share with others.” -- Blake Krikorian, id8 Group
Krikorian already has the 5-inch Dell Streak to showcase the new app, which will also be demonstrated in the Crestron booth at CEDIA.

“Whether or not you’re interested in Crestron,” he says, “these are cool things you might want to see.”

Crestron CTO Fred Bargetzi believes Krikorian is the first developer to deliver an Android app for Crestron. He likes what he sees so far.

It works pretty much like Crestron’s own iOS app, he says. Basically, a dealer programs Crestron par usual, and simply “flips a switch” to create a companion app for Apple or Android, Bargetzi explains.

Krikorian says his Android app “works with the existing [Crestron] development tools that dealers know and love today – VTPro, System Builder, SIMPL …. Really, they don’t need to learn anything else new or different” to coax an Android app out of Crestron.

The Crestron Android app “will probably be priced like Mobile Pro,” Krikorian says of Crestron’s Apple app. That one sells for $99 (per device), and there’s also a free version with limited functionality.

Beyond that, Krikorian really doesn’t really know where he’s going with this thing.

His development company the id8 Group – from which Sling Media sprang – “goes through hundreds of ideas and dozens of prototypes,” he says. “Maybe one makes it. While I initially built this app for myself, I found that it is just too cool not to share with others.”

So will there be more development around the smart home?

“I can’t help myself,” he says. “I just can’t stop. I have been coming to the CEDIA show on and off for the past dozen years as a spectator. With this Android app for Crestron, it's a blast to actually be contributing something instead of just drooling over cool products from other folks.”

id8 Group is conducting a private beta program of its Android control app by invitation only. Interested Crestron dealers should contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).




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Article Topics

News · Product News · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Events · CEDIA · Cedia · Android · Cedia 2010 · Ios · Blake Krikorian · Crestron. Ipad · 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]

12 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Me  on  09/21  at  09:13 AM

Android + Crestron = FTW!

No where are those yummy delicious Android tablets already?

Posted by Me Again  on  09/21  at  09:19 AM

That was supposed to read:
“Now where are those…”

Duh!

Posted by Whitevan Lifestyle  on  09/21  at  10:24 AM

Whoooooooo Hooooooooo! Thats what I’m talking about!
This will open up a whole realm of possibilities.

Posted by Tuck  on  09/21  at  10:49 AM

I had to look up what FTW meant, lol.

Posted by Me  on  09/21  at  11:00 AM

Thats funny Truck!

In all seriousness, I’ve been counting the days for well over a year. I hope we have plenty of good news coming from CEDIA over the next few days!

Posted by Whitevan Lifestyle  on  09/21  at  11:04 AM

Me and Me both! I’ve been patiently waiting for the explosion thats about to happen. This will be a Cedia topper for sure.

Posted by gearhead  on  09/21  at  12:45 PM

this is f**kin awesome! I can’t wait to see the Samsung Tab in action. How did he get those units? They aren’t shipping yet, are they?

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  09/21  at  01:21 PM

Gearhead—Blake has a lot of friends!

Posted by Very cool  on  09/21  at  02:18 PM

What will Savant have to say to this-other than don’t download the latest iOS until we test it. And the other guys-AMX, Control4, RTI, URC, ABC, 123, etc…will they have the same functionality?

Posted by Tuck  on  09/21  at  02:56 PM

URC? They need to get off their duff and join the iPad bandwagon or get left behind. They are about to miss the boat.

Maybe CEDIA will bring an unknown URC surprise.

Posted by Thomas Abell  on  09/21  at  10:36 PM

This is pretty exciting stuff if you ask me, and yeah @gearhead, I’m pretty stoked about seeing that Samsung also!  Seriously, technology rocks!

Posted by 39 Cent Stamp  on  09/22  at  11:04 AM

Very cool. Im glad that touchpanels are finally being massed produced(less expensive, betterbuild quality) and im glad that the software guys are making it possible to integrate with our fav control systems.

The oversized dinosaur touchpanel days are over and our systems will be that much cooler.

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