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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

image Englewood, Colorado-based BitWise Controls, manufacturer of IP-enabled control systems for commercial and home automation systems, has released Project Editor software version 1.8, along with corresponding updates for their BitWise Touch app for iOS and Android.

This release allows dealers to instantly adapt GUI programming to be used across devices with different screen sizes and resolutions, without the need to create and maintain separate GUIs for each device type.

Mark Buster, CTO of BitWise Controls, says, “This is a huge time saver for our dealers. Now any programming created for an iPad or iPhone can be scaled in seconds to work with any Android device the job may require.”

Combined with Project Editor’s remote update capabilities, dealers can now transfer programming to whatever new Android or iOS device the customer may bring home, without the need to re-do programming or roll a truck. The new functionality is compatible with all existing GUI Template packages and project files.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Firefly LLC, the parent company to Firefly Design Group, Firefly Programming, and Firefly Creative, has launched the iPad livingroom app for its innea virtual home automation demo tool.

The iPad livingroom app by innea allows dealers to create a virtual showroom demonstrating the power of home automation applications while using the iPad alone.

One Firefly is the exclusive dealer in North America, Central America and South America of the Innea line of virtual demo products which
include PC Software, web demos, and now the Apple iPad app called innea livingroom.

Innea’s previous versions of the software which include PC and web demo applications demonstrate 3D graphics and design while accompanying users as they navigate from room to room to raise and lower curtains, change lighting options, interact with a home theater system in exactly the same way that they would with an actual automated system.

Currently, there are more than 40 Crestron interfaces in the program with HAI, Lutron, AMX, Savant, Control4, RTI in development or close to launching. Dealer specific user interfaces can be customized and incorporated using the manufacturers control device as intended for the room.

Home control systems dealers can use the innea livingroom app to quickly show prospective clients the functionality of a fully‐equipped automated living room without the expense of setting up an extensive physical demonstration. The app includes a beautifully‐rendered living room featuring lighting, audio/
video, and shading controls.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

image Apple's impact on the consumer electronics industry cannot be underestimated. The company has redefined how people listen to music, how they surf the Internet and email, and how they interact with the electronics equipment. The iPad enables people to do so many things that were unheard of just a few years ago it's now easy to take this product line for granted, but when new products hit the market like Home Automation, Inc.'s (HAI) HTX2 app, it serves as a reminder how easy it is for electronics manufacturers to harness the power of Apple's iOS devices for specific purposes.

The HTX2 is available in the iTunes App Store and it enables professional electronics installers to set up A/V and control systems that include streamlined user interfaces that utilize the allure and functionality of Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch products. HAI supports the app with interface templates and its Mobile Designer software that can be used for the creation and customization of GUI remote pages to control Blu-ray players, HDTVs, A/V receivers, preamp/processors, projectors, whole-house A/V controllers and cable/satellite boxes.

HAI points out that when the app is combined with the HTX2 installers can set up control through the use of serial ports, IR ports, IP and SPDT relays, and the HTX2 also comes with more than 300,000 codes built in.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

image Before Apple rolled out its game changing iPad, touchpanels used to be big, bulky and expensive. Now with the iPad however, consumers have the ability to control their home electronics systems with a powerful, reasonably priced device that looks as good as it performs.

The latest consumer electronics company to take advantage of the powerful Apple iOS platform is Pro Control. The Minn.-based company's new ProPanel App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch is designed to simplify the programming process for electronics professionals and it includes an auto-programming feature that allows for the easy creation of customized user interfaces via Pro Control's Studio software. The software works with Pro Control's ProLink.z control processor, and with the combination of the ProLink.z and the ProPanel app, Pro Control says that electronics professionals can benefit from the products' ease of installation, and their clients can benefit from the products' easy-to-use interface capabilities.

Homeowners can use the app in both landscape and portrait positions and the control functions are capable of seamlessly using Wi-Fi and 3G for reliable connectivity.

image CoolMaster Gateway from Cool Automation is a versatile climate control device that enables easy and smooth interface of VRV / VRF air conditioning systems from renowned brands like Daikin, Mitsubishi, LG, Toshiba and others via RS-232 or USB communications with home PCs, embedded PCs, home automation control centers and BMS (Building Management Systems).

Companies like Control4 HAI, Vantage, RTI and others include this device as part of their home automation system providing the homeowners with a single set point to control and monitor the entire HVAC systems in their homes.

By providing a simple interface over RS-232, CoolMaster enables control over indoor units with full access and monitoring of all air conditioning parameters. CoolMaster will eliminate the hassle for integrators and installers of dealing with the complexity and variety of an air conditioning system's internal protocols and unique physical layers, providing them with a complete, well documented and simple to use protocol utilizing a common ASCII protocol over RS-232.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

image These days it's easy to overwhelm someone with technology and ultimately what many discover is that it is best to use technology in moderation.

Russound's latest keypad product, the new SLK Single Line Keypad is a streamlined user interface that is designed for individual zone control of the C-Series MCA-C3 multiroom audio systems. Russound says the keypad is designed for basic control and it includes a modern industrial design, and it is available in a choice of five colors to allow it to match the interior of most homes.

The Newmarket, N.H.-based manufacturer adds that the keypad also features a white backlit LCD display that includes a five-character display that lists current source, volume levels and system status. In addition, the SLK Single Link Keypad also includes a single soft-button that allows for a system turn off of all zones, and the keypad supports the company's "My Russound" application when the app is loaded on supported portable devices.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

image Honeywell is one of the most popular security equipment manufacturers in the world of residential electronics and recently the Melville, N.Y.-based company introduced its latest home security product the LYNX Touch 5100 control interface.

The LYNX Touch 5100 is an interface solution that incorporates Wi-Fi and an alarm radio that communicates with 2G, 3G and 4G networks to ensure reliability. With the 5100 interface as part of a complete LYNX Touch security system homeowners will have at their disposal an array of convenience and security features that provide energy efficiency and safety to their lives. Honeywell builds in compatibility with Z-Wave thermostats, door locks and lighting systems to enable homeowners to own a complete home automation/security system at a reasonable cost.

Honeywell adds the LYNX Touch 5100 also includes the company's Total Connect technologies that allows homeowners to access options such as remote camera viewing, weather, news and traffic information from their smart phones.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

image Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) is one of the most diverse and aggressive manufacturers in the custom installation market. Adding to its line of convenience products the New Orleans-based company recently introduced its new MicroControl (part #81A00-2WHZB) stand alone remote control that can be used by property owners to lock and unlock ZigBee enabled door locks and to control other wireless devices.

HAI says that it has verified the MicroControl's operation with Black & Decker's Kwikset SmartCode locks, but it adds that the remote should work with other brands of ZigBee enabled locks. In addition to its ZigBee lock capabilities, HAI points out that property owners can also use the remote to coordinate their wireless energy management products that include thermostats, load-control modules that regulate compressors, generators, water heaters, pumps, fountains and chillers.

The remote can also be integrated into the company's Omni or Lumina control systems and HAI says the remote also provides users lock statuses for each lock to support improved property security.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

image This past fall during the annual CEDIA trade show in Indianapolis, Remote Technologies Inc (RTI) introduced its new Pro Control line of products.

Recently Pro Control started to ship its Pro24.r and Pro24.z touchscreen controllers and ProLink.r and ProLink.z central control processors to provide electronics professionals with a choice of powerful and easy to use control solutions. The new touchscreen controllers incorporate 2.4-inch TFT LCD touchscreens, programmable five-way joysticks and backlit hard buttons to allow users to execute specific commands in dimly lit rooms.

The ProLink.z and ProLink.r processors store incorporate the ability to store macro commands, as well as a full array of control options, including routable IR ports with adjustable output levels, voltage-sensing inputs and Ethernet ports for networked control. The ProLink.z also includes the bi-directional ZigBee 2.4GHz wireless communication technology and RS-232 ports. Pro Control also says that it will be adding Apple iOS and Android apps to provide more control options through the use of these popular device platforms.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

image In a pretty short amount of time Control4 has grown quickly within the professional electronics community because of its advanced technologies, affordable prices and growing array of products.

Adding to its product family, the Salt Lake City-based manufacturer recently rolled out two new automation controllers: the single room HC-250 and the flagship HC-800 whole-house solution. Control4 says the HC-800 provides electronics professionals with a powerful control device that can serve as the cornerstone for any multiroom control system and it's powered by a 1.8GHz dual-core processor that drives the product's ability to instantly react to onscreen control and media browsing commands. The unit is 1U high and it offers installations features such as two RS-232 ports, six IR ports, four contact relays, analog audio/video provisions and HDMI connectivity.

The single-room HC-250 is designed as a step-up solution from typical remote control devices. Control4 says the HC-250 supports HDMI and it includes 802.11n Wi-Fi and Power over Ethernet (PoE) for single Cat-5 runs that facilitate simple connectivity.

Monday, January 23, 2012

image When top dealers such as Nick Tamburri of AHA Design consistently laud HAI for its line of home control, home automation and security products, it says the company must be doing something right.

Validating those opinions are actions such as the New Orleans-based company's recent announcement that it is releasing a software update to enhance its control and security systems' usability. Just after the start of the new year HAI revealed that it is updating its controller software to allow for the two-way integration of ZigBee and Z-Wave wireless door locks. HAI dealers that install Omni and Lumina home control systems will be able to utilize wireless door locks from top manufacturers such as Kwikset, Yale and Schlage, and the company says that with the update homeowners can lock and unlock as many as 16 doors using HAI tuchscreens and keyfobs, and they can control these solutions remotely via HAI's Apple iOS and Android apps.

HAI says that installers should make sure the Omni Pro II, Omni IIe, Lumina Pro and Lumina controllers are running software version 3.10 or later, and that Z-Wave integration requires Leviton RF+3 Serial Interface Module part number VRCOP. In addition ZigBee integrations will require HAI's ZigBee Interface Module part number 81A00-3ZB running firmware 14.08 or greater.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

image HAI (Home Automation, Inc.) announced that its 2012 HAI Product Catalog is now available in three formats: hard-copy print, electronic PDF, and online Flash. It will also be included on HAI's upcoming 2012 Automation Simplified CD.

The Product Guide features products currently shipping and products scheduled to be introduced in 2012, including all-new Promo Kits, the ZigBee Gateway, the Bluetooth Remote Input Module, and the Temperature Display/Control.

To make it easier to find specific products, the catalog is divided into the following general categories: Safety, Energy Management, Entertainment, and Convenient Interfaces, with color-coded tabs. Also included is information on HAI's history, industry participation and research, training and dealer support programs, warranty and technical support, wiring requirements and diagrams, as well as marketing and supporting documentation.

HAI Dealers and Distributors may now order free hard copies as well as CD's via the online support websites. HAI will ship the documents when they become available within the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

image With the analog fat lady warming warming up her vocals cords as the electronics industry rapidly approaches the analog sunset, it's now more important than ever to have the capabilities to troubleshoot a client's digital infrastructure.

The electronic connectivity manufacturer Atlona's latest product is designed to help industry professionals to successfully install fully reliable digital systems with efficiency. Atlona's new Digital Connectivity Testing Kit (KIT-PROHD3) is a simple and portable solution that installers can use to test their digital system installations. The company says the kit comes with its Signal Generator (AT-HD800), as well as its Testing Monitor (AT-DIS7-PORHD), HDMI EDID Emulator (AT-HDSync) and AT-BAT-DIS7PRO products to enable electronics professionals to diagnose 99 percent of all digital connectivity issues they may encounter in the field.

Atlona says the kit is packaged in a quality carrying case to make it as portable as possible, and it says that when installers use the kit they can save labor time and service calls through the proper diagnosis of connectivity throughput and communication.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

image Elan Home Systems has always been a company that's been able to balance competitive price points, modern technologies and pleasing industrial designs.

The latest example of how the company balances these three key items on a consistent basis can be found in its new TS10 touchscreen. The TS10 is the latest user interface from the company and it is engineered to provide homeowners with a versatile, easy-to-use control device that facilitates their use of their home electronics. Elan says the new touchscreen incorporates the company's "touch-and-swipe" user technologies with an active matrix screen that can display large icons that are easy for users to read, and analog video content.

Some of the features built into the unit include a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, speakers, a microphone and a choice of finishes such as almond, light almond, ivory and black. Elan also supports the touchscreen with install accessories like an optional backbox and preconstruction brackets.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

image With the stock market behaving more erratically than a toddler, unemployment still raging at more than 9 percent and consumer confidence waffling, the public is looking for any means possible to save money.

The New Orleans-based manufacturer Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) is providing some relief to homeowners that are interested in curbing their utility expenses through its new energy management solution. HAI is now shipping its Standalone Wireless Energy Management System MicroControl (8100-2WHZB) unit. According to the company, the ZigBee-based device serves as the heart of its Energy Management System and it facilitates a homeowner's ability to run time-based schedules for their home's temperatures, water heaters, fountains, lamps and other components.

HAI adds the MicroControl can act as a ZigBee Interface Module (ZIM) to allow the unit to integrate into the company's whole-house control and automation systems.

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