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Home Automation & Control

All Products Filed in Home Automation and Control

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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

image With all of the publicity that Apple gets for its iPad and iPhone products, it's almost easy to forget that before the advent of smart devices the home control and automation category used keypads and touchpanels as user interface devices.

The Utah-based manufacturer Vantage has released what is says is the first of several new interface products that are designed to give electronics professionals a full selection of interface solutions that don't run Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating systems. The first of these new keypads is the competitively priced Equinox 4 LCD keypad, and according to Vantage, the Equinox 4 is designed to provide the benefits of a full-sized touchpanel with the physical advantages of a single-gang keypad. Aesthetically Vantage says the keypad employs a minimalist design to help it complement a variety of home interiors, and once it is installed it offers homeowners full access to their lighting, HVAC and audio systems.

Vantage adds the Equinox 4 is the first of its new generation of products to employ its User Experience Platform which it says will unify the look and physical appearance of its interface products, including its graphics.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

image Crestron easily has one of the most diverse and broad line of products in the entire world of custom installation.

Adding to its diversity, the company announced the release of its TSW line of touchscreens. The Rockleigh, N.J.-based manufacturer has designed its latest touchscreens to compete with the aesthetics of today's mobile computing devices from companies like Apple, and it says the touchscreens in addition to their emphasis on industrial design incorporate Core 3 IU processors to ensure the interfaces can execute a variety of complex commands with the speed that homeowners expect from a modern piece of electronics. The capacitive touch-based screen products also incorporate five soft keys that are designed to provide users quick access to commonly used functions, and with their icon graphics homeowners will be able to easily identify options like "power," "light," "home," "up" and "down."

Crestron also includes its Rava SIP Intercom technology that is said to support hands-free VoIP between any two Rava-equipped products. Crestron says the line includes a 5-inch model, a 7-inch model and a 10-inch model.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

image One of the fastest growing categories within the custom electronics market is shade control. Hunter Douglas is a diverse manufacturer that is famous for among other things, ceiling fans, but the company also manufactures a large selection of motorized shade products.

Recently the company announced the launch of its new Apple iOS Platinum App for the control of its PowerRise 2.1 and PowerGlide 2.1 motorized shade products. Hunter Douglas says the app allows homeowners to to set multiple window coverings for on-schedule repositioning by scene, by the time of day or by day for matters of privacy, energy efficiency or to simply brighten or darken a room. The app is said to use Hunter Douglas' proprietary technology which is incorporated into its optional Platinum Bridge product.

Hunter Douglas adds the Platinum Bridge carries a retail price of $275 and repeater kits retail for $80. The company says to set up a control solution a system will require at least one Platinum Bridge and one repeater kit. Hunter Douglas says that app will be available starting on Sept. 18.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

image SnapAV has been one of the most aggressive manufacturers in the specialty/custom electronics market through its constant work to grow its product lines. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company's latest product line however, doesn't grow its array of custom install products, but it does replace its old line of power conditioners.

The newly announced WattBox line of power conditioners replaces the company's old Episode line of power conditioners and this new UL-certified series of products are designed provide custom installation professionals with a wide selection of devices that can be used to protect home electronics from brown-outs and spikes. SnapAV says the products utilize all-metal chassis designs, and the rack-mount models can be angled and recessed to meet whatever installation requirements an installer encounters.

Highlighting the new line of products is the company's 600 Series two-piece power conditioner that SnapAV has designed to allow installers to mount the outlets in spaces more accessible to the rest of a rack system's components. The 600 Series incorporates surge protection, isolated filter banks, fireproof MOV devices, sequenced outlets, noise filtration and safe voltage protection for brown outs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

image Today's weather seems more unpredictable than ever before and if the idea of random tornados, blinding snow storms, powerful ice storms and debilitating lightning strikes once seemed far fetched, the craziness of today's weather extremes means these events are no longer out of the realm of possibility.

Power protection can't save a home from the perils of a tornado or ice storm, but it can protect homes from surges, spikes and other power related anomalies during times of lightning strikes and other events. Eaton Corporation's new collaboration with Mike Holmes host of HGTV's "Holmes on Homes" offers electronics professionals a line of products that can protect an entire home from surges and spikes.

Eaton says the "Holmes Approved" line of products are designed to install in a home's breaker box and they are engineered to protect a home's appliances, electronics and other devices from surges. Holmes says the reason he partnered with Eaton is because he has experienced the affects of a surge and afterwards he installed Eaton products to protect his electronics and appliances from these types of events.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

image Slowly over the course of the past few years consumers have started to learn about the benefits of lighting control which include energy efficiency, cost savings and the ability to create customized lighting scenes.

The newly introduced CB1 Control Bridge from 3vNET is a simple-to-implement device that can help homeowners tap into the advantages of lighting control. 3vNET says the CB1 is a lighting and control module that serves as gateway for lighting control within a home automation system. Internally the device incorporates a 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of flash memory to support its use as a device that enables timer schedules, monitoring and system access for third-party solutions. In addition, 3vNET says the CB1 also works in tandem with its system design software to make future design upgrades easy.

Other features bundled into the CB1 Control Bridge include a SDIO card slot for storage expansion, and iPad control provisions.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

image At this point with the economy the way it is and the costs of everything seemingly soaring to new record levels, consumers have been forced in many cases to educate themselves about the benefits of energy efficiency in the home.

URC's latest product release addresses the concerns of homeowners and commercial property owners that want to manage their energy consumption. URC's new THZ-100 programmable thermostat is a device electronics professionals can use to help their clients manage their property heating and cooling costs. The THZ-100 features URC's Intelligent Comfort Recovery technology that monitors a building's environmental temperature and adjusts it based on the thermostat's preset schedule. URC also incorporates a backlit two-inch color LCD interface that changes color based on whether the system is heating or cooling. The thermostat's other features include five front-panel buttons and the ability to control the device with URC keypads, touchpanels, remote controls and Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.

Electronics professionals can program the thermostat through the use of URC's Accelerator software and URC also includes a mounting template, bracket and screws.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

image Crestron is one of the most widely used manufacturers in the world of specialty electronics. Through the years the company has diversified its product line by entering the home theater, whole-house A/V and lighting control markets to serve electronics professionals as a convenient one-stop shop manufacturer of high-technology solutions.

Crestron's latest product release puts the company in another new market: shade control. Crestron's new line of quiet motorized shade control products includes Roman shades, skylight shades and drapery track systems, and the N.J.-based manufacturer says the line of products utilize its new Quiet Motor Technology (QMT) that enable the shades to operate quietly, efficiently and concisely.

With the new line of shade products Crestron says that its authorized dealers can offer their clients the ability to maximize the use of natural sunlight to produce a comfortable interior environment and a home that is energy efficient. The shades can be controlled through the use of the company's vast array of touchpanels, keypads and remote controls, and the company adds, users can also use their favorite Apple iOS devices, as well as Android products to control their shading products.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

image With the public continually learning more about the home control and automation market, control and automation manufacturers have responded to this increased interest by developing a growing array of products that suit a variety consumer needs.

The Orem, Utah-based manufacturer Vantage Controls is providing the retrofit electronics market with a solution that facilitates the installation of its upcoming 7-inch TPT2 touchscreen. The newly announced TPT2 Retrofit Kit is designed to allow installers to install the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen in a variety of home environments, and the company says the kit includes a retrofit bracket that resembles a mud ring; two connector clips and screws to secure the kit.

Vantage says the kit allows the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen to mount onto standard drywall or it can be utilized with the company's TPT650 install box. Once installed, the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen will need a Cat-5e cable and power over Ethernet (PoE) for power and communication.

Friday, July 06, 2012

image HDMI can be one of the trickiest technologies in all of consumer electronics and it can be difficult to deal with in simple installations, as well as complex installations.

HydraConnect says that its latest product, the newly announced HSS-2 HDMI Matrix Processor solves many of the issues installers encounter in the field through its ability to seamlessly integrate into a Control4-based system. HydraConnect says the HSS-2 enables electronics professionals to distribute as many as eight HD sources to as many as eight displays or it can be set up to distribute a total of 16 zones of audio. The 8x8 matrix switcher supports the HDMI 1.4a protocol to enable it to work with HD and 3D video, and the Deep Color specification.

Other features built into the HSS-2 include its A/V remix option that allows homeowners to watch a video source while listening to a separate audio source (a football game and music for example), and with its proprietary FlashConnect technology, the matrix switcher is able to switch from one video source to another at almost instantaneous speeds without experiencing dropouts or delays.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

image It's an unfortunate situation that most homeowners' key rings look more like a janitor rather than someone that owns a single-family property.

Honeywell's latest release could ease the burden of homeowners having to carry around a wad of keys and other devices on their key rings. The company's latest addition to its 5800 Series of security components allows homeowners to use their existing keyfobs to open and close their garage doors and other relay-activated items. The newly introduced 5877 wireless relay module can be used as an add-on to the company's VISTA and LYNX security systems and it can be utilized as a retrofit or new component that allows homeowners to use their keyfobs to open and close their garage doors.

The Melville, N.Y. security product manufacturer adds the 5877 is engineered to install quickly and that as many as seven keys can be enrolled into the module to provide control to any relay-activated device.

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.

Monday, June 18, 2012

image The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based manufacturer Channel Vision has a diverse line of security products that fit the needs of electronics professionals that serve the residential and commercial security markets.

Adding to its line of camera products, the Southern Californian company recently announced its 6531 Indoor Dome Color 1.3 megapixel IP camera with IR product. Channel Vision says the 1.3 megapixel dome CMOS camera enables electronics professionals to offer clients a camera that is able to capture high quality images with resolutions up to 1200x800, and the ability to save storage space through H.264 compression. In addition to its compatibility with H.264, the camera also works with the JPG and MPEG-4 formats, and it can capture images at other resolutions, including 1280x720 at 30fps, 640x480 at 30fps, 320x240 at 30fps and 176x144 at 30fps.

Other features built into the 6531 1.3 megapixel indoor IP dome camera include event triggered micro SD card recording options and built-in IR that supports viewing distances as far as 15 feet in complete darkness.

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