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Control4: Amazon Fire Phone Holds Potential for Home Automation

Amazon's Fire Phone has interesting potential for home automation when you consider Firefly, Dynamic Perspective and other APIs. Control4 (CTRL) promises to build around these SDKs.

Control4 home automation for Amazon Fire Phone
Julie Jacobson · July 29, 2014

Control4 (Nasdaq: CTRL) wasted little time in delivering a home automation app for the last phone OS: Amazon Fire.

The phone arrived to mostly tepid reviews, but it has a few interesting features that might become useful for smart-home apps.

The scanning app, for example, has received props for its accuracy and its relevance when used with Amazon’s Firefly technology.

“Firefly is more comprehensive and reliable than other scanning apps I’ve tried,” one reviewer writes. “I was surprised it managed to identify the model of the landline phone on my desk.”

Taken to another level, a user could then buy that very phone from on the fly.

Currently only a handful of non-Amazon Firefly apps are available. As the reviewer writes:

So after scanning the movie poster for “Stranger by the Lake,” I could launch the Flixster app for more information, but I couldn’t go directly to Netflix because that app hasn’t enabled the feature yet.

In the case of home automation, users might be able to take pictures of a surround sound receiver or door lock to enroll it into a system.

Fire Phone’s Dynamic Perspective SDK also might have potential for a home-control application. That SDK allows apps to respond to how a user is looking at the screen.

If you’ve ever tried to pan your head around a TV screen to peer under a bad to see what’s lurking … you can get the idea of what this feature enables.

In a home automation sense, perhaps you would use the head/eye-tracking capabilities to pan and tilt a camera.

Control4 says it expects to leverage both of these SDKs in the future.

Below is the Control4 press release:

Control4 Mobile App Now Available for Amazon Fire Phone
The popular Control4 smart home application provides secure access and control of connected homes via the new Fire phone

Salt Lake City, UT – July 25, 2014 at 4:05pm EST – Control4 (NASDAQ: CTRL), a leading provider of automation and control solutions for the connected home, announced today that the Control4® App for the new Amazon Fire phone is now available in the Amazon Appstore. When the App is used with the Control4 4Sight service, homeowners can securely manage, access and control their Control4 automated homes via Fire phone from virtually anywhere in the world.

The Control4 App provides homeowners the ability to control their Control4 smart homes using both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Extending the powerful Control4 OS onto mobile devices gives customers total access and management of all connected systems and devices in their home, including thermostats, surveillance cameras, door locks, security systems, lighting, audio/video equipment and more. The Control4 App can also send alerts directly to Fire phone so that homeowners know when gates or doors are open, temperatures are too hot or cold, a water leak is detected and when other programmed events either occur or do not.  With a Control4 system, homeowners are not only aware of the condition and state of their home, but they can make desired adjustments and stay in control.

With pre-built controls, Android API extensions and broad Android app compatibility, Amazon made it easy to tailor the Control4 app for Fire phone. In the future Control4 will also leverage the new Dynamic Perspective SDK and Firefly SDK to advance unique application development for Control4 Fire phone users.

“The Control4 mobile App gives our customers the peace of mind and freedom to access and control virtually every aspect of their smart home – no matter where they are,” said Control4 Chairman and CEO Martin Plaehn. “Amazon’s Fire phone is sure to excite many Control4 homeowners and we wanted to ensure that they had full compatibility the day it started shipping.”

“Control4 has great opportunities to use Fire phone’s unique capabilities to offer its customers a new kind of experience for people on the go,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Appstore.  “We’re thrilled that Control4 has created an app for Fire phone.  We think customers are going to love the experience.” 

The Control4 App for Fire phone is free and available for download today. For more information, visit

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · Amazon · Control4 · All Topics
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