Is iPad Mini the ‘Perfect Size for Home Automation’?

Will iPad Mini create a surge in home automation and A/V control, as the original iPad did?

iPad Mini: perfect size for a remote control?
Julie Jacobson · October 23, 2012

No big surprise that Apple introduced the iPad Mini, a 7.9-inch display that is pencil-thin at 7.2 millimeters. At 0.68 lbs., it weighs about half as much as its big brother.

Other than its smaller form factor, everything else appears to be the same as its 9.7-inch counterpart.

Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller would disagree. He said today during Apple’s media event, “This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad.”

To the home automation, audio/video and custom electronics industries, however, that’s exactly what it is—just a smaller version of the original.

But that might be exactly what our industry needs. It’s small enough and light enough to be held with one hand, making it better than a big iPad for use as a remote control.

At $329 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, the iPad Mini isn’t ridiculously cheap like an Android tablet, but it is in line with a decent universal remote—I mean, if you want to wake up the device to launch a command, and then jump from app to app.

Yes, it still has all the flaws of the bigger models when it comes to home control.

Clearly, the original iPad stimulated sales of home control systems because it was adored and well understood by the masses, and a cheap alternative to tradition home touchscreens.

Does the iPad Mini substantially open up new opportunities?

At CEDIA Expo 2012 in September, iPort showed a prototype LaunchPort charging mount for the iPad Mini, complete with a mocked-up Mini.

CEO Ari Supran declared, “We want people to hold it and say, ‘Hey, it’s the perfect size for home automation. Then they’ll get a bunch, and then they’ll need a place to put it.”

Do you agree? Will the iPad Mini create a new surge in home control?

RELATED: Apple iPad Mini is Official: Is $329 Too Much to Pay?
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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

Blogs · iPad · iPort · Remote Automation · All Topics
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