Microsoft Brags About Crestron Pyng and IoT at Computex Taipei
Microsoft touted Crestron’s cloud-based Pyng home automation system for its implementation of the Azure IoT platform during Computex Taipei 2015 keynote presentation.
Earlier this year, Microsoft extended its Azure cloud computing platform to the Internet of Things with Azure IoT, a suite of services for enabling smart devices to connect with each other and the cloud. And last week Microsoft lauded the new Crestron Pyng cloud-based home automation platform as an ideal implementation of Azure IoT.
During the Microsoft keynote address at Computex Taipei 2015, and in a follow-up blog, Microsoft vice president of worldwide OEM, Nick Parker called Pyng an “elegant home automation technology that utilizes Azure IoT services to connect lighting, shades, audio, thermostats, door locks and security systems, so that everything works together intelligently to make life easier.”
Crestron launched Pyng at CEDIA Expo 2014 as a platform for programming home automation systems from the cloud, logging data from smart devices such as lighting, cameras and thermostats, and enabling remote system monitoring and management with minimal effort … all from an app on a lightweight tablet.
Pyng broke a long-standing home automation tradition of programming and controlling systems from servers built into hefty home-control hubs located at the customers’ premises.
Crestron CTO Fred Bargetzi has told me the new service was “seven years in the making.”
In addition to simplifying the installation and configuration of a Crestron system via a professional integrator, Pyng also empowers consumers themselves to personalize their systems without having to call a pro – a new thing for Crestron.
Since Pyng debuted last year, Crestron has quickly added capabilities to the platform – a testament to its flexibility and robustness, as well as its cloud-based architecture, Bargetzi says.
Initially, Pyng supported only a handful of subsystems: Crestron-compatible Yale locks, Honeywell Vista security systems and Crestron’s own wireless lighting, motorized shades, thermostats and other Infinet EX devices such as sensors and I/O modules.
In addition to streaming sources, the audio functionality extends to “uncontrolled” audio sources as well, which is especially useful for piping audio from the TV to speakers in the bathroom, for example.
Such capabilities have always been available from Crestron systems, but never this simply.
While audio control may be exciting to integrators, what really gets Bargetzi going is what happens in the cloud.
Through the myCrestron service, integrators can access all of their clients’ systems from one simple dashboard. They can view connected devices, check software versions, push new files to the premises and diagnose trouble before a customer knows it exists.
This year, Crestron announced that both Pyng and “Classic” Crestron systems could be integrated into a single unified myCrestron dashboard.
Crestron continues to build bridges between Pyng and Classic. Both flavors integrate seamlessly, so whatever products and features are not yet supported in Pyng can be programmed into the flagship 3 Series controller, and then bridged.
At the same time – and this is a newer feature as well – legacy touchscreens for Classic Crestron can be “converted” to Pyng, without impacting Classic programming and settings. Regardless of which features were programmed in what environment, the end result is that anything can be controlled from an iOS or Android device, as well as a Crestron touchscreen.
Bargetzi tells us that Crestron will continue to expand upon the Pyng platform to bring more customer engagement, new features and richer opportunities for home systems integrators, especially those who want to reach broader markets.
Evidently, Microsoft believes it. The long-time Crestron partner was the only home automation company mentioned during the Computex presentation. But Parker did mention Toshiba, which uses Azure IoT for the transportation and logistics industry, providing real-time tracking and monitoring of goods while they are in transit – much like Crestron a consumer or integrator might track devices in the home.
Crestron Pyng home automation on stage at Microsoft Computex presentation.
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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 email@example.com
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