Control4 Gets Emojis for Home Automation Activities: ‘Kiss-Kiss’ for Romance Mode?

BlackWire launches emoji driver for Control4 home automation systems, wooing Millennials with icons they know and love.


If the home-automation world wants to lure Millennials to its ranks, give them visuals they know and love – like rainbow unicorns and steaming piles of poo. Those emojis are coming to Control4, (Nasdaq: CTRL) thanks to a new driver from BlackWire, a smart-home distributor and software-development firm for the home-technology channel.

“Millennials are easily bored and have short attention spans,” says Blackwire software developer Seth Johnson. “We had to find a way to grab their attention and hold it.”

Emojis can do that for the smart home, just as they have done for the smart phone, Johnson believes.

“How do you explain to someone who has never seen a DVD in their life that the round shiny disc thing is how you watch Hulu?”

— Kevin Luther, BlackWire

And, no, despite the whimsical news, graphics and download site (best when viewed from a PC), the Control4 emoji announcement is no April fools joke.

BlackWire embeds 1,439 emojis in the new driver, divided into eight category drivers for dealers to integrate into their projects:  People, Activities, Food, Symbols, Travel, Flags, and Nature.

BlackWire president Kevin Luther says the graphics used in today’s smart-home systems – especially systems installed by pros – are out of touch with younger buyers who grew up with text messaging, Facebook and heart emoticons to express their love.

“How do you explain to someone who has never seen a DVD in their life that the round shiny disc thing is how you watch Hulu?” Luther says. “Take the same client and give them a turtle emoji or a bullet train emoji and they get it.”

Johnson adds, “These emojis are essential to communication throughout the world and it only makes sense to see them on our touchscreens to assist in how we control our homes.”

The BlackWire Emoji Pack for Control4 is now available at and can be installed on any project running C4 OS 2.9 and up.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

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