Last month, home-automation giant Crestron launched their new TSW-X60 touchpanel line featuring a bag of cool new features. The new panels have a built-in camera to complement the existing RAVA SIP VoIP service for full two-way video communications. It's now a perfect companion to access-control systems like BPT. The camera also can be used for surveillance — no standalone cameras required.
A PinPoint beacon is included now, which opens up a new world of possibilities to both commercial and residential integrators. Installed in office buildings, the unit can guide workers to the best meeting room allow them to connect instantly to AirMedia for wireless presentations.
Also, the panels enjoy the eagerly awaited backlit buttons and improved multi-touch support. There's also built-in support for Sonos, which Crestron announced at CEDIA.
Aesthetically, the TSW-X60 range is almost indistinguishable from its predecessors – the TSW-X50 and X52 panels – but the true gem isn’t something you can see, at least, not in a photo. Sitting behind the touchscreen is a brand new processor and a chunk of additional usable memory which gives some serious extra horsepower to Smart Graphics projects.
Projects built for the older panels are pixel-for-pixel compatible with the new panels, so we’ve run some side-by-side tests to check out the performance increase. The results are impressive. There is a clear difference in page refresh speed and smoothness of subpage transitions, plus individual controls like the spinner list finally give us the kind of experience we’d expect from an iOS interface.
Lighting Visualiser, by Ultamation: Visualize lighting effects without actually controlling the lights
One of the great benefits of the Smart Graphics platform is that Crestron decided to open the platform to third-party developers so that we could extend the set of native controls and come up with interesting user interface elements that Crestron either hadn’t thought of, or didn’t deem of any strategic importance.
One such idea we came up with was a Lighting Visualiser. The vision was to embed a control on the touchpanel that would show a space within a venue or home, and allow the user to adjust the lighting to create the perfect scene, without being in the room, or having to wait for night to fall. All the control needs is a series of images, one for each distinct light, all taken from the same position.
When we first created the Visualizer, the theory worked but, sadly, the power of the Smart Graphics panels at the time wasn’t up to the task. Enter the TSW-X60s and all of this has changed. The boosted rendering power means that the complex transformations required to combine the layered image, adjust the lighting intensity, and apply tints of hue can all be accomplished in real-time as the user adjusts the virtual lighting levels before saving the scene for later, physical, recall.
The Visualiser is available at the Ultamation shop.