Crestron has just announced it will be releasing a “shell” for popular iPad touchpanel. Crestron has embraced Apple technology developing applications for the iPhone and iPad that can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes store. This shell adds a couple much needed additions to the iPad platform as a home automation controller.
For one, it will now dock and charge horizontally. It also adds 13 hard buttons for easy and quick navigation to certain control sections such as lights, music and shades. I personally like the feel of hard buttons when performing functions like channel surfing through a DirecTV guide. Even with the price estimated to be at around $500 for the Crestron iPanel, in addition to the price range of the iPad, it is still a much better and more functional deal than purchasing one of Crestron’s similar products, the TPMC-8X or the TPS-6X wirless touch panels.
In general, the wireless on the iPad has proven to be far more reliable than on the TPMC-8X in the numerous installations we have done. Another major improvement of the iPad is the ability to roam around a large house from access point to access point. This was and still remains a major issue with the TPMC-8X. While that is an achievable function with the 8X, it requires far more network resources. Keep in mind, the entire system with the iPad still works on a Crestron backbone with a Crestron processor. You will also need a certified programmer to customize the touch panel application for your specific system and needs.
The Crestron iPanel will be debut at CEDIA 2010 this September 24-26 in Atlanta. Give us a call at 1-800-224-5721 to schedule a visit to our showroom in Downtown Los Angeles to check out the iPad in action.
Bryan Gorog is the owner of BCG Concepts Audio & Video in Los Angeles, CA
Home Theater, Audio Video and Automation Blog - Los Angeles