If you’re like me, you already have used your smart phone or iPad around your house to stream music, control your DirecTV DVR or remotely control some device you have at home.
Of course, in my business, we create lots of home automation and control systems from manufacturers such as Crestron, Savant and Control4. Invariably, everyone wants their smart phone or iPad to be programmed as a control device for whichever one of these systems we install. And honestly, those phones and pads will work VERY well for that purpose. Now as soon as I say that, let me be quick to add that those will not operate as seamlessly for that purpose as the manufacturer’s own branded mobile device.
Still, for ease of use, each of those manufacturers has created apps for those commonly owned media devices for the simple reason that the consumer is already familiar with it and generally keeps them handy. Those apps work as well as the control system manufacturer can possibly program those phones and tablets to perform that way. But know that there will always be some kinda glitch–some incompatibility–that the consumer will experience when using their phone or wi-fi pad to control their home automation system.
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. Back in the day, you either owned a PC or a Mac. If you created a document or spreadsheet in one type of platform and emailed it to s0meone who owned the other type of platform, they couldn’t even open the thing let alone read it. One day, the industry smartened up and started creating programs so the two could talk to each other. Now the two could interface and everyone was happy. But anyone will tell you that the two don’t work together perfectly and your sometimes encounter formatting problems in documents or linkage problems in spreadsheets.
That’s the way it is marrying the popular smart technologies with automated systems. They WILL work and will be quite enjoyable when they do. But for best results, use the mobile device designed for the product.
In Part 2, I’ll go a little bit “behind the scenes” of how the magic works.
by Bryan Naquin. Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts. And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. CEPro Magazine ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. coming in at Number 87 for 2011.