What to Consider When Using Tablets and Smartphones in Home Automation Systems: Part 1

The Rise of the Consumer Mobile Device

iPhone Control of your Home Systems

iRule uses the home's Wi-Fi connection to send the command from a phone or tablet to the IR converter or a network device. This happens in a fraction of a second.

Be Smart About Using Smartphones For Home Control

A dedicated interface, whether it be a wand-style remote, in-wall touch screen or tabletop touch screen, will always provide a more robust experience than multi-purpose smart devices.

The Quest for a Better Remote

I've used Logitech Harmony remotes on my Home Theater and in the Master Bedroom for a few years and for the most part, they worked OK. The "Help" button painlessly solved many hiccups. With a move to a new house, all AV gear was hidden away (most of it in the basement). A second Blu-ray player and Apple TV complicated things, so it was time to look for a new solution that would dispense with the hiccups. My quest has ended (for now) with URC.

Natural Interaction and Gesture Technology

PrimeSense is leading the charge with Natural Interaction and gesture technology as the new paradigm

When the iPhone Makes a Perfect TV Remote?

I'm not easily impressed, but on a recent trip to New Orleans, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a case where the iPhone was way better than the TV remote.

5 Reasons Why I Love my iPad but Hate it as a TV Remote Control

There are many apps for iOS devices that allow it to perform as control pad, but is an iOS device the best option?

Using the Kindle Fire as a Home Automation Touchscreen

Ever since I saw the first homes with wall-mounted touchscreens, I've yearned for an affordable alternative. Was the Kindle Fire, the answer to my dreams. I ordered one in an attempt to find out. Like a kid waiting for Santa, I looked out the window every 15 minutes on Saturday morning for the UPS driver. After what seemed like an eternity (it was after 10:30 am after all), it arrived. I excitedly unboxed it and got to work. Within 10 minutes, I had the tablet up and running and controlling devices and events (albeit with a sample skin). A few hours later, I had my custom iPad screens adapted to the size of the Fire and deployed on the device. I now had my $199 Home Automation touchscreen. One in every important room was within my grasp and my budget.

Did I Turn off the Lights?

Save energy by controlling your home's temperature while traveling.  Check the video feed from your security cameras.  Turn off the security system for a neighbor to enter and feed the cat without giving out a security code.  Turn the lights on and off in different rooms to make potential burglars think that someone is home, or activate the TV at night like you would if you were home.

Review - Square Connect SQ Blaster with SQ Remote App

The SQ Blaster with SQ Remote App is an excellent solution for turning your Apple iOS device into a universal remote control that is better than most Logitech Harmony remotes and rivals the capabilities of a Philips Pronto. Now that other z-wave options like the Logitech Harmony 890, the Monster Central remotes and the UEI Nevo have all been discontinued the SQ Remote is an excellent way to protect the investment you've made into home automation - or get started at an affordable price. Don't forget that this review covers the home automation capabilities of the Square Connect SQ Blaster with SQ Remote App but if you want to learn more about the A/V control capability and the SQ Remote itself please click here to read Remote Shoppe's first review .

The iPad® as a Dedicated Controller:

The iPad's true potential as a controller lies in accessing home systems when away from the house. With a WiFi connection and an app from the control system manufacturer, users can check in on their security systems, turn the lights off if they left them on, or adjust the temperature before they get home from work, all from pretty much anywhere in the world. This provides an amazing added value and convenience to any control system, while providing the "wow" factor that consumers are looking for.

Interview - What is ZigBee RF4CE?

Removing the clutter of multiple remote controls scattered around the coffee table is a silent desire of many consumers. But the real driving factor for acceptance of RF4CE is cable TV companies and service providers who want to expand their service into the home. Specifically, the remote control has become the key point of contact with the consumer, so what more can be done with it?

Take Control - Make Your Audio/Video System Easy To Use

Each of your components probably came with its own remote, so they can add up pretty quickly.  However, a well-programmed universal remote provides some very useful advantages.  One of the more common requests I get is to eliminate the clutter and confusion caused by having multiple remotes.  My clients want to be able to pick up the remote and not think about how the system works or which input they must switch their TV to, in order to watch cable or a blu-ray movie.  They want it fairly self-explanatory when they pick it up.

Amulet - Voice recognition and control applications within the Connected Home

The Amulet Voice Remote is another example of the increasing trend of interacting with your TV, Home Theater, and even Home, not just by giving commands…but by receiving answers in return as well. Amulet is creating the sense of absolute control…by using our voices.

RedEye: Control for the Whole Family

Anyone in your house with an iPhone, iPad, iPad touch or computer can control your home theater. RedEye connects simultaneously to multiple iPhone, iPad or iPad touch devices - separately or all at once. If you have multiple RedEye units in your home, configure one or more iOS devices or PCs with those RedEye units and control them all at the same time.

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