Homes continue on their trend to become smarter and easier to control as leading IP-based home control systems provider, Control4, adds more apps to its 4Store marketplace.
At CES 2011, the company announced new additions to its 4Store that enable users to achieve a whole lot more functionality from automating electronic items within the home.
These range from managing more television screens along one wall, allowing parents to password protect movies that their kids are allowed to watch, enabling audiophiles to fine-tune their experience of listening to music, giving greater control of the home during the holidays, organising morning routines at home, helping to be reminded of schedules during the day, getting more organised with their own personal organiser, providing a concierge program of local services in the neighbourhood and helping homeowners manage their energy efficiency within the home.
“At Control4, we build systems that others want to integrate with,” said Control4’s CEO Will West. “Apps are just one way that sophisticated home automation and control is becoming more practical and affordable for every home.”
“We see home entertainment as a key driver, but energy is coming up fast. Safety and security have been there a long time,” said Will West, CEO of Control4, during a panel called “Beyond the Living Room.”
Aimed at appealing to the ultimate sports fan or news junkie, Control 4’s new multi-screen video wall app from Control4 allows consumers to control 3, 5, or 7 video screens simultaneously on a touch screen interface. As long as the cable box has DVR functionality, users can have their own personal instant replay, rewinding a live play as they switch from a secondary side screen to the center screen, to see every detail.
Movie Guardian, developed by Green Wave Technology LLC, gives parents the ability to password protect movies in their family’s Control4 media database based on the MPAA rating. During setup, parents determine which ratings they want to block, and set an override password which must be provided to be watched.
Graphic Equalizer for Control4’s 4-channel and 8-channel amplifiers allows users to change volume, bass, and treble. Audiophiles can fine-tune their listening experience using the amplifiers’ built-in 5-zone parametric equaliser. Users can easily set the frequency, gain, and quality factor (Q) for each band using a familiar slider-based interface on their touch screen. Parents can also set the maximum volume level for each zone so their teenager’s tunes stay in the bedroom.
With Control 4’s Vacation app, a home will appear occupied when homeowners are away through a pre-set “I’m home” system that schedules lights to turn on and off, sets shades to raise and lower, and can even turn the TV or music on and off. The app allows homeowners to control up to 15 different devices in up to 8 rooms.
If you hate mornings, your home automation system could gently wake you up to your favorite song while slowly bringing up the lights and raising your blinds with the Wake app. And the Remind Me app can schedule meetings and other important events and allow users to receive reminders by a popup on their touch screen or on screen display.
Meanwhile, with the new Organiser app, you have your own personal assistant that allows you to organise everyday shopping lists in a simple manner, and save them to email. The app sets simple reminders and produces a calendar indicating days when groceries and notes are posted, leaving the user with an organised daily list. You can also assign chores to your children, which requires a response so the system then notifies users upon completion of the chore.
An ideal solution for a condo building or centralised development community that needs to provide its residents with instant access to amenities, Concierge makes your neighborhood work for you by offering local menus, vendors, calendars, and requests through a web management console (requires an iCon account to work).
And Control4 has developed the My Energy app which works with the TED 5000 energy monitoring device to help homeowners manage and monitor their energy consumption. The app offers two views – Dashboard and Electricity Use.
With Dashboard, customers can see their home’s Price per KwH, Cost per Hour, Current Use and So Far Today, and a graphical view of their consumption today versus yesterday.
In the Electricity Use view, consumers can view two-hour real-time data, historical data for the week, month and year, and a comparison of current consumption to previous period, same period last year, and average daily outside temperature.
The 4Store application marketplace is part of Control4 OS 2.0, and ships on every new Control4 controller and touch screen sold.