September 06, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
Remotes have become standard fare in homes these days, but a new clicker from Clare Controls introduces a new way to operate lights, thermostats and other devices. On the right side of the horizontally designed ClareRemote are traditional buttons for launching quick commands like volume up/down, channel up/down and access to guides and favorite channels. Built into the left side is an Apple iPod touch, which can be programmed by a professional custom electronics (CE) pro to provide controls for lights, thermostats, and other electronic gear.
The ClareRemote communicates with the Clare Controls automation system via Wi-Fi, erasing the need for RF-to-IP ancillaries. This cuts cost and time to set up, eliminating an extra conversion and an extra set of components. Like the Clare Controls home control system, the remote control can be programmed from the cloud, which saves time and money. Updates can be pushed to the remote with a single command. Reducing the setup time even more, the layout of the buttons on the iPod touch can be modified by homeowners themselves. “This capability empowers the homeowner to be in control of their environment,” says Clare Controls vice president of channel sales Michael Shaw. For example, homeowners could design a “kids’” page with command for only the audio and video system. A “parent” control page, meanwhile, could include commands to access and modify the setting of the security system and thermostats. Any change made by a homeowner or a CE pro is stored in the cloud for future reference.
The ClareRemote is expected to retail for about $210, excluding an iPod or iPod touch.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.