Apple’s iPad and Automation, Weighing the Good and the Bad
October 19, 2010 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Is using the slick portable device to operate a home control system a match made in heaven or a really bad combo?
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Posted by Bob  on  10/19  at  12:12 PM

I am using mine right now with ZWave commander, which is the only software that I can find that will work with my home installed ZWave system. The big drawback is that it requires a server piece and a controller installed on a windows machine, and it does require a specific software on the machine to work.

Other than that, it’s awesome to be able to control scenes and see the status of my house both while I’m at home, and while I’m away.

I can’t wait until both the software and the hardware matures a bit more for the ZWave systems to allow more choices for using my iPad to control my home.

Posted by Peter Lazarus  on  10/19  at  12:26 PM

Whether or not the iPad is an ideal control device is irrelevant. It is a Feta Compli…it is ubiquitous and we have to live with it…make it do what needs to be done. If there is an app gap, someone will fill it. Lets face it:: Expensive control panels have, for the most part, been removed from the equation. We need to adapt and look elsewhere for profitability.

Posted by Vincent Bova  on  10/19  at  02:03 PM

I am happy to say that my company now offers full home control using an ipad, itouch or iphone using Bitwise products and I have never been more excited.  I was able to automate my own home over the weekend and do have a family ipad that sits on hte coffee table for all to use.  It can control the audio system, the video, lighting and basically every function that my 10K system did at a fraction of the price.  Growing pains?  Definately, but for the convenience this offers I know my customers are going to be thrilled.

Posted by FarmerBob  on  10/19  at  02:12 PM

This is a no-brainer.  The cost difference between touch pads that are out there and the iPad is dynamic. Hopefully this will bring down the cost on the specific brand panel, but in time as with all first release hardware the iPad will grow in capability and make us all happy. I have a client that has no problem with going with 8 iPads instead of one meager touch screen. That’s what the iPad is doing to the market. Even with its short comings, OF WHICH I’m finding people are just fine with all of it.

Posted by Bob  on  10/19  at  02:25 PM


I’m curious how you are able to do this as the Homeseer system is one I looked at, but didn’t purchase because of the cost. Each piece of functionality that you want to add requires an additional ‘software module’ to be purchased.

The price for my house wasn’t 10k, but it was close, especially if you’re adding in the automation of your stereo and video.

Posted by Doc Rings  on  10/20  at  04:20 AM

The iPad is usually dedicated to the room it’s meant to control, and at $500 a pop, it’s MUCH cheaper than the proprietary panels from the big companies.

Most of us would rather buy one (or more) iPad for audio-visual/automation control and then download the $100 apps for control, than spend $2000 for a proprietary panel(s)... EACH.

The buggy whip days are coming to an end… now automation companies can focus on better apps, cheaper hardware for the actual in-wall/equipment, and spend less R&D time on the panels themselves. 

I may be wrong, but that seems the way to middle-income market is moving.  There will always be those $100K+ home theaters where cost is no object, but most upper middle-class folks are still trying to pinch the pennies where they can, and spend the bigger dollars on video and audio, as well as furniture and room decor (at least in my observations).

Posted by Doc Rings  on  10/20  at  04:42 AM an afterthought, the Crestron “iPanel” is a move in the right direction, to keep costs down, add app functionality in the iPad, and still give some hard buttons, and a docking station…

See the article under “automation” here on

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