Mount included: You might pay up to $500 for an in-wall/on-wall iPad dock from a third-party provider. With the InfinityEdge, a mount is part of the package. There’s only one SKU for the back-box, which accommodates both the 5- and 7-inch screens.
And, unlike the typical iPad + mount combo, the InfinityEdge “doesn’t grow feet and walk away,” Mella says.
The Control4 screen does not exactly install flush to the wall, but Mella tells us it protrudes less than one-half an inch, which is pretty close.
“Hard” buttons: When it comes to home control, the iPad has one big fail: no hard buttons for dedicated functions. The InfinityEdge features four such buttons – they’re part of the capacitive touch screen so they’re not exactly hard – that can be customized just like the four genuinely hard buttons on Control4’s existing in-wall screens.
Add it up: iPad: $499 device + $250 wall mount + $99 Control4 My Home App = $848 (just $51 less than the 7-inch Control4 InfinityEdge).
On the other hand, the iPad is bigger, it’s mobile, it streams video, it has millions of awesome apps, it’s still useful if you switch to a different home automation system, and it’s still cheaper.
Coming Soon: Intercom Functionality
Finally, Control4 is adding intercom functionality to its home-control system, and the InfinityEdge screens are the end points.
The intercom feature is a new application for OS 2.0. As such, it only works with the new touchscreens, which have a built-in mic and speaker.
The intercom module is sold separately for $499.
Mella says the application is comparable to any high-end residential intercom system, with room-to room communications, whole-house paging, listen-in capabilities and more. And, by the way, the intercom functionality is one of the reasons that the touchscreens aren’t recessed into the wall.
The 7-inch InfinityEdge is expected to ship this month, and the 5-inch model will ship shortly thereafter.
Control4 will phase out its existing in-wall screens, but maintain some inventory for customers who haven’t (or aren’t going to) migrate to OS 2.0.
As for table-top versions of the InfinityEdge, “we haven’t announced anything yet,” Mella says.
We assume they’re on the way, but don’t expect Control4 to simply build a dock for the in-walls.
“We sell portable screens today,” Mella says. “We’re not just taking our in-wall and putting it on a table.”
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.