September 08, 2011 by Steven Castle
Home control system company Control4 showed a 7-inch LCD portable touchscreen with video intercom capability that can be connected to a video doorbell, so users can see who as at a door at talk to them.
The 7” Portable Video Intercom fits into a recharging tabletop cradle for power or can be screwed into the dock more permanently. The video touchscreen also serves as a Control4 interface and features four programmable buttons for quick access to favorite control features. Battery life for the touchscreen varies from 4 to 12 hours, depending on use.
The intercom allows a homeowner to have an ongoing conversation with a person at another intercom device without requiring either person to hold down a button; occupants can ring room-to-room; “Do not disturb” and privacy features are also available to provide control over the use of the intercom. The Portable also adds whole home intercom functionality by allowing users to take an intercom device from one room to another room or into parts of the house where you might not install an in-wall touchscreen.
The Portable Video Intercom will be available by the end of the year for $999. The Door Station video doorbell will follow. Intercom license is an additional $399.
The IP-based control system maker also showed a hard-wired Panelized Lighting Solution that is controlled over Ethernet. The company previously offered decentralized wireless lighting control using ZigBee mesh networking technology.
Lighting control modules that make up the system can measure each electrical load via a built-in chip commonly used in utility-based smart meters.
Module faces protrude from a panel for manual control if needed and feature an 8-channel (zone or load) dimmer module, an 8-channel relay module and an Ethernet switch. The wired lighting control system can be used with Control4’s wireless lighting systems and will be available in the first quarter of 2012, the company says.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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