September 10, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
Imagine walking into your bedroom, holding your phone up to a light switch and watching the lights automatically dim, the music system start playing your favorite tune and the motorized shades close. It’s possible through a new technology demonstrated this week by Crestron at the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. Crestron’s airConnect solution is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. When a smartphone is in proximity of a specially programmed NFC tag, devices can react according to instructions programmed into any of Crestron’s home automation processors. The paper-thin tags, approximately one square-inch in size, can easily be embedded in convenient and multiple locations, such as behind wall keypads and faceplates.
Crestron airConnect also makes it possible to instantaneously know who a user is, where they are, the device they are interacting with, and take automatic action accordingly, opening up a wide array of options in personalized control. For example, Mom’s smartphone might trigger the thermostat, lights and A/V system, while the kids’ smartphone only triggers the lights. Homeowners can trigger personalized control settings, including music presets, lighting levels, room temperature, shade positions, and more, when their smart device is within proximity of the NFC tag.
“With minimal additional programming and simple modifications to current procedures, Crestron integrators will be able to personalize control based on the NFC technology,” said Fred Bargetzi, Crestron VP of Technology. “For existing customers, implementing airConnect requires no system reprogramming, just programming of the NFC tags, which can be done in minutes. And homeowners will be able to easily program their own settings on their smart devices.”
Many Android smart devices are currently NFC-enabled. Crestron will add iPhone and iPad support as soon as Apple enables these devices for NFC.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.