Where does an iPad belong? On a countertop? Coffee table? The couch? Your lap?
Or should it be Velcroed to your dashboard, mounted on the wall like a monitor, moved from wall station to wall station via plastic tabs or snap-on discs, or mounted permanently behind a bezel?
Custom electronics pros are debating this very topic on dealer-oriented forums, and the opinions are mixed.
In our world, the iPad is so cheap compared with most traditional automation touchpanels that you may as well buy several of them and lock them into the walls like those old-fangled touchpanels we used to sell for $3,000 apiece.
But our world has changed!
Homeowners may no longer say, “I want a home control system, and I would like to be able to use it with an iPhone and iPad.”
Instead, they say, “I love my iPad. Design a home control system around it.”
By that time, they’re already used to toting their iPads around the house, from room to room as needed. Maybe they have a few scattered around the place. Mobility is one thing they really love about this lightweight, skinny screen.
So won’t they balk at the idea of forever locking an iPad into the wall? It may be irrational, but even the wealthiest homeowner may find the idea wasteful and just plain wrong.
Bethesda Systems in Maryland has a nice blog post beseeching clients to do the unthinkable: tether their iPads.
iPad was designed to be held in your lap. And it’s proven itself to be a truly revolutionary mobile device. And now we’d like you to consider…letting go. Literally.
He shows some nice examples of iPads embedded in clever cases such as an old Mac classic, and in convenient places like a kitchen cabinet.
At the end of the blog, Bethesda shows an iPad with shattered glass, warning:
Don’t let this happen to you! With your in-wall mounted iPad it’s always safe, it’s always charged, and it’s always right where you left it.
Clearly, the right solution for homeowners who can afford it is to have multiple iPads mounted in convenient places around the house.
What do you think?
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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.