July 23, 2010
| by Julie Jacobson
Crestron calls this new touchscreen controller the UFO-4X—as in it looks like a flying saucer—but it really looks more like a trackpad. That’s because it is.
The UFO is a perfect complement to Crestron’s ADMS server. At the press of a button, the 6-inch-round remote is transformed into a mouse, so users can flick their way around the ADMS TV interface, navigating through songs, movies and the Internet.
The ADMS has a special feature that optimizes the Web for couch-side viewing. With the UFO controller, users can finger effortlessly through Web pages, using the same taps and double-taps as a standard desktop trackpad.
The controller also offers a virtual keyboard for entering URLs, passwords, movie selections and more. No need to pick up a separate device.
Users also can navigate any PC on the network, as long as they’re running Crestron’s CEN-WIN Touchpanel HID Emulator software.
And, by the way, the UFO-4X is a complete controller for Crestron home automation systems, so it provides the usual control of lights, thermostats, audio, video and the rest of it. The device recently was named a CEDIA Manufacturer’s Excellence Award 2010 finalist.
Multitouch functionality lets users flip through music libraries, scroll through TV channels and radio stations and select control apps.
The RF unit is good for about 200 feet indoors. It can be used in both landscape and portrait mode, adjusting automatically thanks to a built-in tilt sensor. Flash is supported for dynamic graphics.
The UFO-4X affixes to a wall mount (provided) via magnets, so it can easily wander from its home base for a spin around the home.
Modeled after Crestron’s TPS- 6X and TPS-3X touchscreens, the UFO is expected to retail for about $2,000 when it ships in early 2011.
Crestron UFO-4X Features:
- A rotatable handheld touchpanel with distinctive round shape
- Usable in portrait and landscape mode
- Gloss black finish
- 4.3” active matrix color touchscreen display
- Wide 160 degrees viewing angle
- 16-bit color graphics
- 800 x 480 WVGA resolution
- Dynamic graphics & text capability
- Adobe Flash object support
- Touchpanel keyboard and mouse pad capability
- White EL backlit buttons and text
- Automatic backlight level control
- WAV file customizable audio feedback
- Instant-Waking behavior
- High-power, high-speed 2.4 GHz RF wireless technology
- Up to 200 feet RF range indoors
- Supports roaming for extended RF coverage
- Long-lasting LiPo rechargeable battery pack
- Versatile docking station allows tabletop or wall mount charging
- Programmable via SystemBuilder and Adagio Composer software
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.