Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI) was a founding exhibitor of Integrated Systems Europe 10 years ago, and at ISE 2013 this week in Amsterdam, the company celebrated the feat with one of its biggest product launches ever—a brand new home control platform called Apex, multiple in-wall touchscreens,sleek new handheld remote controllers, HDBaseT matrix switch, multiroom audio, and a slew of new home automation drivers (see the complete lineup here).
We first saw the products in the U.S. at CEDIA Expo 2012, but Europe feasts its eyes on the stuff for the first time here in Amsterdam.
Apex is a brand new platform for RTI’s home-control ecosystem, with several advanced features seldom seen in other home control systems. For example, programming for the ecosystem is stored in the cloud, so multiple custom electronics pros can work on projects without having to worry if they’re working on the most current version.
Another unique feature: Your CE pro can upgrade remote controls remotely over the Internet. That may seem pretty mundane, but in fact it’s a pretty major accomplishment. They could always upload new programs remotely to an RTI processor, but how did they update a wireless remote without having to head out to the homeowner’s house?
With Apex, when the CE pro uploads new software, the system wakes up the remote with ZigBee and then streams the updates via Wi-Fi.
Most of the RTI handhelds also have a third radio besides Wi-Fi and the 2.4 GHz ZigBee: 433 MHz.
“It’s nice to have a choice, especially here in Europe,” says Alexander Tempel of RTI distributor Vivateq. “Behind the scenes there’s a lot of concrete and metal construction.”
Meanwhile, RTI’s spin-off company Pro Control is celebrating one year of shipping product—a more affordable, simple-to-program version of RTI’s own rich controllers.
At ISE 2013, Pro Control launched the Pro.8, its version of RTI’s SURFiR, an inexpensive supplement to an app-controlled entertainment system.
Also this week, Pro Control went live with its iOS app.
Pro Control GM Mike Everett says, “We’re really whole now with the app and the Pro.8.”
The timing for RTI’s product launch couldn’t be better, as it looks like Logitech is canning its popular Harmony line of remotes.
“We’re happy to support more dealers who are looking for a solution,” says RTI VP sales and marketing Pete Baker says, noting that RTI picked up some good business after Philips dropped the Pronto.
Pro Control’s Mike Everett holds up the new iOS app.
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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.