Users and integrators will argue endlessly over the pros and cons of using a dedicated touchpanel vs a tablet (such as an iPad) for home control. URC is coming out with a new touchpanel that looks a lot like an iPad but acts more like a whole-house controller.
The manufacturer of home automation and remote control systems had a prototype panel, the TKP-7000, at CEDIA Expo 2011 but wasn’t saying much about it. No ship date, no pricing.
But our sister publication CE Pro did get a look at the beauty and managed to snap some video footage (below).
The 7-inch capacitive-touch panel is part of URC’s new Total Control line, which adds cameras, lighting control, multizone audio and energy management to URC’s rich remote-control capabilities.
The company already has an iPad app for the Total Control line, but marketing director Jon Sienkiewicz tells us there’s still room for dedicated touchscreens for home control: “Large touchscreen controllers trump iPads three ways: speed of operation, full system integration and, especially, dedicated functionality.”
There will be a consistent GUI across all Total Control interfaces.
In the demo, Sienkiewicz shows how quick and easy it is to pull up video cameras, see what’s playing in any room of the house, and activate whole-house control scenes.
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.
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