Smartphones vs. Touchscreens

Which solution works best for controlling a home?

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A few years ago, a little thing called the “app” altered the way people interact with the electronic systems in their homes. With only a swipe and a tap, smartphone-loving homeowners were in complete charge of everything from thermostats and light switches to complete home automation systems. Convenient? Absolutely. And who can deny the cool factor associated with whipping out a phone while on a date to get the house ready for an impromptu nightcap? With so much hoopla surrounding control apps, it can be easy to forget about one of the most respected user-interfaces available: the dedicated touch screen.

Don’t let this tried-and-true mode of control slip your mind, though. The dedicated touchscreen, like the new 7- and 10-inch models from Control4, offers a wealth of benefits that no other type of interface can match. The user-interface on a touch screen presents a great deal of information about your house—all in high-resolution quality—from reviewing the current settings of your home’s thermostats and lights, to receiving a status report of electronic door locks and viewing the current weather forecast. With all the pertinent data at your fingertips, organized and laid out in a manner that’s easy to read, the touch screen is arguably the most engaging and intuitive of all user interfaces.

Even as new features get added to a touch screen, like the HD camera, hi-fi speakers and microphone that Control4 recently added to its 7- and 10-inch models, its user-friendliness is never compromised. In fact, with each new function, a touch screen becomes an increasingly more powerful and valuable home control tool.

Touch screens are a fast and responsive user interface that’s always there ready for you to interact with your home. There’s no need to boot up or wait for an app to load. You’re in charge of the electronic system in your house, instantly.

Then there’s the convenience factor. You may not be able to carry a touch screen in your pocket like you can your app-enabled smartphone, but unlike your phone, a touch screen is always right where you left it, never lost between the cushions of your couch. Plus, it’s always powered up and ready to shoot off commands to all the connected devices in your house.

When you’re ready to add automation system to your home or update your existing system, be sure to plan for at least a few touch screens. Positioned in the common areas of your house, like the kitchen, family room and foyer, they’ll give you a quick, easy and reliable way to monitor, manage and control your home environment.

  • Your mag’s editorial content is always promotional, like one big industry PR effort cover to cover. It’s tiresome, to get nothing but that spin, like every ‘innovation’ is the best thing since sliced bread. Like we all benefit from seeing the highest end examples only the few & rich can afford. Like the absence of critical trade-offs & issues with the products and services you write about. UGH

  • I agree. “What’s old is new again.” Looks like the pendulum is swinging back to having some purpose-built, dedicated devices, rather than always pulling out your phone, unlocking, and firing up the home automation app. I’m still not a fan of wall mounted tablets, but dedicated tablets for home control are definitely useful.


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