2013 Product of the Year Entrant
JDS Technologies HomeRunner RBI
HomeRunner RBI is a home automation controller/server that provides complete control of a home’s lighting, heating/cooling, security, audio/video, irrigation and other household functions from any smartphone, tablet, computer, or web-enabled device, anywhere in the world. It supports both INSTEON and X-10 technologies and has a serial port (RS-232) for interfacing with a compatible serial device. The included Windows software lets you easily create intuitive graphic user interfaces (GUIs) using photos, drawings, scans and/or downloaded images for the backgrounds and buttons. To simplify control throughout the home, photos of each room can be used for the backgrounds of the control screens with virtual buttons (i.e., transparent hot spots) placed over the background images to let you simply touch a light or appliance in the picture to control it. To indicate on/off status, separate on and off images can be assigned to any button. For example, touching a lamp on the screen turns it on and changes to an image of the lamp in the on state. Animated gifs can also be used to indicate status and add flair to the display (e.g., touching a fan on the screen turns it on and changes to an animated image of a spinning fan). Device status can also be indicated by the words “On” or “Off” placed above, below or within any button and/or by a colored border around the button’s perimeter.
HomeRunner RBI also includes a comprehensive Event Editor for programming automated events or scenes based on time, date, sunrise/sunset or any set of conditions. The system can send email and/or text messages to notify you (and family members) of alarm status changes, appointments, medication reminders, etc. Once uploaded, HomeRunner RBI serves your GUI to the network for control of your home from any web-enabled device in the world via the internet or locally via wi-fi. No app or monthly service charge is required. Low-cost tablets can be placed in various locations throughout the home as convenient control points. Smartphones can provide the same control functions with the added convenience of pocket-size portability. No new wiring is required. All control signals are carried over the existing electrical wiring or network connection. Optional I/O modules accommodate A/V equipment, sprinkler valves, security systems and monitor sensor switches, motion detectors, and other hardwired devices. HomeRunner RBI is modular in design, so you can start off with a basic system and add to it over time as your requirements change.
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The main thing that sets HomeRunner RBI apart from other systems is its open-platform graphical user interface (GUI). Not only is it easy to build elaborate GUIs for your iPhone, iPad or any smartphone, tablet or computer - it's intuitive and fun to use. The included HomeRunner RBI Windows application lets you build each screen (page) and test each button function in real time without having to switch between programs. Any combination of photos, drawings, scans and/or downloaded images can be used for the screen backgrounds to create a graphically pleasing and user-friendly user interface. Transparent hot spots, iconic images and/or simple text links can all be used as control buttons and placed anywhere on the background screens. Separate On and Off images can be assigned to any button to indicate status. Animated gif images can also be used to indicate a device is on or in motion (spinning fan, blinking light, etc.). A library of button images is included.
Buttons that control garage doors, security functions, high end audio-video gear or launch specific screens on the GUI can be "locked" (i.e., password protected) to prevent unauthorized access. When a locked button is pressed, a numerical keypad pops up, prompting the user to enter a code. When the correct code is entered, the keypad disappears and the assigned button function executes. Changes to the GUI, Event Editor or Device Definitions can also be locked, each with a different or shared password (useful for installers to limit their customers' access to editing functions). To prevent inadvertent activation of a button, a simple "confirm" prompt can be assigned, requiring you to select "Yes" to execute the defined button action or "Cancel" to return to the screen and do nothing.
No app, monthly fees or cloud service is required. Once the GUI is uploaded, HomeRunner RBI serves it to the network/internet (like a web page) for access from any smartphone, tablet, computer or web-enabled device, anywhere in the world. HomeRunner RBI installs in minutes and requires only two connections, one to a port on your router and the other to the included plug-in power line modem (which provides power and sends/receives command signals through the existing electrical wiring).
HomeRunner RBI provides complete control of a home's lighting, heating/cooling, security, audio/video, irrigation and other household functions from an iPhone, iPad or any smartphone, tablet or computer. It also provides automated control based on time, date, sunrise/sunset, motion, or any set of conditions.
To simplify control throughout the home, photos of each room can be used for the backgrounds of the control screens with virtual buttons that let you simply touch a light or appliance in the picture to control it. There are no complicated menus to navigate or learning curve involved. Simply select the room from a list or floor plan then touch the device you want to control. No monthly fees or web design services are required. The included Windows software lets you easily create your own user interfaces in minutes, customized to your own lifestyle.
HomeRunner RBI is modular in design, so you can start off with a basic system and add to it as your requirements grow or change. No wiring is required making it easy to retrofit into an existing home. It can manage lighting, HVAC, irrigation and household appliances to save energy while providing added convenience and security. For added security while away, random lighting routines can be programmed to give the appearance the home is occupied, a deterrent to would-be burglars. It can also send email and/or text messages to notify you and family members of alarm status changes, water leaks, temperature changes, appointments, medication reminders, bill reminders, etc.
JDS Technologies, pioneers in the home automation industry, have been producing innovative, state-of-the-art control systems and peripherals since the 1980s. As with the introduction of their Universal Hold in 1981, TeleCommand System in 1988, TimeCommander in 1991 and Stargate in 1997, their latest product, HomeRunner RBI, continues to raise the bar for home automation features and function. JDS products are highly regarded for their reliability and flexibility and the company for its superb customer service and skilled tech support, both before and after the sale.
Founded in 1978 and based out of San Diego, CA, JDS Technologies got its start in the telecommunications industry. In 1981, they released their first consumer product, Universal Hold, a call holding device for single line phones, which was sold through Radio Shack and AT&T Phone Center stores. In 1997, capitalizing on the success of their earlier TeleCommand and TimeCommander products, JDS combined the two technologies into the more advanced Stargate system, which became a popular home automation platform for many years among dealers, installers and integrators worldwide. Keeping up with market trends and advancements in technology, JDS continues its cutting-edge tradition with their latest HomeRunner RBI controller/server, providing dealers, installers and do-it-yourselfers with high-end features and flexibility at an affordable price. With HomeRunner RBI, smartphones, tablets and computers (and virtually any web-enabled device) can control the home using an intuitive graphical user interface (i.e. control screens) you easily create yourself. Once programmed, there is little or no training necessary. Anyone can easily navigate through the various control screens and control the entire system. Home control couldn’t be easier or more fun.
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JDS Technologies Products
HomeRunner RBI controls lighting, HVAC, security, A/V, etc. from any smartphone, tablet, computer or web-enabled device (locally via wi-fi or remotely over the internet) using control screens and scheduled events you easily create yourself.