By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Salt Lake City — Home-automation supplier Control4 is making wireless connections to mobile devices for the first time, turning smartphones and tablets into wireless whole-home music sources for its multi-room-audio systems.
The Wireless Music Bridge, now shipping at an introductory suggested retail of $300, incorporates AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enable wireless streaming of music stored on a smartphone or tablet. The Bridge also streams Internet music services accessed through a mobile device’s apps. While streaming music to a Control4 system, mobile devices can still be used for making calls, checking email, or browsing the web, the company said.
Song-related artwork and metadata from the mobile devices will be displayed on Control4 touchpanels and on TVs integrated with a Control4 system.
With a single Bridge, users can stream the same song from one mobile device to all zones at a time in a multizone audio system or to only one zone at a time. To distribute music from two or more mobile devices at a time, consumers would have to install two or more Bridges.
The Bridge also streams music from PCs, a capability that Control4 offered before, a spokesperson said.
The company continues to offer an iPod dock that turns a docked iPod into a home-wide music source.
The Bridge works with Control4 systems running Control4 OS 2.5, which also enables control of the company's new wireless and panelized lighting control systems.
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