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Clare Readies Linux-Based Home Control System

Sarasota, Fla. — Clare Controls is adding a new Linux-based controller and wireless Z-Wave support to its ClareHome line of home-automation system to reach more aggressive price points and expand the selection of controllable home systems.

 The products will be shown at the CEDIA Expo.

 The addition of Z-Wave support enables Clare’s systems to control such Z-Wave-enabled products as Schlage door locks and Z-Wave thermostats/humidistats.

 The new Linux based ClareHome controller is said to the same operating software and functionality and control from Apple iDevices on an aggressively priced Linux platform, but the company said it will continue to offer its Apple Mac mini-based controller for customers who want an Apple/Mac solution and require more IP cameras or iDevices.

The developments allows installers “to compete more aggressively for the jobs they bid without sacrificing performance,” the company said.

 “Both of these announcements are aimed squarely at giving our dealers products that will allow them to compete effectively in broader markets,” said CEO/founder Brett Price.

 Initial Linux-controller shipments start in September. Z-Wave support will be available in the fourth quarter.

 Also at the show, the supplier of residential and commercial control systems will show its new ClareHome App for iPads and iPhones. It’s due in the fourth quarter to enable consumers to customize an interface based on favorite activities. Dealers will continue to configure their installs using Clare’s cloud-based configuration tool, but configuration time will be reduced by putting the design of the user interface into the consumer’s hands, the company said.

 Individual dashboards can be configured for different users on the Apple devices, and each person’s dashboard can be synced among multiple Apple devices.

The dashboards include smart icons and dockable applets. Smart icons display such live data as a kitchen’s temperature or alarm status, and they can be tapped to provide full system control. Dockable applets provide basic system-control functionality. They can be grouped in folders by service, location or personal preference. Custom macros called scenes launch multifunction operations with a single command and are represented by icons that are either freestanding or grouped in folders.