San Clemente, Calif. -
plans this month to ship in-wall mounting kits for Apple's iPod Touch and iPad, enabling the devices to control home-automation systems via Wi-Fi when loaded with home-control apps.
The kits, called control mounts, are targeted to consumers who might not be interested in more costly proprietary touchscreen controllers, said Ari Supran, CEO of iPort parent Dana Innovations. The two kits also give installers an opportunity to profit on the sale of an Apple product, he added. "Typically, there is not a profit model available to the CI dealer for an Apple product," he explained. But by bundling an iPort control mount with an Apple product, a dealer can "integrate Apple products and realize profit from the sale of an iPort product," he said. Dealers are already bundling Apple products with iPort's in-wall and freestanding iPod docks, which turn iPods into sources for installed multi-room audio systems.
The $250-suggested iPort CM-IW100T control mount encases an iPod Touch in a wall-mounted chassis with a magnetically attached, rectangular fascia, as does the $499-suggested CM-IW2000 for the iPad.
iPort is not offering home-control apps itself, but the Touch and iPad will run home-control apps designed by other companies for their home automation systems.
Both kits can be installed in a vertical or horizontal orientation.