CEDIA Expo: Clare To Stress End-User Control, Affordability

Wall-mountable CLIQ.mini incorporates Z-Wave and Wi-Fi to control home systems
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The new ClareHome App adds system-administration tools that let users personalize Clare home-automation systems.

Clare Controls said it will give homeowners more control over their home-automation systems and bring its home-automation solutions to a lower price point when it goes to the CEDIA Expo.

To give consumers more control over their systems, the company  is updating its created several new products, tools, and resources. The new ClareHome app adds a suite of system-administration tools that let users personalize Clare systems without sacrificing integrators’ visibility or access to project-configuration files, the company said. The app was designed for customers who “increasingly expect affordable luxury performance and the DIY-like flexibility to make simple system changes on their own,” the company said.

Homeowners can create and modify one-touch scenes that combine the actions of multiple products, such as lighting, climate, security, and door locks/garage doors.  Homeowners can also create, view, and activate/deactivate schedules for system actions based on day, time, or astronomical set points (sunrise, sunset). The app also lets users access their home systems remotely. And if the consumer needs help, dealers can check the portal to review what the user did via the cloud and make changes accordingly. .

Clare Controls also created the MyClareHome.com end-user portal, which provides homeowners with key information about their systems. The portal also lets users purchase add-on devices for system expansion, including ClareVue lighting components, cameras, and other accessories. After the purchase, the integrator is notified to schedule an installation. The portal also lets users learn more about Clare products and provides videos to give homeowners refreshers and tips on creating new scenes and schedules.

Broadening the base: To bring a Clare system to the mainstream market, the company is launching the entry-level CLIQ.mini host controller, its first to focus predominantly on wireless communication to reduce overall system cost, simplify project configuration, and cut installation time, the company said.

CLIQ.mini is positioned as offering “affordable, professionally-installed automation solutions they can scale and personalize with DIY-like ease,” the company added.

The compact wall-mount CLIQ.mini incorporates Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. Connected systems can be controlled wirelessly via a mobile-device app and via URC and RTI remotes.

The CLIQ family has always featured Z-wave wireless, but “the mini does focus more on wireless by adding Wi-Fi and removing legacy ports,” said Clare founder/CEO Brett Price.

“The CLIQ.mini controller was designed in recognition of the fact that legacy controller interfaces such as IR are on the way out,”  he said. It also “breaks new ground in that it’s aesthetically pleasing enough to mount in the center of the home using a standard wall plate, with one wire back to the structured wire enclosure based on PoE.” 

The device mounts to the wall via conventional wall-phone plate and features drivers to control more than 1,000 devices. With UPnP, it auto-discovers capabilities for Clare cameras, Sonos, and Sony products. 

It connects to the home network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and when wall-mounted, it can get power from an included PoE injector mounted next to it if the home’s network router lacks PoE.

The CLIQ.mini can also be plugged into a power outlet when placed on a flat surface.

Networked multizone amp: Also to reduce costs and install time, the company is launching a compact, networked multizone amplifier/matrix switcher. Via the ClareHome app, users control the amp and its switching functions. Through an Ethernet connection, the amp streams content via Google Cast or AirPlay, and it incorporates embedded TuneIn streaming, with more streaming services in the works.

It’s rated at 8x40 watts into 8 ohms and incorporates Class D amplification from ICEpower.

It’s not Clare’s first networked amp, but to reduce the price by more than 20 percent from a current four-zone networked amp, it lacks the company’s CobraNet audio-over-Ethernet technology, which lets installers network several audio devices in a home.

The amp is also the company’s first product with embedded Apple AirPlay and Google Cast. Other existing audio products already feature Pandora, TuneIn, Slacker, BBC and access to a networked music library. With AirPlay and Google Cast, the amp accesses “dozens of music services without depending upon Clare to release new software,” Price said.

 Drivers for Sonos Connect are also available to offer many Sonos-supported services.

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