CEDIA Expo: iPort Turns To iPads For Retrofit Home-Control Installs

New Surface Mount kits turn iPads into on-wall controllers
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iPort's Surface Mount kits mount iPads on walls

iPort, one of a trio of custom-install brands from Dana Innovations, is turning iPads into surface-mount on-wall controllers for home-automation and multiroom-audio systems that are being ripped out and replaced.

With two Surface Mount kits introduced at the CEDIA Expo, integrators turn the iPad Mini and iPad Air into on-wall controllers that replace legacy controllers mounted in a single- or dual-gang box. The iPads can be loaded with the control apps provided by the suppliers of the new systems to control the systems via Wi-Fi. The iPads also double as intercoms.

The Surface Mount kits consist of an aluminum bezel and power connections that integrate with the power wiring previously installed at the location. The kit connects to 24-volt power wires and to Power over Ethernet (PoE) cables. Power is delivered to the iPad via a standard Lightning-to-USB cable hidden behind the iPad. If PoE or 24-volt wiring is unavailable, a power injector can be used to get power from a wall receptacle.

The Surface Mount system ships October for the iPad Mini 1, 2 and 3; in November for the  iPad Air 1 and 2; and December for iPad Mini 4 models. Prices are a suggested $399 for iPad Minis and $449 for iPad Airs.

In early 2016, iPort will offer another Surface Mount with eight programmable hard buttons and up/down controls on the bezel. Drivers are being built to enable the IP-addressable buttons to control Crestron and Savant home-control systems. It’s for consumers who want quick access to often-used functions, said marketing director Jack Hill.

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