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Control4 Takes To Apps To Speed Up Home-Automation Configuration

Denver—Control4 came to the CEDIA Expo with a configuration app that lets installers use smartphones and tablets to dramatically speed up and simplify the configuration of home theaters and whole-house automation systems.

The company also unveiled a new home-automation OS said to deliver streaming-music UI improvements, instant integration with hundreds more devices, an enhanced music experience, and intuitive pool and spa control.

In another development, Control4 announced the purchase of Extra Vegetables, which develops and sells integration modules and drivers to integrate devices into Control4 home-automation systems. The purchase will strengthen the company’s interoperability development efforts, Control4 said.

To accelerate system configuration, the Composer Express app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets will reduce the configuration time of most one-room home theaters by 70 percent, the company said. The apps will also enable technicians to set up hundreds of devices in complex whole-home installations in a few hours instead of a few days. Techs would walk around the house with their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device, install devices and use Composer Express to auto-integrate the devices into a Control4 system.

Besides speeding up configuration, the app also makes configuration simpler so that entry-level technicians will be able to do a complete system configuration, Control4 added.

With the Composer Express app for iOS and Android, Control4 Dealers can now locally train and deploy a new tier of Control4 technical staff,” said Paul Williams, Control4 VP of support and training. “Creating a new tier of technicians who can be self-taught through on-line training allows Control4 dealers to utilize their more skilled and experienced Control4 tech 1 and tech 2 certified technicians for larger projects, so they can complete more smart-home installations per month and contribute more efficiently to top and bottom line business growth.”

The apps also access an online library of thousands of devices such as light switches, dimmers, keypads, and sensors for integration.

With the new OS 2.6 for Control4 systems, control of more than 45 streaming-music services is now integrated whether the services originate in a Control4 device or in third-party products from such companies as Autonomic, Fusion Research, Sonos, or Video Storm.

For pool and spa control, the OS delivers control from iOS and Android smart devices, not just Control4 touch panels and on-screen TV interfaces. The new user interface shows animated running water to signify that pool or spa pumps are on and when heaters are running. New pool and spa drivers are included to integrate more products.

The OS includes more than 100 new drivers developed by Extra Vegetables available at no extra charge. The drivers are for A/V products, climate controls, IP cameras, blinds, irrigation systems, and the like. Systems include the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide detector into Control4 automation systems.

The OS also makes it possible to monitor home systems from any iOS or Android smart device.