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Elan Readies Next-Gen Home-Automation Controllers

UPDATE! Petaluma, Calif. – Elan plans July shipments of the first two G-series home-automation controllers incorporating a new Linux-based platform said to deliver faster operation, easier installation, compatibility with more devices, and greater scalability.

Greater scalability will enable Elan to create lower and higher priced systems than before in residential and commercial applications, said Joe Lautner, director of control at Elan parent Core Brands.

“This is the most significant engineering effort in Elan’s 25-year history,” said Joe Roberts, product and marketing VP at Core Brands.

The gSC10 controller and smaller gSC2 controller incorporate Freescale i.MX 1GHz processor said by the company to deliver a “10 times performance improvement” over the previous platform. The gSC10 controller is a rack-mount model, and the smaller gSC2 controller can be placed in a structured-wiring distribution panel or behind a TV.

Both are the first Elan controllers to incorporate built-in Wi-Fi, which enables home-network connections when placed anywhere in the house to simplify installation and lower installation costs. “Onboard Wi-Fi will also open future opportunities for us,” Lautner said when asked about the smart plugs cited in a press release as being able to connect to the system.

By migrating the platform to Linux, Elan was able to create a development kit and API to “greatly extend Elan’s already large library of supported third-party applications,” Lautner also said. In enlarging the library, Core Brands will add connectivity to products made by Core Brands’ sister companies, which are also owned by Nortek, he said. Core Brands will be “bringing other products from our sister Nortek companies, such as IP cameras, directly to our CI dealers,” Lautner said. Marketing of the IP cameras is already underway.

“This means we can deliver a more complete solution backed by a business program that rewards dealers for buying from and integrating more with us,” Lautner said. No other company in the industry, he said, “can draw on the range of products as we can with our Nortek family of companies.”

Core Brands is also developing additional Elan products that will work with the platform and “deliver a new level of functionality,” the company added.

Because the controllers use only 4-and 5 watts of power, respectively, they are fanless and can be powered over Ethernet cable or via a plug-in power adapter to simplify installation.

Via Elan controllers, home systems can be controlled from dedicated handheld controllers, wall-mounted touchpads, smartphones, tablets and computers. Controllable systems include multiroom audio, home theater, power conditioners, smart plugs, cameras, access products such as gates and garage door openers, lighting, and the like.

The controllers will be featured in a 48-city Core Brands summer tour to preview new products.