Denver – Home-automation supplier Savant launched its next-generation home-control app and will for the first time offer an Android version, not just an iOS version.
The new apps, available Nov. 10, are designed for Savant’s Smart and Pro systems, which require custom installation. Their controllers, or brains, start at $800 and $4,000, respectively, excluding the systems that they control, including lighting, entertainment, comfort and safety, or what product marketing director Tim McInerney called “the four pillars of home automation.”
Key app enhancements include the ability for consumers to change scenes and schedules, making it unnecessary for installers to return to a home and eat the cost to keep customers happy. Consumers would also prefer not to set aside time for return trips by installers, McInerney said.
Along with app control, customers also get the option to control home systems remotely from mobile devices in a secure encrypted way through the Savant Plus cloud service, McInerney said. Customers also receive notifications. The service is free for 90 days and costs $149/year per household. Savant’s cloud server adds a layer of security that otherwise wouldn’t be available, he said.
Another key app enhancement is a dashboard display of pictures of a homeowner’s actual rooms with icons indicating the status of all systems in each room, including the music source playing. On a tablet, up to nine rooms are displayed per screen. Consumers can change photos by taking a picture with their tablet or phone, and the Savant brain will push the photo to all other mobile devices running the Savant app.
The same app is available for phone or tablet, though the UI on each type of device reformats to the size screen.
Though consumers can change scenes from the apps, installers can’t set up a system via the app. Savant continues to require system set-up by installers from laptops running Savant software. Other home-automation systems that let installers set them up via an app are limited to controlling subsystems from the same brand, whereas Savant’s systems control Savant- and other-brand subsystems, McInerney said.
Savant’s Smart systems control up to 12 audio zones, eight video zones, six thermostats, 250 lights, and 50 security zones, enough for 95 percent of all households, McInerney said. The Pro system controls up to 144 video zones, 1000 lights, and 64 thermostats.