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The design is very familiar
. I love how they even stole the chrome trim on the bezel from the iPhone 3G/s.


This product could work with an automation system as long as that automation system supports a browser based interface like Crestrons e-control. (requires ie) Imagine $95 panels like this in every room!


The only issue that exists is the connection being lost when the panel times out. If this android tablet can stay connected and the browser can be put into full screen mode then IMO this thing could be a hit. For $95 it makes me want to buy one just to see if it will work.


Sad part is that the screen/image quality doesn't look as good as the iPhone and i assume the iPad (havent seen it in person). But it does look as good as most of the HA touchpanels available so maybe its not a big deal. Hopefully its responsive enough to actually work. The first round of HP touchsmart PC's were not very good but later releases had major improvements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would guess that over the next year there will be a big departure from the 4,000 touchscreen currently being sold by HA companies.


With mobile touchscreen starting at less than 100 bucks and the iPad at 500...


This will be a game changer. Is thee any reason to have fixed touchscreens anymore? Just come up with an awesome wall charging mount and then the touchscreen can be fixed or mobile.
 

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Or even better, use inductive charging like the Powermat with a charger that mounts to the bottom of a side tabel. Set your tablet down and it charges!
 

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If the iPad could stay connected to the Control system it would definitely be an option for a wi-fi touchpanel. I will have to wait and see. But if it operates like the iPhone then it will cause constant user frustration while they wait to connect.
 

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I'll eventually have a mix of mobile and in-wall controllers.


Haven't taught wife how to put things back yet, it's only been 15 years. Kids, ages 2-6 do a better job.


Honey, don't hit me, if you read this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/18271742


If the iPad could stay connected to the Control system it would definitely be an option for a wi-fi touchpanel. I will have to wait and see. But if it operates like the iPhone then it will cause constant user frustration while they wait to connect.

I must be missing something...I would appreciate someone explaining to me how this is any different than having to wait that 1 to 2 seconds when waking up my Crestron TPMC-8x noting that when it is not in "sleep mode" it is ALWAYS connected...


Is that the point, that the TPMC-8x can be used so as to never sleep but that this is NOT an option with the iPad...
 

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The TPMC-8X should always be connected. Unless you have powered it down via the hard power button built into the side bezel or if you have left it off the charger long enough to go into standby. Normally you pick up the TPMC-8X and its ready to use. This is the case with every wireless crestron remote or touchpanel.


Do you have an iPhone or iTouch Joel? Download iTunes and the remote app and attempt to control itunes with the remote app.


Start a song playing then let the iPhone or iTouch time out. Its usually a minute until the screen goes dark.


What happens now is that the Remote App drops the connection to the PC running itunes. So when you wake up the iPhone or iTouch you have to wait while it reconnects to iTunes.


Its usually 10 seconds or less to reconnect and while this may not seem to annoying just wait until you try and watch a movie with this annoyance. I have an iPhone with the remote app, and a 27" iMac and itunes. This is a 100% Apple built scenario. I can tell you that using the iPhone to control iTunes on the iMac is annoying as hell. I put up with this annoyance because i am poor and a geek
and because its only annoying the 5 or 10 times (at most) that i want to pause or rewind the movie to see something again. But imagine trying to watch DirecTV this way. I would use a $10 universal remote from the drug store before i would put up with the annoyance.


The reason i described the 100% Apple scenario is because if Apple cant get rid of this annoyance i dont think that Savant or Crestron or Control4 can.


Is the iPad sexy? yes. Will the image quality and touchscreen responsiveness be good? If its the same as the iPhone, yes. Will it's wi-fi receiver be good? If its the same as the iPhone, yes. Is it much less expensive than the typical Control System touchpanel? yes. Would i want it for me or my clients given the connection drop issue? no.


For outside near the BBQ grill would i consider this for music? Absolutely. perfect place for the iPad. You want something nice with basic 2way feedback for a zone you dont use often? Something inexpensive but very capable? The iPad would be much better than a one way remote or a few button keypad located near the grill.


But for a main zone it would be constant user frustration and IMO it doesn't belong in a Crestron/AMX/Control etc system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In a HA scenario these devices would work exactly like a Crestron/AMX/C4 scenario. Obviously there would need to be software written to address these requirements.


The big point I am trying to make is that the money gap between a $95 dollar device and a $4000 dollar device is too large. The $95 dollar device should be able to do 90% of what the $4000 doallar device does given the correct software. The days of the huge hardware markup are numbered.


Companies that are early adopters with a good implementation are going to take a leadership role in the market.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/18274474


The TPMC-8X should always be connected. Unless you have powered it down via the hard power button built into the side bezel or if you have left it off the charger long enough to go into standby. Normally you pick up the TPMC-8X and its ready to use. This is the case with every wireless crestron remote or touchpanel.


Do you have an iPhone or iTouch Joel? Download iTunes and the remote app and attempt to control itunes with the remote app.


Start a song playing then let the iPhone or iTouch time out. Its usually a minute until the screen goes dark.


What happens now is that the Remote App drops the connection to the PC running itunes. So when you wake up the iPhone or iTouch you have to wait while it reconnects to iTunes.


Its usually 10 seconds or less to reconnect and while this may not seem to annoying just wait until you try and watch a movie with this annoyance. I have an iPhone with the remote app, and a 27" iMac and itunes. This is a 100% Apple built scenario. I can tell you that using the iPhone to control iTunes on the iMac is annoying as hell. I put up with this annoyance because i am poor and a geek
and because its only annoying the 5 or 10 times (at most) that i want to pause or rewind the movie to see something again. But imagine trying to watch DirecTV this way. I would use a $10 universal remote from the drug store before i would put up with the annoyance.


The reason i described the 100% Apple scenario is because if Apple cant get rid of this annoyance i dont think that Savant or Crestron or Control4 can.


Is the iPad sexy? yes. Will the image quality and touchscreen responsiveness be good? If its the same as the iPhone, yes. Will it's wi-fi receiver be good? If its the same as the iPhone, yes. Is it much less expensive than the typical Control System touchpanel? yes. Would i want it for me or my clients given the connection drop issue? no.


For outside near the BBQ grill would i consider this for music? Absolutely. perfect place for the iPad. You want something nice with basic 2way feedback for a zone you dont use often? Something inexpensive but very capable? The iPad would be much better than a one way remote or a few button keypad located near the grill.


But for a main zone it would be constant user frustration and IMO it doesn't belong in a Crestron/AMX/Control etc system.

39CentStamp:


Appreciate the response and confirmation of what I understood to be the problem and, as a touch panel user, that WOULD be a major deterrent...the other thing that would be a deterrent to me is the lack of hard buttons in that I truly prefer a combination of hard buttons and a touch panel...
 

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I dont think the iPad can work exactly like Crestron and AMX devices unless they can solve or avoid the connection issue. I haven't seen an iPad but i have an iPhone and its not an acceptable or comparable device because of the connection drop. Using the iPad and dealing with the connection drop is a step backwards and a better user experience can be had with a Harmony One for much less than $4000.00.


Every HA company is an early adopter. Crestron, C4, AMX etc will work with the iPad right now. But they will all suffer the connection issue.


The existance of the iPad and the $95 android tablet will not replace the typical control system touchpanel until it can do what they can do. Staying connected to the control system is a huge deal.


Affordable technology doesn't always mean that high-end will disappear. What usually happens is that it creates a new middle market. Think about when Control4 showed up. It did not eliminate Crestron even though its less expensive and has most of the available features. Crestron continued to add dealers and their company continued to grow. Control 4's market is made up of people who would not have been in the market for the high end solution.


So IMO what will happen with the iPad is it will be the go-to products for applications that would have gotten a budget solution. Now the client who would have had to pick a $500 one way remote for the guest room can get a $95 android tablet or $500 ipad. But the guy who is spending $20k-$2mil for a theater isnt going to care about the price. He just wants it to work perfectly every time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc /forum/post/18274686


39CentStamp:


Appreciate the response and confirmation of what I understood to be the problem and, as a touch panel user, that WOULD be a major deterrent...the other thing that would be a deterrent to me is the lack of hard buttons in that I truly prefer a combination of hard buttons and a touch panel...

It's still up in the air though Joel. Its quite possible that the iPad or one of the control system companies will solve the issue. And the android tablets may not suffer from the connection drop so you never know.


I design user interfaces and trust me when i say i would LOVE for the iPad to be used in a Crestron system. Imagine how great my graphics would look on the high-res apple touchscreen.


The reason i pop into every thread like this allover the internet is because i have a lot of first hand experience with customers and anything that is not perfect every time because a source of user frustration. Clients will want to throw the iPad into the swimming pool after using it for a week with the connection drop issue. They will blame the integrator for letting them pick a product that makes them angry even if it was really their idea.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/18274731


It's still up in the air though Joel. Its quite possible that the iPad or one of the control system companies will solve the issue. And the android tablets may not suffer from the connection drop so you never know.


I design user interfaces and trust me when i say i would LOVE for the iPad to be used in a Crestron system. Imagine how great my graphics would look on the high-res apple touchscreen.


The reason i pop into every thread like this allover the internet is because i have a lot of first hand experience with customers and anything that is not perfect every time because a source of user frustration. Clients will want to throw the iPad into the swimming pool after using it for a week with the connection drop issue. They will blame the integrator for letting them pick a product that makes them angry even if it was really their idea.

Understood, noted and appreciated...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The iPads/iPhones/iPods are designed to not stay connected. Its just the intention of the software. Its not a limitation of the hardware. Or maybe it is. Who cares... Thats not the point at all.


The big point is that the HA companies are obvisouly bending their customers over on price. 500 vs 4000? Come on :) Even fat cat clients are going to wake up and smell the coffee... espcially since they all will have iPads and want to know why there are such huge price differences between such similar hardware.


Hard buttons could be added to the a tablet if you want them. They can't cost 3500 bucks :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 /forum/post/18274836


The iPads/iPhones/iPods are designed to not stay connected. Its just the intention of the software. Its not a limitation of the hardware. Or maybe it is. Who cares... Thats not the point at all.


The big point is that the HA companies are obvisouly bending their customers over on price. 500 vs 4000? Come on :) Even fat cat clients are going to wake up and smell the coffee... espcially since they all will have iPads and want to know why there are such huge price differences between such similar hardware.


Hard buttons could be added to the a tablet if you want them. They can't cost 3500 bucks :)

I'm not sure you understand economies of scale. Apple's gross profit margins on the iPhone and iPad are greater than 50%, higher even than Crestron. Their gross profit margin company wide for fiscal year 2009 was 39.9%, with an EBITDA margin at 26.2%. Most integration companies are lucky to clear 10%, and many are unlikely to see any profit at all in the near future.


If you believe that something is not worth its asking price then don't pay it--that's one of the benefits of living in a free market--but please don't delude yourself into believing that companies like Apple aren't making a relative killing off of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They all make profit otherwise they would not be in business. I think there are going to be some companies in for a rude awakening in the next 24 months. It will be fun to see who makes it and who doesn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 /forum/post/18275831


They all make profit otherwise they would not be in business. I think there are going to be some companies in for a rude awakening in the next 24 months. It will be fun to see who makes it and who doesn't.

Um, no. There are plenty companies that operate with year over losses by either piling up debt or continuous capital infusion. This is obviously not limited to just the CE/CI industry. Heck, TiVo has operated throughout its entire existence since 1997 at a net loss of $600 million. Regardless, you completely missed my point.


Also, I don't find anything "fun" about the idea of companies going under and people losing their jobs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 /forum/post/18274836


The iPads/iPhones/iPods are designed to not stay connected. Its just the intention of the software. Its not a limitation of the hardware. Or maybe it is.

A spoon is designed for eating, that is its intention. Would a spoon make a good touchpanel?

Quote:
Who cares...



People who want to be able to watch TV without waiting for the touchpanel to reconnect each time.

Quote:
Thats not the point at all.

As of right now it is the only relevant point.

Quote:
The big point is that the HA companies are obvisouly bending their customers over on price. 500 vs 4000? Come on :) Even fat cat clients are going to wake up and smell the coffee... espcially since they all will have iPads and want to know why there are such huge price differences between such similar hardware.

This is a 20 year old argument that typically stems from those with very little knowledge making assumptions. The similarities don't make it a touchpanel replacement. They make it a budget option that doesn't quite match up to a real touchpanel.


Why does a mass production Chinese watch cost more than a Rolex? Why are you paid more than a 5 year old? These types of questions and many others hold the answers to this mystery about why things cost what they cost. If apple sells 1 million units and makes $1 per unit they make $1 million dollars. If Crestron sells 100,000 units and profits $10 per unit they make $1 million dollars. Since Apple and Crestron are both making $1 million dollars is it your opinion that both companies are bending their clients over?


No company on the face of the earth says "well it cost this much to make so lets double that for MSRP". Companies decide what they think they can sell something for. They attempt to recover R&D and begin streamlining the production technique so every day it costs them less and less to produce.

Quote:
Hard buttons could be added to the a tablet if you want them. They can't cost 3500 bucks :)

I hate hard buttons on large touchpanels. They never match up from one panel to the next so i prefer to have none then a few here and a few there making a clients home more difficult to use.


Currently i am of the opinion that a large (12"-24") wired panel and a hand held hard button remote is the best solution for video zones. Channel flipping is best done with a typical remote and the large wired panel has Audio I/O video inputs and Ethernet and it gives you one point to manage your home from.


This came about a year ago. Before that i was a big fan of the TPMC-8X but larger wireless panels are not the most comfortable to use and the feature set is limited compared to wired panels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 /forum/post/18275831


They all make profit otherwise they would not be in business. I think there are going to be some companies in for a rude awakening in the next 24 months. It will be fun to see who makes it and who doesn't.

Touchpanel manufacturers been in for a rude awakening since the palm pilot was first introduced. This is an old debate that always ends up with a rarely visited forum somewhere. (1200 threads in 10 years)


The iPad is the latest round of game changers and it comes very close but falls very short with one single limitation. It cant stay connected to a HA Control System.
 
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