Apple iPad will be an Amazing Whole Home Remote for Home Automation

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Ever since rumors of an Apple tablet started many months ago, I have dreamed of a day when we could use one as a remote control to run everything in our house.

New Apple iPad

New Apple iPad

Since then we have laid an excellent foundation to allow a mobile, touchscreen device to act as a remote.   We already use Apple products in our home including Airport Expresses and Apple TV’s to stream  music and video wirelessly around the home.   We use iPhones and iPod Touch’s to control them and software (Indigo) from Perceptive Automation, to control the home automation system.  We also have an IR system, that allows our various Macs to control AV gear over infrared (iRed).  Indigo allows you to create custom web-pages, where you can control your home via any web device.  We have also used a Harmony 1000 RF
Harmony 1000 RF Touchscreen Remote

Harmony 1000 RF Touchscreen Remote

remote control, in conjunction with the home automation system to control my home, and even went as far as creating specific web pages formatted specifically for a Nokia 770
Nokia 770 Tablet

Nokia 770 Tablet

touchscreen tablet we have mounted in the kitchen (as seen in our first video post).  The iPhone, iTouch, Harmony, and Nokia are all great devices, but none of them are perfectly suited for the task of total home control.  The iPad is perfect for this task.  First off, if you have one, I imagine you will use it frequently, and I can picture this as a device you will have on the coffee table or couch, always near by for quick email checking, or a short post to Facebook or Twitter. Since you will be using it like this, and it will be close by most of the time, it is perfect to run your home.  The great thing about Indigo is that you can create different web pages, as many as you want, with varying sizes and resolutions, and it integrates with Insteon and X-10.  When combined with Applescripts, the possibilities are endless.  Over your homes wifi network, the iPad can control the infrared devices via iRed on your Mac, as well as control iTunes and all the other devices (lights/appliances) in your home.  All of this technology is available today!  I know I enjoy using my Harmony 1000 to press one button to run an action group called “Watch a Movie”.  It turns on the correct devices in my AV rack, switches to the correct inputs, loads the movie, dims the lights, and arms the security system.  Since I am always within arms reach of my iPhone, and assume it will be the same with my iPad, I can’t wait to be able to control everything from it while on the couch checking email or my security cameras.  If Steve Jobs has his way, this will be a device we will have in several rooms in our house, making it even more convenient as a home automation interface.
There are a lot of Apple naysayers out there.  Irregardless of what Apple introduced Wednesday, they would have complained.  I for one am very excited to get my hands on one, and use it to control my entire home and I think this new gadget will revolutionize home automation interfaces.

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  1. Jooty  January 29, 2010

    I agree 100%. Currently I have my iPhone set up to be able to stream music and video from my Mac mini so I can watch movies or listen to my music from anywhere in the range of the wifi.
    I can use my iPhone to control iTunes and send music to whatever room I’m in via airport express.
    I can even stream music and movies over the Internet to my phone from anywhere in the world
    The only thing is that the iPhone is not so good for watching movies. It’s too small. The iPad will be perfect.

  2. AJ Wilcox  October 28, 2010

    We use the iPad for full home control in all of our current installs, and I can attest it is awesome. There is nothing that our app can’t control so far. Plus Crestron just released their iPad wall mount so it can be an in-wall screen. I’m not a huge Apple fanboy, but I definitely love the apple products from an automation standpoint!

    • DupreyHomeAutomation  October 28, 2010

      Thanks, I use my iPad to control my entire house, every system, including distributed audio with iTunes via Airport Express and Apple TV. I like some of the apps out there, but I configure everything to work over the web, so I use a custom designed, secure webpage, that I can access from anywhere via my iPad… very cool and powerful.

  3. FinalEchelon  November 16, 2010

    The author of the article states that he/she uses a Harmony 1000 to dim the lights. Would someone please enlighten me as to how this is done? What devices are need, etc.
    Thank you.


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