A couple of weeks ago I toured a non-descript condo on the quiet Wellington Street West. That is located on the west side of downtown Toronto, behind the hustle and bustle of King Street's advertising district.
Inside was the world’s first Apple-based home automation and commercial control system. You can control everything in your home via an iPad, iPhone, MacBook, iMac, and iPod touch with technology called “TrueControl." Apple technology can be mounted into the wall. It acts much like your central cooling and heating system controls do.
The company behind it all is Massachusetts-based Savant Systems, who looking to make a dent in the Canadian marketplace.
I sat down with regional sales manager George Katsiris in the condo. The television in the condo’s conference room played four channels at once. It’s an innovative feature called “SmartView Video Tiling," which allows for up to six sources to be viewable on a single display. From the iPad, users can drag and drop selected video sources, to their chosen location, within the tile grid. With this technology, the consumer will never again have to buy multiple televisions to satisfy everyone’s viewing preferences at any given time.
“Savant’s breakthrough TrueCommand technology provides the most advanced and visually engaging way to navigate, browse and select diverse home control services and multimedia content by boldly presenting attractive icons on any high definition TV," says the company. “TrueCommand gives you total control from the comfort of your sofa without ever interrupting your audio or video programming.”
The options on the iPad controller include watch, listen, environment, energy, settings, user, television, iTunes, lighting, climate, blue-ray, cable TV, and dashboard. That means Savant users can control the lighting, shades, and television, by just tapping different regions of the iPad.
If your home comes with dimmed lights, you can also control that, eliminating the need to get up and control your wall-based switches. The technology is known as “TrueImage."
“Smart Docks” allow you to instantly share, access, and stream, your entire personal music, or video collection, throughout the house. One can even play different music, or videos, in different parts of the house.
“Smart Home Solutions” allow you to control the temperature, of your living space, in each room. One can schedule what time of the day they want it be warmer, or colder.
Homeowners can view how much energy, is being used in each room, and find ways to conserve power. Security cameras, telephone communications, gates, driveways, and garages, can also be controlled. If you have a hot tub or a pool, you can control the temperature of those while turning the heat on and off.
Imagine all of that. And it's actually surprisingly affordable, depending on how much home automation you want.