Control4 Rolls Out New OS for the Connected Home

Connecting the sometimes-complicated dots between various components of the smart home — from voice assistants to the security system to the next-gen console, and so on — is a pain point for many consumers. Not every device connects properly or necessarily even connects to a network at all. Not every device interfaces or engages with other devices as they could or should.

In other words, the world of smart home technology can still be a sleeves-rolled-up, curse-at-the-sky sort of messy. In spite of the many upward-trending data points around smart homes, some consumers with connected devices seem reluctant to explore more comprehensive device integration, according to data from research agency, Parks Associates.

High-end smart home automation solutions provider, Control4, believes they may have an answer to this particular problem.

 

At the Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS conference, which focuses on IoT and the smart home, Control4 shared news of a major update to their home automation system’s operating system (OS). The OS update was considered significant enough for Control4 to offer a press preview during CONNECTIONS about the features and its potential impact on the smart home market and integration and end-user experience.

The new Control4 Smart Home OS 3 comes packed with what the company’s press release describes as “more than a thousand new features and capabilities”. In a nutshell, it provides connectivity to thousands of devices, using one-touch control and at-a-glance views.

At the top level, the handiest new features for end users may be the and Dashboard and Favorites features.

Dashboards can be customized with quick-glance views of most key devices in any room, whether locks, lights, media room devices, and more.

Favorites will allow for a user to surface anything in a room to the mobile app, touch screen, and TV. A gamer could prioritize their Xbox console at the top of the living room list — or their smart coffee mug in the kitchen view, if making sure a heated cuppa joe is always ready to go. Echoing the familiarity and ease-of-use found in smartphone interactions, a user presses and holds an item to Favorite a device, service, setting, or playlist in any room. Dragging and deleting items is handled similarly.

 

How Control4’s Smart Home OS 3 interface works (Video: Control4)

For gamers considering the smart home bigger picture, this is what this news means:

Control4 says that, like thousands of other devices accounted for in OS 3, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and other consoles can be connected into the smart home system and given one-touch control. From there, they can be operated alongside the TV, speakers, lights and shades and any other device or service with “smart” capability.

A gamer could, through Control4’s OS 3-powered system, set the perfect gaming environment in the media room, bedroom, or wherever their rig is set up, provided they have the right types of devices to accommodate it. For example, the lights could be colored and set to a certain brightness, the speaker system set to a certain volume and bass level, and so on.Voilà, the room can be tweaked (like any video card setting, for example) to become the perfect environment to play insert-favorite-game.

It should be noted that, at least for now, virtual reality headsets are not part of the connected device ecosystem that can be operated within the Control4 smart home architecture. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these headsets could not be included down the road.

Last but not least, the cost of having the power of OS 3 in one’s hand could be pricey depending on whether the smart home experience is one room or a whole house. That is, Control4 customizes solutions and installation of smart homes, including this new OS which serves as the remote controller for that installation.

If you want a connected home experience to be something like a finely-tuned, high-end experience, the Control4 smart home installation offerings may be worth exploring. With that in mind, Control4 is offering a demo day to explore their smart home solutions at their certified showrooms, on June 13 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM!

Updated: May 28, 2019 — 2:02 pm

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