iPhone: The Home Automation Remote Killer

Illustration for article titled iPhone: The Home Automation Remote Killer

There are already a few home automation iPhone apps in the store, but here at CEDIA it's clear that all of the home automation heavies have definitely discovered the obvious: the iPhone makes for a great universal touchscreen remote for everything from your AC to your living room blinds to your music collection. And most of them won't make you pay the price of a snazzy dedicated touchscreen controller to get it, either. Most of them.

Of the apps by Crestron, Lifeware, Z-Wave and Control4 we've seen here at CEDIA, Crestron's seems to be farthest along (pictured above). It can control multiple rooms in multiple houses all via Wi-Fi or AT&T data, and is a free download and add-on. Z-Wave, probably the most accessible system that you don't have to have a Cribs-worthy home to run, will sadly charge you $10 a month for the privilege of freaking out your pets while you're on vacation or locking your doors from bed. Lifeware's app is still in its nascent stages, but it will pack more Media Center integrations (in case you're running the baddest Media Center in the world).

Illustration for article titled iPhone: The Home Automation Remote Killer

Control4's app (above) is the least impressive—the first version will only work in your home on the same Wi-Fi network as your system, which is puzzling. And it'll cost you a "license" that will likely be "over $100 and less than $500," to make up for lost touchscreen remote revenue.

All the apps are currently getting finishing touches, but each will be available before year-end. For now, check out iViewer.

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iPhone still doesn't beat my PalmRemote on my good ol' PenCentra 130 with CE 2.11. MisterHouse does what I need alongside this.

Why do I need an iPhone again to do the same crap my CE 2.11 machine from 1999 does again?