The hallmark of most noteworthy custom installation projects is the control system, which often includes a custom-programmed touchpanel at its heart. The InfoComm trade show last month in Las Vegas provided the venue for several new touch-panel product introductions, while other manufacturers continue to make enhancements to their existing products. Here is a collection of new offerings from a few of the industrys leading manufacturers.
Crestrons MiniTouch is a new product designed specifically to control smaller integrated systems. It is equipped with a 3-inch color touchscreen display with eight programmable push buttons. With a 1,500-foot RF wireless range, the MiniTouch can be used with Crestron’s CNRFGWA-418 RF Gateway and any Crestron 2-Series control system. Powered with NiMh batteries, the MiniTouch is shipped with an included docking station. MiniTouch is also programmed with Crestron’s VT-Pro-e software.
Featuring a high-resolution wireless active matrix display, Crestrons ST-1700C produces high-resolution pictures with both graphics and video. The color scheme consists of 64,000 colors and multiple graphics can be displayed on the ST-1700C’s screen without any shift in color depth or quality. In addition to the on-screen display, the ST-1700C offers five programmable push buttons on each side for “one-touch” control options. Also engraveable, they are tactile, real buttons that operate without waking the touchpanel display. The ST-1700 is compatible with Crestrons existing CNRFGWA RF Gateway.
The new TPS-3000 is Crestrons smallest of the its table-top touchpanels. Its “mini-tilt” functionality offers one-hand control, a 6.4-inch active matrix display and the 64,000-color Isys engine that allows all graphics to be displayed with enhanced brightness and depth.
ELAN Home Systems VIA! Touch Panel is a 6.4-inch full-color LCD touchscreen that can be used to control audio/video components and home systems. Its color video monitor that can be used to view video sources like satellite TV and security cameras. In addition, ELAN continues to develop its VIA! Integration Partner program (VIP). VIP was launched this year with the release of the VIA! SC-4 System Controller, which enables the VIA! to control a wider range of RS232-based residential systems.
With its VIA! SC-4 System Controller, ELAN Home Systems offers pre-written RS232 protocol for various lighting, climate control and security systems. Little, if any, additional programming is required for VIA! touchpanels to control these systems–just choose a system from the protocol library for loading into VIA!. Additionally, ELAN receives training for each RS232 application and has the product installed at ELANs facilities for guaranteed compatibility.
HAI has expanded its interface options for its Omni family controllers, and has become a CorAccess Subsystem Partner. The CorAcess Companion 6, Companion 10 and Mobile Companion touchpanels are graphical interface options for all three HAI Omni controllers. All of the CorAccess touchpanels are colorful displays from which homeowners can access and control their HAI Omni system, as well as access the Internet without using a PC. HAI’s Omni family controllers coordinate security, temperature and lighting, with the additions of telephone and Internet access and control. In addition to the various CorAccess products, all HAI Omni family controllers include integration to the GrafikTouch touchscreen by HomeTouch Inc., which offers complete access to HAI Omni systems along with video surveillance and audio/video control. HAI also currently integrates with the Crestron and AMX touchscreens, and is an ELAN VIA! Integration Partner.
AMXs newly unveiled Plantinum Series 15-inch model, paired with its new touchpanel interface (TPI/4) offers AMXs touchpanel Multimedia Systems, providing management of presentation facilities, educational facilities, network operation centers and healthcare applications. This system supports up to four media inputs for any mix of video and RGB inputs.
AMX has released Design Xpress for NetLinx Studio for streamlined programming of its NetLinx control systems. The software provides a wizard-style graphical user interface that decreases the NetLinxs Control Systems programming time. With the improved interface, Design Xpress is able to automatically generate program source code and touchpanel screens. The software supports a residential application multi-zone audio distribution with lighting, HVAC and intercom features.