Control4 Adds Products, Upgrades OS and App

Control 4 has unveiled its 2.7 smart-home OS and multiple products compatible with it, including a new wireless thermostat, new in-wall and tabletop touchscreens with HD video intercom, and a handheld remote.
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Control 4 has unveiled its 2.7 smart-home OS and multiple products compatible with it, including a new wireless thermostat, new in-wall and tabletop touchscreens with HD video intercom, and a handheld remote. The company has also unveiled an upgraded iOS and Android app that sets up a complete home-control system that has also been optimized to speed up one-room home-entertainment installs.

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Control4’s OS 2.7 software release will support new touchscreens with instantaneous HD video intercom communications, user-interface enhancements for climate control, the company’s new wireless thermostat, and a redesigned handheld remote. Control4 initially launched its new app late last year to reduce setup time for large whole-home systems from days to hours, and make one-room setups 70 percent faster compared with programming via laptop. The new app will further accelerate setup of a one-room home entertainment system. For home entertainment systems, the app reduces the time it takes to program an entertainment system from “a number of hours” to less than an hour compared with other vendors’ laptop-based programming.

The updated Composer Express app is designed to facilitate faster and more template-based project installs, like one-room home entertainment installs, to decrease the time in which a technician needs to complete the project, and increase efficiency and ultimately profitability.

The updated Composer Express update adds simpler customer account setup, access to custom device drivers via a USB drive or Dropbox storage, and support for project templates used by installers who sell standardized solutions. In addition, Composer Express gives dealers the ability to securely access and service a customer’s Control4 install right from a smartphone, both on-site and remotely. The new version of the app will be available for download on March 24.

As for the company’s OS 2.7 software release, it will support new touchscreens with instantaneous HD video intercom communications, user-interface enhancements for climate control, the company’s new wireless thermostat, and a redesigned handheld remote. New in-wall touchscreens in 7- and 10-inch sizes and a 7-inch portable tabletop touchscreen feature HD cameras, speakers, microphone, full frame-rate HD video, and faster connection speeds to let users quickly see who’s at the front door, the company said. The capacitive-touch models can also be used to monitor sleeping babies or check on children playing in another room. The gesture-capable glass-edge touchscreens operate as dedicated interfaces for Control4 home control systems, including music playlist browsing. The new touchscreens feature 1.4GHz quad-core processors for fast response and add the ability to manage smart locks throughout the home. They also feature one-touch access to local and regional weather forecasts.

The new UI is said to improve operation of climate control systems from within the house or remotely through a dial interface, to quickly access comfort functions including temperature, heat/cool set points, thermostat mode, fan speed and humidity levels. It also accesses new configurable comfort control presets that let users save all HVAC settings, recall them with one touch, and have them take effect automatically on a preset schedule or when a designated event occurs. The interface works with the most popular thermostat brands across the US, including Aprilaire, Carrier, Cool Automation, Heatmiser and Nest. As part of the OS 2.7 release, Control4 also launched a new wireless thermostat jointly developed with Aprilaire.

It features enhanced compatibility for use with such new types of HVAC systems such as geothermal, dual-fuel and humidity control systems. The new model can be powered using AC power or batteries, allowing for maximum installation flexibility. Also new is a handheld remote enabling control of all smart home systems. It adds custom buttons that dealers can program, a larger display with a variety of font colors and improved readability, brighter keypad backlighting that automatically adjusts based on ambient light levels, and faster command processing. It works with Control4’s existing recharging stations.

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