Control4’s new 2.0 operating system release provides new whole-home control functionality, a Flash-based platform for developers, support for ZigBee Pro hardware products, and a new user interface. The company also is offering $5,000 to the developer (or dealer) whose application is downloaded from its 4Store the most between now and the end of November.
Top, Control4’s Flash-based 2.0 “Circle of Power” interface and, bottom, a Navigator Information page
The company officially launched its 4Store application marketplace last week, enabling its customers to add features and enhance the functionality of both Control4 and third-party devices and systems in the home.
With the 4Store platform and the Control4 Application Development Kit, Flash developers can now expand their reach into the growing smart home market, the company says.
The Importance of Flash
The Control4 Navigator Interface is now Adobe Flash-based and includes multiple new interface design choices from Control4, or easy customization with the customer’s own home page design, wallpaper, and screen savers. The Adobe Flash infrastructure, according to Control4 VP of support Paul Williams, was chosen because it is fast and efficient, a lot of developers know it well, and because it provide a visible impact to the user experience.
“During our alpha and beta testers tell us that the new interface has been a huge improvement and is much more polished,” Williams said.
The open systems architecture of Flash also enables partner developers and developer community in general to create applications for the Control4 platform. In fact Control4 is holding a contest to see which app is downloaded the most between now and the end of November. The winner will receive $5,000 in prize money.
Customers set up a 4Store account online at www.4store.com and then purchase and download 4Store applications from a variety of categories. Developers are charged a nominal annual fee for their developer’s kit. Control4 tests all applications before approving them for the 4Store.
Faster Access to Content
A new feature allows customers to easily mark favorite pages for faster access to preferred content. A Control4 Authorized installer can now program “page flips” to set the display to a specific page with one touch, rather than starting with Control4’s “Circle of Power” page.
OS 2.0 also has an updated media database featuring improved performance and users can schedule media scanning to occur when it’s most convenient for them.
Available in Seven Languages
Control4 OS 2.0 ships with support for seven languages: French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Ukranian, and English. New languages can be added to the OS using the Control4 Language Development Kit. Support for new languages does not require a software update and new languages will continue to be added. Williams says that “localization” of OS 2.0 typically takes a distributor two to three weeks.
ZigBee Pro Standard
Control4 OS 2.0 implements industry standard ZigBee Pro technology, which allows a greater number of interoperable devices to be added to the Control4 system, according to Williams.