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Tech Showcase: Control System Updates

A look at some recent enhancements and integrations to home automation systems.

Despite today’s home control systems being extremely robust in the services they provide, there is still room for growth, which is evidenced by the constant updates and additional product integrations they routinely go through. Here we look at some of the recent changes and updates to automation systems.

Crestron Home 3.13 Update

Crestron Home OS Update 3.13

The latest Crestron Home OS update 3.13 features a complete slate of new features, including the addition of Circadian Rhythm settings — the ability to “auto-tune” lights to mimic aspects of natural light throughout the course of the day. This update allows everyone who currently utilizes Crestron dimmers to adjust light intensity in this “bio-centric” manner immediately. As Crestron’s tunable LED light fixtures (and those manufactured by its partners) are released, every aspect (including color) of the Circadian Rhythm feature will be available in the new fixtures via this update.

In addition to color tuning, this update also includes functionality for SolarSync, which uses an outdoor Crestron SolarSync sensor to pick up the outside color temperature of the sun in real-time, and tunes the interior lighting to match that light. Warm Dim is another feature of the update, which creates a dimming effect like old-school incandescent bulbs — as one dims the light, it starts to go towards more of a yellow or an orange hue.

URC- FX Luminaire Integration

URC Partners With FX Luminaire

URC and FX Luminaire, a provider of landscape and architectural lighting products, have announced a new phase of collaboration in smart residential and commercial automation technology.

Starting immediately, URC and FX Luminaire have enabled seamless management of the FX Luminaire Luxor Controller with Total Control. This integration includes native use cases in Total Control’s Scenes menus, allowing events to control multiple systems and devices. The Luxor Controller incorporates zoning, dimming, and color creation capabilities into a single control system using a simple two-wire path installation.

Key benefits include unified integration creation of robust outdoor scenes, simplified automation programming, seamless remote access and control, voice/hands-free control, and energy efficiency.

Control4 Teams with Pandora

Control4 Integration With Pandora

The Control4 home control system now supports full integration with the Pandora music streaming service, offering customers complete access to their Premium, Plus, and Free accounts through the Control4 interface.

Reimagined after nearly a decade of partnership, the Pandora integration for Control4 systems now provides users with a truly premium music streaming experience. By integrating a fully functional Pandora interface into the Control4 app, Snap One is enabling integrators to offer their clients an entirely new experience with more access to their music, greater control, and a simpler UI.

Pandora, along with Control4’s many audio integrations, is supported by Ryff, the native streaming audio platform within the Control4 ecosystem. The Ryff audio platform provides the highest audio quality and network-based audio synchronization to prevent echoes and lag across multiple simultaneous zones, including those connected wirelessly. Control4 integrators and end-users have used this technology for over 17 years, and after nearly two decades of development, innovation, and investment, SnapOne has branded it Ryff.

Related: Guide to Selling Control Systems

RTI Integration Designer v11

RTI Integration Designer 11

The new RTI Integration Designer 11 adds time-saving performance tools and features an all-new user interface template, new icons and background libraries, custom sliders, and more to personalize residential and commercial projects.

The most visible feature in Integration Designer 11 is the all-new “Coral” template with swappable backgrounds, customizable sliders, and scrolling viewports across touchscreens and mobile devices, and new graphics and fonts — all with auto-programming that adds efficiency to every project. Behind the scenes is the integrated System Manager — with adaptive auto-programming intelligence — adding feedback for scenes, rooms, and automations while auto-generating new macros based on what’s already been programmed in the system. Another major new addition is the built-in Driver Store, enabling integrators to find all drivers without leaving the software and searching on a separate driver site, saving time on every project. And more than ever before, RTI programming is easily reusable, again making integrators more efficient across all projects.

But it’s not just about efficiency; Version 11 of Integration Designer enables the integrator to personalize and customize solutions that meet every home or business owner’s unique needs.

ELAN and 2-GIG

ELAN Control Systems Upgrade 8.7

Nice/Nortek Control has released Software Upgrade 8.7 for ELAN Control Systems. Topping the list of many major new features and enhancements, new Direct Control functionality, Bluetooth player capability, an entirely new subcategory of utility products integration, and the first-ever integration with the 2GIG EDGE Security Panel make this update significant for both integrators and end users of ELAN products. The 8.7 Software adds complete control to lifestyle aspects of today, such as home security, wellness, and home integrity (i.e., water leak detection) components without additional hardware.

The new Direct Control feature allows ELAN Remote Controls to communicate natively with an ELAN Controller, rather than using the home Wi-Fi, for instant connections even in environments where home networks may be challenging. The new Bluetooth player instantly turns every ELAN Touch Panel into a Bluetooth receiver, eliminating the need for any external receiver. Anyone in the home, whether family members or guests, can connect their smart phone through an ELAN Touch Panel to play their own music through the whole-home audio system.

This Software Upgrade also provides extensive new integration with popular home wellness and security products for an easier to design, install, and enjoy total control solution. For example, a new subcategory for popular utility products, such as power management and conditioning, air quality, and leak detection, has been added to bring more visibility to the wellness of the home for homeowners. Further, the 8.7 Software is the first to deliver seamless integration with the 2GIG EDGE Security Panel. and Autonomic Partners With Autonomic continues expanding the power of artificial intelligence in the home with its support of Autonomic. Integration with eSeries MMS streamers, as well as Autonomic’s full line of multi-room amplifiers, enables’s proprietary voice automation and app to provide music access throughout a user’s living spaces. Autonomic clients are now empowered with natural and secure voice commands, like: “Okay Josh, draw the west sheers, listen to Yo-yo Ma in the den and dining room, and set the volume to 25 percent.”

The integration provides feature parity across’s app and voice interfaces for content search, zone grouping, and transport control. Users will be able to search for their favorite songs, artists, albums, and playlists across supported streaming services. With the release of Mirage OS 7.0, Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn are all available for Autonomic clients to enjoy in high-resolution audio. Autonomic local music content that is saved as favorites or playlists will also be accessible at launch.

Once is deployed, each Autonomic device is automatically detected on the network along with all compatible streaming services that are signed into the local Autonomic system. As part of the AV Setup workflow, Autonomic streamers and amplifiers are then configurable as input sources and output zones, respectively, throughout the home. Beyond native control in a standalone Autonomic multi-room audio system, also can access Autonomic streamers when routed through Crestron SIMPL, Crestron Home, and Control4 audio distribution.

Savant Essentials

Savant Essentials

Savant is ushering in a new era of smart home innovation by introducing Savant Essentials, a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model. Savant Essentials offers enhanced cloud-based functionality such as expanded remote access capabilities, third-party cloud integrations, and useful status notifications from all aspects of the smart home such as security, climate, entertainment, lighting, energy, and more. Essentials subscribers will also benefit from a secure cloud-based system back-up and restore feature that retains personalization features and favorite settings to be restored to new hardware from the Savant Pro App, ensuring an intuitive, consistent experience for users.