People have been asking me if we’re going to support using the iPad for home automation. The short answer, for all the obvious reasons, is yes. But there are a few reasons why an iPad might not be the ideal solution for you.
Fingernails. Whether “real” or acrylic, they simply don’t register on the iPad’s capacitive touchscreen. (The majority of women I’ve talked to don’t like touchscreen phones for this reason.) This technology requires direct flesh contact. So unless your nails are really short, the iPad might be a poor choice for you as a home controller.
A single interface. If you have a large home and plan to have several iPads to operate everything, you may be stuck with a single interface. And if you’re in the kitchen, for example, you shouldn’t have to drill down to switch the lights on. A single graphical user interface is stored on a central processor and is loaded by the iPads in real-time. Having a different user experience in different areas of the home simply isn’t possible with many systems.
The docking. The iPad docks in portrait mode. So, if the user interface is in landscape mode, you’ll be looking at it sideways when it’s docked, unless you undock the iPad and hold it in your hands. The user interface can be designed to be oriented in portrait, but if you also have dedicated touchscreens in your system, you’ll then have two user experiences rather than one.
Connect time. Home control on an iPad will run just like any other iPad app. That means it takes time to launch and connect. This could be frustrating when you want to perform simple tasks. You could leave the home control application open all the time, but with 150,000 apps, books, web browsing, email, and more, it will be tempting to close it. The iPad doesn’t support multi-tasking, which would allow it to run more than one app at a time. So not only would you need to relaunch home control simply to adjust the lights, you’d need to quit your high-scoring game of Tap Tap Revenge to do so.
The iPad will prove to be an amazing device capable of doing many things. Get one, download a book, and sit back in your favorite chair… but use your dedicated touchscreen controller to turn on the reading light.
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