OS 3.0, which Apple will release this week, has hardware interfaces that which will certainly step up the pace at which developers and manufacturers will introduce new apps and hardware with remote features and functions for the iPhone/touch. Because they work over Wi-Fi and 3G, a system in one room can be controlled from your handheld in another room.
Last week, Savant Systems, a home-automation company introduced a new family of media docks capable of distributing audio, video and lighting to any Savant interface. The company already markets ROSIE Home Automation in the App Store (for $199.99) to control it’s many HA devices.
Savant also announced Rosie On The Road, a remote access control 3.0 app featuring full access to all features and services within a home or anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi or 3G data connection. The application auto-discovers services in the home with Bonjour, Apple’s zero-configuration networking protocol.
“Every kid in the world is living with Apple… so Savant is on to something,” says David Weinstein, head of Lutron's residential (lighting and automatic shades) system division,
Also last week, Pioneer Electronics (USA) began shipping A/V Receivers that seamlessly integrate Apple’s revolutionary iPhone and iPod into a customer’s home theatre.
Music and movies are automatically muted with incoming calls; compressed music files are greatly enhanced with Advanced Sound Retriever; consistent volume is maintained with Auto Level Control – all while the control of your media remains in the palm of your hand through the iPhone itself or the VSX-819H-K’s remote.
The real fun begins with OS 3.0 but here are some apps that already put home control in the palm of your hand:
Dozens of apps are available to control your Mac and PC and the audio and video that reside on them. No list would be complete without Apple’s Remote Control, which enables you to control music and your Mac and PC and Apple TV. Evan Schoenberg’s Rowmote is similar but is also capable of being used as a track pad. Install XBMC on your XBox, Apple TV or desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and control your music and TV from anywhere.
But that’s nothing compared to what’s to come.
If you own a TELETASK HA system you can view driveway cameras, automatically open the front door to let in a handyman, lower electronic shades and more using ISGUI Home Automation app.
Saturday night, when you take your weekly soak, Unique Automation’s Bathomatic will lower the plug into the drain and fill the bathtub with water to the right height and temp.
Indigo markets home light systems and with the complementary TLA Investments iHome Remote for Indigo, you can turn off the lights when you forget and turn them on on the way home.
Control4 home automation systems connect with Control UI’s Control4 My House enabling you to manage your whole-house audio/video, lighting and HVAC systems.
Exceptional Innovation’s Life|ware can also be used to control HVAC, lighting and security systems as well as Tivo DVRs, DVD players and receivers.
The list is already long as you can and we’re only scratched the surface. Most of these apps are free – mainly because they operate with usually proprietary home automation gear, but that will soon change. It could be as early as Wednesday, the official OS 3.0 launch date.