updated 08:55 pm EDT, Tue September 21, 2010
Apps shown running on Galaxy Tab
Sling Media founder Blake Krikorian has previewed a home automation utility geared for Android devices. Ahead of the CEDIA Expo 2010, Krikorian showed off the new home-control interface, named R2, which is specifically geared for Crestron's automation systems.
“I just wanted the iPad to let me bypass the slide-to-unlock bar so I could immediately control things with one button," Krikorian told CE Pro in an interview. "Apple doesn’t give you the flexibility to do that.”
The Android OS reportedly maintains a level of openness that allows developers to use the hardware in certain ways that remain restricted on iOS devices. A home-automation app running on Google's mobile platform can instantly turn on the screen and present images from surveillance security cameras as a doorbell rings or security sensor trips.
Although Apple has brought multitasking functionality to iOS, Krikorian describes the possibilities as "limited at best." Android also provides greater support for widgets, allowing common control functions to be added directly to the home screen. Without opening a dedicated app, users can engage functions such as volume control, intercom, lights, or security status, among others.
The Android app, which was shown running on a Galaxy Tab, will work with existing Creston development tools such as VTPro, System Builder, and SIMPL. The core functionality is said to be similar to Crestron's own Mobile Pro G app for the iPad. Krikorian also expects his Android offering to match Mobile Pro's pricing, which is currently set at $99 per device.
Krikorian's development team, the id8 Group, will be showing off the R2 Android app this week at CEDIA. The company has yet to announce a launch date for the new offering.