Crestron's Isys i/O WiFi Touchscreen Saint John NB
Saint John, NB
Crestron's Isys i/O WiFi Touchscreen
January 1, 2005 By Brent Butterworth
I touch an on-screen button, and the lights in my home theater slowly illuminate—yet I am sitting in my favorite chair two rooms away. I touch another button, and my home theater system springs to life. The CD changer begins playing; I crank up the system a bit so I can hear it everywhere in the house. But my mood changes, and I want to hear saxophonist Sonny Rollins—so I plug in a USB key drive and play his classic tune “Tenor Madness” through the device on my lap. Inspired by the great drumming but unable to remember who else played on this recording, I check the music listings on Amazon.com to find out. My guess is right: The drummer is Philly Joe Jones. That question settled, it’s back to reading through a couple of stories that East Coast Editor Dennis Burger just sent me.
The look of the Isys i/O’s screen can be whatever you want. Your installer can create custom graphics, or use templates available from Crestron or such third-party suppliers as GuiFX. (Click image to enlarge)
The device that is allowing me to do all this—control my entire home from my easy chair and providing its own entertainment options as well––is no larger than a notebook computer. It sits comfortably on my leg, perfectly balanced thanks to a thigh-fitting curve on the bottom. The screen rises slightly, making it easy to see from my reclined position. Only two years ago, this level of control was nearly impossible—but with Crestron’s new Isys i/O WiFi touchscreen, it is easy.
The Isys i/O WiFi represents a new breed of touchscreen. Older touchscreens were completely proprietary, closed systems. They were built specifically for the task of controlling a home theater system and anything else in your home that could be automated, such as lights, heating, air conditioning and security systems. The new breed uses a great deal of off-the-shelf technology—specifically, a recent creation called a web tablet.A web tablet is basically a computer designed primarily for browsing the Internet. It’s almost all screen, with no keyboard or mouse, and just a sprinkling of buttons along the sides. Built-in WiFi wireless networking connects the tablet to your home network, which then connects to the Internet. The computer industry does not seem to know what to do with its creation, but the home automation industry does—such companies as Crestron, AMX and i-Command have quickly converted the web tablet into a powerful home control and entertainment device.
The Isys i/O WiFi appears to be the most capable of these new devices. Not only can it control practically any home appliance or audiovisual component that can be remote-controlled, it also taps the power of its internal computer to deliver entertainment options of its own. Of course, you can peruse the Internet, but you can also play MP3 or WMA music, watch streaming video and even view (but not edit) ...