posted on Friday, 7th September 2012 by Steve May
Crestron is the latest brand to bring Near Field Communications technology into the Smart Home space. At CEDIA Expo, the company has been demonstrating its airConnect system for the first time. The technology allows Crestron customers to control everything from AV entertainment to lighting using a smartphone and programmed NFC tags. The postage stamp-sized tags are easy to accommodate behind keypads and faceplates.
An NFC-reading Android smartphone just needs to be in close proximity to an NFC tag to work, removing the need to use a control program or interface. They can also be personalised. This level of Smart communication opens up a new world of individual system settings, for example preffered lighting levels and configurations, audio presets and so on.
Crestron says that adding NFC customisation to an install will involve only minimal additional programming, a job which can be done "in minutes." The user benefits, though, are profound: "A Crestron control system can recognise who you are and instantly activate your preferences, all by simply walking near a NFC tag with your smart device."
In addition to tub-thumping NFC, Crestron has also jumped onboard the Apple AirPlay bandwagon at Expo, integrating support within its Sonnex Multi-room HD Audio System. The promise is of a seamless multi-room audio system for users of iOS. The CEDIA demos revolve around the Sonnex 24X8 Multi-room audio system, which combines single-wire high-resolution audio with full matrix switching and amplification.
AirPlay is an "opportunity to deliver another 'wow' experience to homeowners," says Robin van Meeuwen, VP of Sales and Marketing at Crestron International. "Our integrated solution provides the best user experience, enabling customers to enjoy their entire iTunes library in any room, anytime, while never having to switch audio sources at the receiver," he says.
As with NFC, there's no need to utilises a traditional Touchscreen. Anyone with an iPhone or iPad can have music playing in any room. Sonnex automatically detects audio signals and switches to the AirPlay source. The system can be programmed to switch spontaneously, or wait for manual intervention.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
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