One of the past limitations in the implementation of control systems in work and living environments has been the relatively high cost of proprietary touch screen controllers, which provide the most intuitive and attractive interface to use devices conveniently.
All of this has changed with the advent of touch-enabled smartphones and tablets which are more or less ubiquitous today. You can now convert your device into a virtual touch screen to control your boardroom, video conference room, home theatre or whole-office/house AV systems, lighting, climate control, shades, security and other functions from virtually anywhere.
Now you can have several wireless, touch “remotes” at a fraction of the cost for greater convenience, comfort and flexibility.
Major control system manufacturers like Crestron (www.crestron.com) and AMX (www.amx.com) already provide excellent control apps on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store. Other control vendors like Lutron (for lighting systems) are also beginning to offer software that allows control of their systems via mobile devices.
Some useful features that this enables for your environment are:
Open platform compatibility allows it to be configured to work across iOS, Android and proprietary controllers
Supports Wi-fi and mobile broadband connectivity (over GSM/CDMA) which means that you can also control devices in a room remotely – when you are away
Most new devices can be added without programming and modifications to the control system, and video-camera support is available for remote viewing
Existing control system implementations can be configured/upgraded to add support for these software-based controllers
More detailed System Administration and Facility management features are also becoming available via special management versions of the apps.