I got to thinking the other day about whether we’ll be building very many bookshelves in the future. Seems most of the people I know are snatching up Kindles or iPads instead of real books. What would a home be like without books, bookshelves, and a comfy chair by the fire to settle into on a rainy day? I’ve got an electronic reader myself, but you know. There’s nothing like the feel, the smell, and the just plain look of a book. I love my e-reader. But I love my bookshelves as well and I don’t think a house is quite a home without real books on display.

The Denver Post recently ran a story about a custom home builder that is turning the iPad into a built-in control center for an entire home automation system. The system can control your lights, motorized shades, music and TV systems, baby monitors, and even the swimming pool. Automation systems controlling everything in your house have been available for a long time, but touchscreens for the systems could be pricey. Now with the iPad, the cost has come way down.

Solstice Media, the company that designed the system, installs two iPads in-wall in the house, which communicate with the brains of the automation system via Wi-Fi. “The iPad has brought the entry-level price point down significantly, because an 8-inch in-wall touch screen before cost upwards of $3,000 or more,” said Travis Deatherage, partner at Solstice. “Now we can get a $500 iPad and still provide most of the functionality that an in-wall touch panel can give.”

The iPads are docked in the wall, but can be removed and used just like a normal iPad. A third iPad can be used to control the system, as well as an iPhone or iPod touch running a customized version of the control app.

There are various home automation systems available in both professional builder versions and more consumer friendly self-installed versions. Control4 offers a scalable solution for new or older homes, and an iPad app to control it all. Other companies like Insteon offer control modules and even the venerable X10 open standard can be controlled via iOS apps.

Article Via CultofMac

Photo Credit: Heritage Hills

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