Wow, it has finally happened! Now, let’s start from the beginning…
iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads are great multi-purpose devices. They are also great for remotely controlling almost anything in your home – televisions, lights, HVAC, and much much more (see our extensive apps list).
But all these great (and rather expensive) devices are missing a very basic feature that any regular (even the cheapest) IR remote has – hard buttons that you can push without glancing at the screen.
Crestron fixes that problem with it’s iPanel – which snaps over iPad’s screen and adds a total of 13(!) hardware buttons: Volume Up/Down, Mute, Lights, Home, Guide, Info, Exit, Left, Right, Up, Down, Select.
The iPanel communicates with iPad and gets its power via the 30-pin connector, so no external batteries or cables are required. There are a few catches though…
- “Crestron is targeting a price point of less than $500” (that’s almost $40 per button).
- But even if you are willing to bite the bullet and get it, it’s going to work only with Crestron systems, which will run you tens or even hundreds thousand of dollars.
Oh well, I still think it’s a great news.
As for us, DIY crowd, we should just wait for chinese manufacturing to catch up with this idea and create universal “iPanels” and SDKs that will work with any software from the AppStore.
Image credit: CEPro