An increasing number of homeowners consider technology a necessity, rather than an option or luxury. At the same time, home control and automation are becoming more accessible to more people – both in terms of affordability and ease-of-use. Recently, the iPad™ has been very influential; it has an enjoyable and intuitive touch screen that has raised awareness of the home automation experience for a broad cross-section of people.

We want technology to work for us, not make us work. Home entertainment alone has choices that seem endless: iPods, Blu-ray players, Apple TV, just to name a few. What if you want to watch Internet TV, such as Hulu, on the TV instead of your computer monitor? Imagine having a Blu-ray player in every room in the house. When you want to watch a specific movie, you have to search the house to find the disc. Once you do, you juggle remotes and push buttons; sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. It gets frustrating, because all you want to do is relax and enjoy yourself. It’s much nicer to be able to hit a button on a touch screen – or access an onscreen display right on your TV – and search for a movie or TV show, find it and play it. That’s the “wow” factor of home control.

It’s important to remember that a touch screen used for home automation will only work as well as the control system behind it. Crestron is the most powerful, flexible and reliable control system in the world. Technology that is easy to use is more likely to be used, enjoyed, and add real value to the home.

Crestron recently introduced Core 3 OS, the “brain” that manages all systems in the home on a single digital network. Core 3 performs like an operating system for the home. Delivering more power, speed, memory and security, Core 3 enables high-speed multi-tasking enables up to 10 systems to run simultaneously. Core 3 also drives a new graphical user interface (GUI) framework that delivers richer graphics and more engaging, interactive animations. Ultimately, homeowners can select themes, colors and backgrounds and change them on the fly.

Crestron is standards-based, not based on one standard or exclusively tied to any one operating system, service provider or device. Our open platform makes a huge difference when you consider how much technology is in the home today. It’s so much simpler when you have the same user experience on your iPhone®, PC, Mac, touchpanels, iPad™ and Android™ devices; you get identical access anytime, anywhere and to anything.

Core 3 enables the support of multiple formats and media players including Flash®, HTML5 and H.264 video. Several different applications can be layered into a single programming object, delivering colorful animated icons and cool 3D effects that scale to fit any touch screen. Access your system right on your TV too; a dynamic on-screen display (OSD) guides you through control of not only home entertainment, but lighting/shades, HVAC and all other networked systems, such as security and sprinklers.

An easy, fun and convenient home control experience requires a sophisticated, flexible system that makes it seamless and effortless. There’s so much audio and video content out there. It takes a lot of work to keep up, and life is complicated enough. We all just want simple, convenient, reliable access to it all – and no one wants a dozen remotes on their coffee table. With a home control system, you can consolidate all those remotes and reduce wall clutter too.

Automatically dimming and controlling the lights and setting back thermostats are great ways to reduce energy consumption. Before going to sleep, you can hit a “Goodnight” button on a touch screen on your night table to shut all lights off, set back thermostats and arm the security system. When your family curls up on the couch to watch a movie, a single button press powers up every component in the entertainment system, dims the lights and adjusts the temperature, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the show. In terms of benefits, there are no limits.