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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Control and Home Media Systems

Crestron Brings Speedier TSW Touchscreens

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Crestron announces the next generation of TSW touchscreens-- the TSW-560, TSW-760 and TSW 1060, all promising a "bold new level" of performance and security for a broad range of applications.

TSW TouchscreenAvailable at price points identical, if not lower, to the prior generation, the latest TSW touchscreens carry a state-of-the-art Crestron processor for fast and responsive control and navigation, as well as enterprise-grade security leveraging on the 802.1X, TLS, FIPS-140-2, SSH, and SFTP protocols.

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RTI Intros Driver for MuxLab Solutions

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RTI releases a 2-way driver for the MuxLab ProDigital AV over IP product series, allowing installers to easily incorporate MuxLab devices into RTI automation and control solutions.

MuxLab RTIThe driver is ideal for both residential and commercial installations, and provides direct access and control of the MuxLab ProDigital Network Controller (model 500811) and input/output extenders, as well as the company's video switcher selection, through RTI user interfaces. Meanwhile the driver for MuxLab AV over IP extenders allows control of up to 128 output devices, 64 input devices and 128 videowall configurations and presets via IP.

For video switchers, the driver enables the switching of 4, 8 or 16 inputs and outputs via RS-232 or IP.

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Sevenhugs Kickstarts Smart Remote

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SevenHugs takes to crowdfunding to bring the world its universal remote-- the Smart Remote, a touchscreen-equipped number able to geolocate individual devices, allowing customers to control whatever they want by simply pointing the remote.

Sevenhugs remoteFirst seen back at CES 2016, the Smart Remote uses a combination of built-in motion tracking and three wall-mounted sensors (included) to triangulate its position within a room and "know" what device it is being pointed at. As a result it should be able to tell between a between a TV, smart bulb and audio system, and the touchscreen switches control interface accordingly.

Initial setup comes through companion app, and the company says the remote is already compatible with over 25000 wifi, Bluetooth and IR devices, including Samsung Smart TVs, Philips Hue smart bulbs, Sonos speakers, the Nest thermostat. In addition it can pair with IFTTT-enabled smart home hubs such as the Winks and SmartThings, and an open API allows vendors to easily add support.

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ABI: Voice Control is "New Breakout Star"

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Voice control is the "standout category" for smart home device control, ABI Research reports-- and one set for a brighter future thanks to solid marketing and the leveraging of smartphone digital assistants.

ABI Voice ControlAs a result, the analyst predicts voice control devices such as the Amazon Echo will represent around 30% of smart home device spending by 2021 (or annual shipments reaching 600 million, up from 40m in 2015), despite only being around since 2014. This is thanks to big names pushing in the category, with Amazon taking the lead followed by Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.

“Voice control will not only draw in new consumers to smart home functionality, but it will help transform a wide variety of new and emerging smart home services and devices into more attractive investments,” ABI adds. “The stage is set for voice control to become the heart of any smart home system.”

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URC Launches TDC-7100 and TKP-7600 Interfaces

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URC announces a pair of user interfaces for the Total Control system aimed at the custom installation channel-- the TDC-7100 tabletop controller and the TKP-7600 in-wall touchscreen.

URC ControllerThe two devices feature a 7-inch touchscreen for the control of home entertainment and smart home products, as well as an intercom with door station integration through the addition of a built-in camera, microphone and speaker. Such functionality also enables room-to-room  and whole house family communication.

In addition the TDC-7100 features an integrated induction charging base.

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The Next VR Contender: Microsoft

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Microsoft VRMicrosoft quietly announced virtual reality plans at the tail end of its recent Surface event, as a number of partners will be selling headsets taking advantage of the VR and holographic capabilities of Windows 10.

The partners in question include HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer. Very little is known about the actual headsets, but Microsoft says the devices  feature "inside-out" tracking sensors able to handle 6 degrees of movement freedom, eliminating the need for the external cameras or laser systems used by the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

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Logitech Harmony Gets Alexa Voice Control

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Logitech is the next company to get an Amazon partnership, as customers can now pair the Logitech Harmony Hub with Alexa-enabled devices for "voice control of the entire living room entertainment experience."

Harmony AlexaHarmony Hub connectivity comes through an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot skill, and includes the starting/stopping of Harmony Activities, device control and turning directly to favourite channels, all through voice control alone. As such, one can summon different controls through statements such as "Alexa, turn on the TV" or "Alexa, turn on Netflix."

“This new capability is both practical and fun for our users,” Logitech says. “We’ve been working closely with Amazon to deliver robust voice control of your smart home using a Harmony hub-based remote and an Alexa-enabled device-- and if you don’t have Harmony yet, just say ‘Alexa, order a Harmony Hub’ and have one delivered.”

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