A new model home in Overlook, Lone Tree’s Heritage Hills has been equipped with two iPads to enable the use of home control and automation. The iPads can control the homes lighting, motorised sun shades, multi-room music system, television and video systems, baby monitors and closed circuit security cameras.

The iPads, featuring 10-inch screens, are designed to remain docked in the wall but can be removed. The dual iPad control system costs roughly $5,000, said Travis Deatherage, a partner with Denver-based Solstice Multimedia, the company that built the system. Audio, video, security and other equipment takes the overall cost to about $60,000. "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," Deatherage said. "Now we can get a $500 iPad and still provide most of the functionality that an in-wall touch panel can give."

The iPad’s communicate with a central mechanical control panel via WiFi and overall control can be done via a third device; which could be another iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. This would be done via an application designed for the purpose. The system can run everything in the home including the heating and cooling systems and even a swimming pool.

Home automation has always been a high cost luxury item. Maybe with the use of iPad's we could see it becoming more cost effective to install and enable us to control our energy usage and overall running cost of our homes.

[Denver Post]