As we mentioned last week, Savant is currently running a road tour to show off its iPad interface for home automation; Mike Schramm was able to catch up with the festivities in California and got a good taste of the possibilities for replacing 'expensive glass' in proprietary controllers with the readily available Apple touch devices.
Unfortunately for Mike, the Savant crew can't truck a full suite of home controls and AV devices around with them in their carry-ons, so he couldn't get the full-force feel of the system in operation. Lucky for me, I did: along with TUAW TV's Chad Mumm, I got a chance to visit the extraordinarily well-equipped Savant Experience Center, located in New York's SoHo district within sight of the Apple Store. All the touch displays in the installation are driven by Mac minis on the back end.
Savant has tricked out this model apartment with scores of high-performance displays, a digital kitchen, a Steinway player piano driven by an iPod (!) and even a seven-seat screening room. Obviously, the budget for this sort of setup would be sky-high, but it's a demonstration of what's possible. We visited prior to the iPad introduction, so while you'll see the iPhone in use as a controller, the iPad itself remains a phantom in the video.
Click the Read More link below to watch the episode. It's in the Brightcove player, so unfortunately it does require Flash until we can get the HTML5 player in gear. It's not nearly as seamless as expected... yet. For the Flash-impaired, here's the YouTube link.