I have already seen the iPad used in home automation -- Savant is using an iPad app to hook up to some of their home automation systems, using Apple's tablet to control the TV, a whole entertainment system, or even do some remote control of house lights or HVAC, or even monitor cameras remotely with a video feed. And here's another system that does the same type of thing: iPort is a home automation system centered around an iPad, providing an in-wall port where the iPad can both charge and work as a multi-use touchscreen control. On its own, it's basically just a wall-mounted dock, but in conjunction with a home automation system, the iPort turns the iPad into a touchscreen-based interface for the home.
Prices on these things are always weird -- because most high-end home automation systems are sold as solutions rather than products, they tend to run into the "if you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it" range. But I give the iPort folks a call, and they told me that while each dealer has their own setup and pricing, the recommended price is around $500.
Some of you may scoff, sure -- $500 is a bit steep for what's essentially a port with a frame around it. But like Savant told me when I saw their products, the iPad is actually a revolution in this industry. For what the same-sized touchscreen interface with similar functionality would have cost a few years ago, sticking an iPad in a wall and building an app to control an automation system is actually a bargain.
[via Macsimum News]