Manufacturers Looking to Capitalize on iPanel Trend

Are iPad overlays really the future accessories to the device.  We take a look at the possibilities. . .

Fictitious Dateline

September 23rd, 2010

On the heels of the introduction of the new Crestron iPanel, that allows users to get the same touch and feel of their traditional touch panels in an iPad based format, other manufacturers have started to make iPad accessories that blend the capabilities of the iPad with the familiarity of some common hard button formats.

All of the accessories allow integrators to utilize the 13 Pin port on the iPad to communicate with the custom frames.

One noteworthy announcement is the HP iCalc.  It is a hard button calculator overlay with an optional adding tape accessory.  Karin Cooper at Waddle and Leed says “We went to iPads so we could show people our Prospectus online, but we found it difficult to get used to tapping the calculator app on the iPad.  The iCalc gives us the key depth of the adding machines that we are used to, while still giving us a 1″ by 10″ window to surf the web and show the customer stock status, etc.”

Another overlay comes to us from Honeywell.  It is a security keypad attachment compatible with Vista style security panels.  John Snark at ADT commented: “We had some real trouble teaching our technicians how to program security apps in the iPad.  The iKey has allowed our techs to program the systems using an interface they are familiar with and still allows our customers the option of arming and disarming their systems while offering a 1/2″ by 5″ touch screen to control other items in the home.”

It is obvious that these new hard panel attachments for iPad have really raised the bar.  We look forward to future additions to the family, and are ready and willing to review more as they come to market.

Play along and submit your iPanel ideas in the comments section below!

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