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Savant 10-City iPad Road Show Launches

We’ll be tracking Robert Madonna as he brings the Savant iPad app cross-country. Look for editor in chief Maureen Jenson’s coverage of the L.A. debut later this week.

April 5, 2010 By Nancy Klosek
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Savant founder Robert Madonna began his 10-city nationwide blitz of demos of the Apple iPad running Savant’s just-launched device-specific app at the company’s New York City Experience Center, saying, “I’m ecstatic about what it will do for our company and our industry.”

Madonna said Savant’s incorporation of Apple’s OS X system into its products from the company’s inception in 2005 gave it a leg up in its app development.  “And now, the additional real estate on the iPad gave us the room to make control much more intuitive,” he said.
The Savant app, available for $9.99, can run in an ‘example’ mode that can be test-driven by potential customers and by Savant system owners until their dealer can enable the application’s functionality by configuring the device with Savant’s BluePrint software.

iPad supports all the capabilities of the company’s touchpanel portfolio and can run wirelessly or plugged into a desktop cradle or as an in-wall-mounted device, he said. The company will sell its own cradles and in-wall charging docks and will be a re-seller to its dealers of the iPad itself, he added.

Madonna said the company is targeting its June 23rd Dealer Conference to have the Savant TrueImage Control aspect of the software ready.  TrueImage lets the user swipe touchpoints on a screen displaying a picture of the room, to control the room’s lighting, home theater components and other devices.
“For integrators, all their training in BluePrint is applicable to the iPad; there’s no steep programming learning curve,” he said. Madonna added that the Savant iPad app also enables simple customization of the interface by the users themselves.

An in-wall docking system and a basic Wi-Fi-only iPad system can be had for $1,000, said Madonna – considerably less than even the most basic touchscreen systems.  “The price will be a purchase incentive, yes, but the ability to be able to offer this type of user-friendliness is critical to expanding this market. But there will always be a need for a dedicated touch panel in the home,” he said.

“This will open up the market for all of us,” remarked Jim Carroll, Savant president. “This changes the mix of what goes into the home; there’s still the need for a fixed, wired touchpanel, but it just makes sense to buy several of these for the kids. Dealers will sell more of these, and it will give the dealer the opportunity to sell more enhanced services in the home.”

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