URC’s Jon Sienkiewicz, director of marketing, has reported that the company has made a few modifications to its recently announced Total Control line of whole-house audio, lighting climate control and IP-based surveillance products, which are now nearing the end of an alpha-testing period. The line is to be sold by a franchise of around 500 direct dealers who must pass a certification examination on the URC web site to qualify to carry it, he explained.
The Total Control line flagship remote, TRC-1280, will now use the same tooling as the company’s popular MX-5000 remote – a change that has enabled the designers to enlarge the screen from 2.2 inches to 2.8 inches, said Sienkiewicz.
The company has also renamed the previously announced MR-780 remote, which features an OLED screen, as the TRC-780, making its designation consistent with other Total Control remote SKUs.
Sienkiewicz said URC executives at the company’s CES 2011 Venetian suite reported a positive vibe in the control category space from visiting integrators. “It’s not as busy as it was for dealers two years ago, but there was a sense that people are getting more jobs back on their calendars,” he said. “They are getting booked out.”
URC, which recently launched a refreshed Web site that was made more experiential in tone and content for consumers, has already incorporated a few refinements based on user feedback, but on the whole, “it has been very well received,” Sienkiewicz said.
About the tablet market phenomenon and the fact that it is informing many companies’ directions and product design decisions, Sienkiewicz said URC expects “no impact on us in the long term. The iPad’s a wonderful device. I use it every day – but not as a control device.” He did say that Apple devices have influenced URC to the extent that the company is in the process of developing both iPhone and iPad apps.