Control4’s OS 2.8 Ups the Ante with Cool Features and Exciting Personalization Routines

Control4 announced the release of the company’s latest software release, OS 2.8, during EXPO. As part of this release, updated Control4 HC-250 and HC-800 controllers will add native integration of three additional audio streaming services—Pandora, Deezer, and TIDAL—to the three that were already a native part of the Control4 OS (Rhapsody, Napster, and TuneIn). OS 2.8 also sports a new My Movies and My Music screen that offers a grid-view for showcasing high-res cover art or a Details View for presenting metadata.

Control4’s OS 2.8 update involves more than adding a few streaming services and a new interface for My Movies and My Music, though. The new OS includes a new user interface for arming/disarming home security systems, a new iOS and Android interface for managing smart locks, consolidation of all security zones in a single interface, a searchable event-history agent that records security incidents as they happen, and more intelligent drivers for providing two-way communication with more security panels from a variety of security companies, such as Honeywell, DSC, Interlogix, and Napco.

It may not seem like much to someone who hasn’t had much experience using a touchscreen to control a whole-home automation and entertainment system, but the new OS 2.8’s options for personalization of the Control4 interface on T3 Series touchscreens with family photos used as wallpaper or screen saver images are especially exciting. OS 2.8 also allows the screens to provide the date, time, current media cover art, and local weather when not in use.

Equally as exciting is the availability of new “experience” drivers to help simplify programming a Control4 system for “highly personal” experiences. The wonderfully named Mockupancy, for example, “remembers the every-day routines and actions of the household within the home, allowing a Control4 homeowner to play back those routines and actions while they are away – simulating the organic feel of an occupied residence.

Specifically, Mockupancy can coordinate lighting, shades, and even TV entertainment and music streaming to mimic normal household occupancy.” The new Snapshot driver enables simple capture of the current state of connected devices throughout the home, including thermostat, lighting, and entertainment settings. The installer can use this status info snapshot to program a button to instantly recall that “scene”. Control4 has also expanded its driver database to integrate over 9,500 compatible devices from a variety of companies.

The OS 2.8 update is available to authorized integrators now.

(Special thanks to John Sciacca for providing the photo above. It was the least he could do...)