AMX iPhone app

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  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    jjames wrote: »
    I believe the NXV-300 fills the void. Perfectly? Sure if you dont' mind using VNC on your phone.

    Using the ICSP (small packets) compared to VNC (I'm guessing very large packets) would be preferred, but nonetheless - the void IS indeed filled.

    Having messed with it, I disagree. It is klunky and slow. Even the simple thing I did and also using some other off-the-shelf stuff is way beyond doing VNC on the phone. (IMHO)
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,898
    ericmedley wrote: »
    Having messed with it, I disagree. It is klunky and slow. Even the simple thing I did and also using some other off-the-shelf stuff is way beyond doing VNC on the phone. (IMHO)

    Gotcha! We haven't tested one out yet - but by the description, it was supposed to fill a void. We need to get one in & try it out.
  • glr-ftiglr-fti Junior Member Posts: 286
    I too have had people asking for iphone integration and have even had to go down the Savant road. Using an iPhone or iPod Touch to control a whole house is like trying to use a DMS. You never can get anywhere very fast. Scrolling down and down and down. No thanks...give me something so I can get to what I want in 2 presses and get back to my cocktail and movie.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    Thats why I see an iPhone app as complimentary to traditional touchpanel hardware - they fulfil a different need / application and need a different model for GUI design, you wouldn't control a whole house with a DMS panel, nor would you try to with an iPhone app, it would be possible but not elegant.

    With a proper app you could get close to 2 press operation - ok it would be 3 - as you'd have to launch the app first, but iphone users accept that as it is consistent across the platform.

    Customers can't understand VNC, and it also has no error reporting... with a TP you can inform the user if there is a connection failure, with VNC it just doesn't do anything.

    With VNC they also have no brand association - the app they use on the phone doesn't say AMX.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    I'm beginning to think that AMX has a hard time seeing and grasping innovative ideas because there are too many suits and accountants blocking their view into the future, heck maybe even the present. The reality is that smart phones are taking over the planet in one form or another and the idea that the NXV-300 was the answer is like using Fred Flinstone technology in a George Jetson world. It was obsolete before it was released. Now if the screen resi was changed to allow full PC screens and then throw in some of those new touch screen PCs I'd be all over it. Heck I still like them for regular PCs but not as smart phone app replacement.

    I know there are a bunch of different smart phones so which ones to write apps for? Well start with the highest selling phones. The apps could be written easily buy AMX although GUI designer could be a bit of a challenge, but then again these TPC? guys seemed to do it with TPD4 go figure and while we still have keypad builder, another go figure.

    Sure this will affect TPs sales but it might increase overall system sales and since one thing leads to another maybe further sales in other areas but instead we go the other direction virtually prevent sales by neglecting customers wants and desires. I'd rather sell 1 master, a 12" Kitchen TP and 4 AMX iPhone App licenses than some simpler system from another company that provides an app for free.

    The app doesn't even need to be all that fancy just ten times better than the virtual keypad or that crappy thing I wrote using HTML. These phones can handle almost any type of IP connection and then with a simple server module running on the master it would be infinitely better than our current choices unless we pay the TPC? guys for something AMX should have provided. Of course we'll likely get it cheaper from the other guys but hey, I don't spending more if it helps out the team cuz I beleive in loyalty 1st, then money. :) If my 1st priority was money I could find more finacially rewardng things to do.

    As far as being simple to use with out constant scrolling, that's a function of the GUI design, all you need is a main page full of buttons that filp to a simple single page interface for a particular device or function. Remember it can be as easy or as hard as we make it to be.

    It seems to me we get an awful lot of stuff we don't want so how about something we do for a change.
  • the8thstthe8thst Junior Member Posts: 470
    ericmedley wrote: »
    I have been working on this myself but fell prey to my schedule. It was more-or-less a little exercise in seeing if it could be done. I didn't plan on using TPD4 to do the graphics, however.

    I look forward to this myself in that every single one of our clients and/or propspective clients over the past 18 months have asked for iPhone apps for their system. Most our clients are fairly savvy about this stuff and when we'd tell them, 'not-so-much' they'd instantly ask about Savant. Like it or hate it, it's there and we'll all have to deal with it.

    I run my personal AMX system on my iPhone right now and have found the platform to be very stable. It certainly handles a wireless connection much better than the AMX touch panels I have sitting right next to them.

    These kinds of things don't happen in a vacuum. The reason they are being done is that AMX has not offered anything to date that fills this blank. When we were all complaing about this about 9 months ago on the forum, we were told to cool our jets and settle down; they (AMX) had it under control. (the whole Savant/iPhone/AMX TP interface future plans discussion)

    iPhone apps aren't hard to write. The programming environment is pretty standard stuff. I find it hard to fathom why they haven't come out with something unless there is a genuine desire to NOT have something.

    So, if that's the case, then why should they care if someone else does come along and write it for them?

    I can sell quite a few small NI-700s with an iPhone/iTouch interface systems. For us, there's a big hole right there to fill. Our high-end customers universally demand it and in the last 3 months we've actually had to go with another control system because AMX doesn't offer it.

    Hopefully, it'll play out well for whomever. All I know is I really need and iPhone interface. All my clients are asking for it. I honestly don't care who provides it. either party will get my money.

    I agree with the above 99%, every client we work with has asked us about an iPhone app for AMX and I think it is something that will increase sales and make closing sales easier.

    The area that I disagree is about selling NI-700/iPhone only systems. The iPhone/iTouch is a great supplemental interface for remote access and for accessing certain features every now and again without walking over to a touch panel.

    The iPhone/iTouch app is not an alternative to a standard tried and true hardwired solution for mission critical and day to day operations, but it is an add-on feature for an automation system that is very much in demand.
  • PhreaKPhreaK Senior Member Posts: 966
    The idea of using *insert smart phone / portable internet device name here* as an ancillary device to compliment larger AMX branded interfaces opens up a wealth of opportunities for interface design and creating better user experiences.

    When you start talking about utilising devices people are already carrying round with them to augment fixed and locally constrained (wireless TP's, R4's etc) interfaces you can begin to do some very funky things that aren't easily achievable with AMX's current range of interfaces. One of the nice things about say an iPhone is that it is a personal device that is predominately operated by a single user as opposed to wall mounted panels which are generally shared resources that must accomodate multiple users and usage patterns. This allows you to create highly customised interfaces in addition to providing some rough user tracking as it is possible to have these devices communicate with the AMX system not only locally, but from anywhere in which they have a cellular connection. By using the devices internal GPS in combination with knowledge of the SSID of the wireless network it is connected to you can present discrete interfaces that provide the best experience for the users current location. For example, in the case of a resi install, if the user is out and about it may give them access to shut of those lights they forgot to turn off, start of recording of the show they forgot to schedule and provide alerts from their security system (via push notifications). If this software is running on a system that supports multitasking (read: android etc) you are also provided with the opportunity to utilize these devices for access control, auto-starting any environmental control as the user approaches the premises, activating entrance lighting etc.

    Although these devices can greatly improve the level of interaction it is possible to provide with a system the constraint of screen real estate, comms bandwidth and real time video feeds are all factors that are likely to maintain the more expensive and profitable AMX panels in install specs. If AMX were to play their cards right they could develop and produce a solution that could easily trump any of the competition simply through it's level of integration with their core hardware.
  • TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Junior Member Posts: 1,485
    All of the arguments about AMX doing or not doing things to manipulate sales of touch panels, etc. are silly. AMX does not control the market. The market does. Any company that does not roll with current market trends and desires will be outsold by others that do, then be forced to play ketchup. :)
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    TurnipTruck wrote:
    then be forced to play ketchup.
    My kids used to play with ketchup, what a mess! :)
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I 'm reading about the iphone but what about us crackberry users? Can we get an app too.
  • Jorde_VJorde_V UX Scientist Posts: 393
    I 'm reading about the iphone but what about us crackberry users? Can we get an app too.

    Let's hope not. Besides I don't really see the value of a blackberry over an iPhone. Afaik Blackberry doesn't have multitouch/multigesture (or does it?). Nonetheless you could always make one yourself.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    I 'm reading about the iphone but what about us crackberry users? Can we get an app too.

    To me the argument is the same. Blackberry, iPone, whatever Google's thing is coming out.

    Writing apps for these things is not that labor/resource intensive. Farm it out or whatever. They just need to have some footprint in the market.
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    you wouldn't control a whole house with a DMS panel, nor would you try to with an iPhone app, it would be possible but not elegant.
    *I* would not, in my house, but clients want to do this.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    It's really a cool idea that most customers desire. Of course after a short while of using them the coolness factor wears off and then they may or may not be used on a regular basis. Which is why these should be an addition to TPs or used in areas where the budget would pevent use of a TP.

    So even if the customer won't use these things long term after the intial "Wow" factor subsides the fact that they can't have that option initially is what's causing deals to fail. I wouldn't think it matters all that much in commercial projects but it does in resi jobs.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,898
    vining wrote: »
    So even if the customer won't use these things long term after the intial "Wow" factor subsides the fact that they can't have that option initially is what's causing deals to fail.
    Deals are falling through because of a missing iPhone app? I mean clients really say, "Oh - no iPhone control - forget it, I'm going to C-Tron!"
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    jjames wrote: »
    Deals are falling through because of a missing iPhone app? I mean clients really say, "Oh - no iPhone control - forget it, I'm going to C-Tron!"

    I just had one this morning. (believe it or not.) It's not so cut and dry as that. They are just weighing things back and forth and the iPhone control has a lot of weight as they already contorl a lot of things by phone otherwise.

    When it comes to the 'apples to apples' part of the consideration, they just don't see much of a difference. The TV turns on and off in other systems, the HVAC/Alarm system/Lighting/etc.. all works on both systems. The remote iPhone control is an unanswered challenge and ends up being a little more weight on the oposing teams side.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    jjames wrote:
    Deals are falling through because of a missing iPhone app?
    To add to what eric said.

    If I'm not bidding against anyone it's not much of an issue, it's brought up but I can easly dismiss it. However if I'm bidding against our rivals that's a differnet story. This turns out to be a key point that they purposely bring up because they have the advantage. The customers could care less about AMX and generally know far less about AMX than our rivals. AMX?? who??. We can't talk tech to our customers and explain why our systems are better and we often don't get the opportunity to provide demos. Even the fact that most rival dealers don't really even program doesn't amount to much.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    vining wrote: »
    I wouldn't think it matters all that much in commercial projects but it does in resi jobs.

    Actually, a large % of my work is commercial, and this is a real desire - I can think of hundreds of specific applications where I could have sold this in, and most would be areas where you could never sell a TP, a keypad is too limited and it would have been the icing on the cake.

    In the high end marine world, this is an absolute no brainer - it is all about the cool / wow / new gizmo factor, but not at any cost.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    mpullin wrote: »
    *I* would not, in my house, but clients want to do this.

    That's clients for you, but if we have other tools in our pocket we can educate them that there are other / better ways. Thats where the portrait 430 panels come in perfectly in my view, you can take a client from DMS mentality to TP mentality with ease.
  • glr-ftiglr-fti Junior Member Posts: 286
    Isn't the 435-p still vapor? I had one on order up until Bullseye came out and then canceled it since I will need to come up with the $5K in demos. I canceled it about the last week of the year. Are they actually shipping yet?
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    glr-fti wrote:
    I had one on order up until Bullseye came out and then canceled it since I will need to come up with the $5K in demos.
    Thread drift..

    I wonder if they'll let you roll over the excess spending on demo in one year to the next. I can imagine needing equipment for testing and not buying it because I'va already reached my yearly quota. What a way to run a business have to constantly jump through hoops.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Nerieru wrote: »
    Let's hope not. Besides I don't really see the value of a blackberry over an iPhone. Afaik Blackberry doesn't have multitouch/multigesture (or does it?). Nonetheless you could always make one yourself.

    I could say the same for the iphone but I won't. It is an app that should be available for any G3/4 type phones regardless manufacture.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    I had this response from TPC
    With regards to AMX support - our communication channels are open and we are ready for discussion. At this point there has not been any approval or dissapproval for the product, we are here to fill gaps in the market across multiple platforms and devices and are keen to gain approval from platforms and the communities around them.

    There was no modification made to any of the binary in the application for the production of our video, a windows application was built that simply adds an entry into the XML data within the PPF files located in the 'Common Share' directory.

    Since the application simply adds an entry within the XML data, then this should NOT affect any TP4 updates. The application is standalone and is not part of TPControl (the iPhone application) or TPTransfer (the Windows application). It is not essential to use the XML injection as TPControl will show the TP content within the dimensions of the iPhone/iPod Touch resolution with any TP4 panel.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    I had this response from TPC

    So, in other words, they've not spoken with AMX and they have no idea how they'll respond. It smacks of "Don't ask them. They might say 'no' "

    perfect!
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    I would have thought it would have been wise to mention it to AMX, it is TPC launch product and if AMX stepped in and announced they were releasing their own product, TPC would be left out cold. It doesn't strike me as the best business plan out there.

    Given their software can scale any TP4 file to fit, it smacks of trying to pass this off as having tacit approval from AMX by mod-ing the TP Design xml data.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    TPControl wrote:
    TPControl will show the TP content within the dimensions of the iPhone/iPod Touch resolution with any TP4 panel.
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    Given their software can scale any TP4 file to fit, it smacks of trying to pass this off as having tacit approval from AMX by mod-ing the TP Design xml data.

    I don't think they scale anything, I think their software can transfer any size and only shows the top left 480x320. Kind of like TPDesign4 used to let you do (and I wish it still would).

    But yes, having their TP resolution show up in the software does imply some approval.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    Colzie wrote: »
    I don't think they scale anything, I think their software can transfer any size and only shows the top left 480x320. Kind of like TPDesign4 used to let you do (and I wish it still would).

    But yes, having their TP resolution show up in the software does imply some approval.

    I would find seeing their logo on the AMX partners web page a much more comforting sign of approval. :D

    I'll still probably buy it if it's somewhere near reasonably priced.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    ericmedley wrote: »
    So, in other words, they've not spoken with AMX and they have no idea how they'll respond. It smacks of "Don't ask them. They might say 'no' "

    perfect!

    I am not sure that this is the intent of the statement. It seems like they are open to discussion with AMX (maybe looking for a buyout? :) ) but it seems like they have done some legal research and feel that they are not violating any legal agreements. I have heard a rumor that AMX and the other companies might be exploring legal action, but only time will tell what comes of this.

    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,351
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    It seems like they are open to discussion with AMX (maybe looking for a buyout?)
    I think the coporate tactic would be to file a lawsuit and then offer them a less expensive way out by buying the rights at a price far less than market value.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,898
    Spire_Jeff wrote: »
    ...but it seems like they have done some legal research and feel that they are not violating any legal agreements.

    I think it depends on who considers what "reverse engineering" is since it is directly laid out in the license agreement when you download any software from AMX. They say they've not change things in the "binary" since, but if I were to make a windows based program DLLs put on my computer when installing AMX software, and then turned around and sold it - couldn't I be in some legal trouble?

    It just doesn't seem right in the sense of what their doing and how they did it; but kudos for innovation though.
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