An Abridged History (and the Future) of Home Control

Chapter 5– The Next Generation - User and Content Centric Control

Residential AV systems prove to be far more demanding and complex in nature than commercial installations. This is due to widely differing use patterns, differing user sophistication, unpredictable mixes of devices, and rapid demand for reaction to trends and new devices requiring frequent incremental change. But because every residential system has been an end-to-end custom programming project, upgrading control systems without complete replacement is usually out of the question.

The CineTouch designers realized that there needed to be a better way. The next generation of theater control software required standardized installation, advanced user features, and upgradeability. At the core of their concept was the goal that the system should revolve around the user - and more than just one user. Each user should be offered personalized entertainment content management tailored to their tastes, habits, and technical sophistication. Quite simply, it’s the job of the control software to convert user wishes into device behavior, without the user having to know what’s involved.

Using the expertise of computer and Internet industry designers and engineers, CineTouch created a data-driven architecture to command any mix of the best hardware in the industry. No more one-off creations. Everything about a system - its devices, its users, its locations, its capabilities – are managed from a database of behavior and characteristics. The database even includes device details like startup delay and inter-command timing data, as well as maintaining the current state of any device setting and operation. By reference to a database lookup of desired behavior, the CineTouch system issues the right codes for predictable actions.

Through more than six years of software development, CineTouch has refined the art of management of each item of hardware on its own terms, as well as the art of functional abstraction for consistent and interchangeable operation from the user's point of view.

Users no longer “operate equipment”, they “select content”. For example, if you want to watch news, just touch the button for NEWS. The system knows what to do to give you your favorite news source, and just does it. And you can change any system behavior at any time as easily as setting a station on a car radio.

CineTouch simplifies operation by not offering functions that are not available to the location or to the user. Password protected profiles customize controls to be offered to users with less sophistication or to those whose access should be managed by content or time. Similarly, devices, zones, or profiles can be locked to prevent use or changes, either temporarily for parties or as a rule for parental control.

This new content- and user-centric operation paradigm vastly alters expectations and satisfaction with the system. Non-technical users find it easier to do more of what they want. Advanced users find that they actually use more of the power features because of their simplicity and familiarity. With state and history management, what you get is what you expect - right down to a resumption of the program and the volume settings you last used anywhere in the home, if that’s your preference.

History of Remote Control -Introduction
Chapter 1 – From Communications to Music
Chapter 2 – TV goes Mobile
Chapter 3 – One Remote, Two Remote, Three Remote, Four…
Chapter 4 – Automation Platforms – The Rise of the Machines
This Chapter
The Next Generation – User and Content Centric Control
Chapter 6 – Multi-zone and Theater Convergence


Copyright 2018 by GP Systems, Inc.