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For many years now, specialist home automation companies have been integrating audio, video, lighting, heating and shade control on a central touch screen controller, or a home automation app running on a tablet. Whilst voice control is becoming increasingly more reliable and therefore desirable, an app with visual feedback and control options is still a central requirement for most projects. 

Manufacturers of sub systems – such as Systemline – can publish control modules for all the major home automation platforms, allowing their individual products to be controlled via a central app. This allows integration companies to configure the control app to select music or radio and alter the volume in the case of a multi-room audio system, rather than using a separate app for each sub system. This makes home automation more convenient, efficient and appealing to the consumer.

Paul Hilditch, Brand Manager at Systemline, had some thoughts on this subject when it came to developing the Systemline 7 (S7) multi-room audio system. He said: “Whilst it is possible to integrate S7 into a dedicated control app, and I have seen it done many times, I am often left a little disappointed in terms of the overall user experience when compared to the native S7 app. Basic functions such as selecting a radio station or playlist, changing the volume, pausing the music or skipping a track work very well, but control apps often fall short in terms of browsing or exploring music, or creating and editing your playlists.

“Therefore, I thought about how apps can be opened in iOS or Android by a button on a control app and decided to extend that functionality further. Most apps can be opened but only in their last known state – so they are unlikely to have the correct zone selected. As a result, the user will have to do this first, despite already having selected a zone in the control app, which doesn’t lend itself to a positive user experience.

“For S7 we have added the ability in the “app call” functionality to not only open the S7 app, but to also select the correct zone automatically – this is home automation after all! As a result, it is possible to keep common functions on the control app, but if you really want the full power of S7, the user simply presses one button to open the S7 app, which also selects the zone you are using. We have also added a return path button to the control app to ensure seamless integration between the two apps.”

Systemline has produced a video tutorial on how to implement this functionality: 


You can also read about it in this document…. 


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