Will the Apple iPad Change Our Industry?

Apple iPadLike many of you, those of us here at SoundVision HQ were tuned to our computers last Wednesday morning as Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco to unveil the company’s latest product, the long-rumored tablet computer that’s since become known as iPad. In case you missed the countless news reports immediately following the device’s debut, the iPad is Apple’s new tablet computer based on the iPhone’s operating system, but featuring a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen in a case that’s just a half-inch thick and weighing in at a meager 1.5 pounds.While we tend to agree with most of the experts who believe that the iPad will breathe new life into publications like magazines and newspapers, it’s also going to provide a new way for our customers to control their home’s electronic systems. Currently, Crestron, Lutron HomeWorks and Sonos all offer apps to control these devices from an iPhone or iPod touch. These apps will run out of the box on an iPad, but it’s hard to believe that these manufacturers won’t create an iPad-specific app to take advantage of the new device’s vastly larger screen real estate. While the iPad might not completely “change the custom electronics industry” as editors at CEPro magazine might believe, we do think that iPad will provide a great new way for SoundVision clients to control their media and home automation systems.The WiFi (802.11b/g/n)-enabled version of iPad is scheduled to go on sale in April, with a starting pricepoint of $499. A 3G-enabled version, powered by AT&T, will launch 30 days later. We’ll definitely post more about new iPad apps for home electronics once the announcements start rolling in.

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