iRoom was launched back on 2008 when Marc, an Austrian based installer originally, had become frustrated with the lack of a high quality mounting and charging solutions for the iPad.
Marc explains: “I was involved in large scale domestic installs using systems such as AMX and Crestron, but was never totally happy with the touchscreens. When the iPad showed up, we thought great, we can use that, but there was no really good way of wall mounting the product, so we set about creating one.
“The original idea was to create one just for our own projects, but two weeks after we received our first batch they were all gone and we realised we had really hit on something.”
An impressive growth spurt followed with the iRoom brand establishing itself internationally in just two years with the product range now available in more than 90 countries through its distribution partners and with approximately 25,000 products sold.
Marc explains that his experience as an installer led to being able to design a product to house, charge and turn Apple products into genuine building control points that really matched what installers needed.
This same experience and market feedback on the existing range has led iRoom to its latest creation, a product the company firmly believes is a game changer fort the CI sector, the iBezel.
As with all the company’s products, the iBezel has been developed, produced and tested at the company’s in-house facility in Oberndorf, Austria and adds some important abilities.
Building on the growth in popularity of the iPad as a control source with its ability to deliver feature-rich, customised and intuitive interfaces, the new product is designed to remove some of the draw-backs of using the Apple product.
Marc explains: “A common criticism of using the iPad is that it needs to ‘wake up’ and you need to navigate to the control App before you can do anything with it. The iBezel adds eight buttons on the exterior of the dock which means installers can programme the most common functions into the product to provide immediate access to the lights, AV systems, HVAC, whatever you like.”
The team explains that the buttons are all customisable in terms of the icon used and can be programmed very easily using a simple list within the control App which looks just like the systems found within an Apple interface.
The iBezel can either integrate with major third-party control systems or act completely independently and control any IP addressable product via its open system architecture, effectively making the product an automation platform in its own right.
Mark argues: “It is of course exciting that we can integrate with the major automation platforms, however we are very excited about the iBezel’s ability to create a control network of its own, which we feel opens up a whole new affordable route for smaller scale apartments and houses and delivers a system that can genuinely target the middle market right around the globe. Basically it changes the product from a very nice accessory, to an essential part of the control network.”
At launch in late Q1/early Q2 of 2015, the product will be able to control 17 pre-programmed IP protocols – the company will also be looking to increase this as the product develops.
Marc adds: “The product also has a proximity sensor so installers can programme what happens when the user comes near and the installer can also save and export to the cloud a copy of the protocols for each project so an easily accessible backup is available should the customer manage to make a mess of things.”
Available in black and white, like its predecessors, it can still be locked and delivers the same mounting, charging and aesthetic advantages already established as key features on the existing line and the company also underlines the 40% margin available on the product.
iRoom always makes a real effort with its trade show presence featuring elements such as an iRoom controlled dancing deer and automated beer dispenser, making a visit to Stand 5-U72 well worth the trip at ISE.