The latest iteration of Crestron’s powerful smart home technology is more intuitive than ever
By Brad Hintze, EVP of Global Marketing
Software updates generally arrive in one of two ways: they’re either incremental — or they’re expansive. As you’ve likely surmised, the introduction of the Crestron Home® 4 OS is the latter.
Simply put, this is big.
The team behind this latest iteration of the platform is excited to learn the reaction of the clients (and dealers) who’ll interact with the software on Day One. “I’m certain the ‘wow factor’ when people see this version will be off the charts,” says Jason Oster, Crestron’s director of product management solutions.
What Oster is exceptionally excited about regarding the updated platform may seem a bit counterintuitive. “I love that I don't have to use it as much — and by that, I mean I can get to my stuff faster. It's awesome, it looks beautiful, but at the end of the day, I don't want the software to get in my way. I'm trying to get a task done. I'm trying to unlock my door; I'm trying to listen to music.” This update gets there with fewer presses. “It's a lot more organized,” says Oster. “Plus, as I go from room to room, it's a more consistent experience.”
Learn more about the Crestron Home OS
Maintaining Intuitive Operations — For New and Current Users
The trick, though — and Oster has experienced this firsthand — is building a comprehensive update to an operating system and its interface without confusing existing users. “The testing we undertook was really comprehensive — and we didn’t limit it to product managers and engineers,” he says. “Non-tech” folks of all ages and backgrounds were asked to live with the platform, use it as often as they could, and the team observed those interactions and implemented feedback — all while Crestron’s internal testing labs probed the software for any weaknesses.
This version of the platform was, of course, informed by feedback from previous iterations as well. Since its introduction in 2019, the Crestron Home platform has gone through nearly two dozen updates driven by a combination of dealer and end-user feedback and beta testing in the field. It also builds on a rich history: Since its inception, the Crestron Home platform has been embraced by dealers and clients looking for an elegant smart-home interface with a wide variety of functions, controllable from a remote, a touch screen, or the user’s mobile device. Version 4 improves on that award-winning product, allowing one-touch control and automation of a smart home’s entertainment, climate, lighting, shading, security, and more.
Empowering the Client
One of the key focuses of Version 4 is giving the user many more options when it comes to their personal experience. By adding more back-end control to the homeowner — using an interface that’s incredibly easy for any user to understand — Crestron Home OS 4 both empowers the client and reduces calls to the dealer for routine adjustments such as schedule or scene changes. This version further allows for more third-party integration with more opportunities for the driver community to add support for additional devices and features.
On the front end, the graphics, icons, and layout of the Crestron Home OS 4 have all been updated and refined to make the user experience much more fluid. One example: With the addition of more filters on a given screen, the new UI allows the user to find functionality in any room or zone with fewer taps. This is the most granular system customization ever made available to the end user. Coupled with the recently introduced “password session” feature, the Crestron Home platform now allows the homeowner to rapidly customize any of their smart home’s functions, room by room or throughout the residence, by entering their personal password once.
Crestron Home OS 4 is packed with improvements, including:
A new design — more colorful, more elegant, faster, and most of all, more usable
A consolidation of controls — simply put, you can “run the room” with fewer taps
A broader range of customization options for scheduling and automation
“At a glance” views of rooms and the whole home
Expanded voice control, adding Xfinity to the mix
Whole-home paging via Crestron touch screens
Single password sign-on sessions
Quick adjustments to the level of control detail in any room
An open approach to our digital lighting features — regardless of protocol
And much more — find all the details
Better for Bigger Jobs
The Crestron Home OS 4 “room list” functionality that allows homeowners to control various parts of their residence — or monitor usage and other elements of their systems — has been completely refined and updated. Now “compact” views allow the user to see more rooms at once, and a quick toggle function can switch the view from a “grid” to a “list” layout.
All of these upgrades are especially handy in the larger installations so often commissioned by clients in the luxury market. Achieving more with fewer touches, simply put, speeds both deployment and customization after delivery. Additionally, the user experience is now so refined that a quick demo virtually sells the system to a prospect — Crestron Home OS 4 pushes the “wow factor” to new heights.
Smaller touches round out Version 4: Touch screens in the Crestron Home platform can now provide whole-home paging to make announcements to the entire household or a select group of rooms with just one touch. Xfinity® voice control has also been added to the TSR-310 in the Crestron Home OS — and they work so seamlessly that the Xfinity team was impressed from their first interaction with the platform.
A Digital Lighting Revolution
When it comes to lighting control and integration, this part of the update almost functions as a “platform within a platform” — it’s that advanced. Crestron Home OS 4 now allows access to both the front- and back-end experience of our digital lighting platform, regardless of the protocol being used, giving you the power to blend a broad range of digital lighting products. One can now mix and match Crestron tunable white or color lighting using DMX-C, DALI® 2.0 standard, Philips® Hue® smart lighting, and many more.
The system allows for unparalleled simplicity and ease of configuration, customization, and control for tunable lighting. This is achieved in several ways: For example, Philips Hue smart lighting is now native to the Crestron Home platform via a brand-new driver — making it easy to create personalized lighting in the same manner you would using Crestron DMX-C fixtures. Our award-winning lighting solution is incredibly intuitive, whether setting up circadian lighting or using color to tune and perfect a room’s ambiance.
Other protocols, such as the DALI® 2.0 standard, are also open to the Crestron Home digital lighting platform, creating a world of flexibility for the technology integrator, including support for dynamic color temperature. We’ve also gone one step further and opened up our lighting platform directly to our CSP and driver community. That means a wide variety of third-party integrations are now possible — any protocol, any fixture type.
The goal: Simplifying how you can deliver incredible lighting solutions for all your clients regardless of the style, form, or type of fixture specified for the project.
The Crestron Home OS 4 is another step forward as we strive to create the most powerful, flexible, and robust smart-home system available. Simply put, it’s just a better experience for everyone.