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It's hard to get CommandFusion co-founder Jarrod Bell to take time out of his busy schedule of designing new products, coding for the next software update or planning for something new altogether. But I recently got him to sit down with me to answer some of the most commonly asked questions we get from our customers.
This interview is broken up into two parts, in part one we go over some questions about the upcoming "Solo", as well as some iViewer related questions.
So why not take 10 minutes out yourself, and have a read of the questions I put to Jarrod, and his answers.
There is quite a buzz around the upcoming new product, the “Solo”. Have you got any updated news?
This is progressing steadily, the Solo is in the final stages and our eager customers won’t have to wait much longer! We have been focusing on refining the mechanical design to ensure the product meets our customers expectations.
This process is time consuming, but the end result is a much more professional build quality, so it is important we spend the extra time to get this right the first time.
The expansion modules for the Solo are an exciting feature, what modules will be released with the Solo and what modules can be expected in the future?
Solo Wi-Fi Card
We are releasing a Wi-Fi card to enable wireless IP communication with the unit, a relay card featuring 3 x 30V DC 1A relays, an IO card to add some more advanced input and output options such as resistance and voltage reading and sensing applications, as well as a serial port card to expand the on-board ports and an IR card to add in extra IR emitter ports.
Will there be a pre-order for the Solo? If so, will there be any special deals?
We are about to open up pre-orders for our distribution partners, and are expecting to open up public pre-orders in the very near future. The best way to stay up to date on product releases is to sign up to our newsletter, or follow us on our social media accounts.
We will indeed have a great deal for those who pre-order. The pre-order price will be $400 AUD for DIY users, with greater price reductions available to dealers, and all pre-orders will include a free iViewer 4 license which will not be standard after the pre-order finishes. Standard retail pricing after the pre-order finishes will be $450 AUD, so its certainly worth getting in early!
What is the future of the current hardware range with the Solo soon to be released?
The Solo is designed to compliment the current Pro Series hardware range, rather than compete with it. Our current range lacks a single piece of hardware that could be an all-in-one controller for a one room or smaller home setup - the Solo will fill that role. The existing Pro Series range of hardware will continue to be updated and improved upon, and will remain the best choice for anyone wanting to install a larger bus-based control system without worrying about the inherent problems of an ethernet network.
Pro Series CommandFusion Hardware
What makes iViewer different to the other mobile device solutions available?
iViewer is a native app for both iOS and Android devices, which uses native UI objects to create the most efficient and flexible app on both platforms. Other solutions use generic rendering libraries which do not take advantage of the native UI components, so the end result with those systems is something which doesn’t quite feel right as is often noticeably inconsistent with the UI behavior of built in apps on each platform.
iViewer is the most flexible and powerful solution available for automation and control on mobile devices.
An example of what is possible in iViewer
You have shared a little info about iViewer 5, what can you tell us about it? How will it be different to iViewer 4?
iViewer 5 will feature quite a few major feature additions. The most dramatic change is the new modular framework that will facilitate the development of reusable drivers for a whole range of devices and systems. The module framework will dramatically increase the simplicity of the iViewer platform and speed up project development for our users.
Another big change is how settings will now be configured in-app, allowing for settings to be locked down by integrators to prevent their clients changing the settings, giving integrators peace of mind that the control functionality will not be interrupted.
iViewer 5 also drops support for iOS6 and older OS versions, allowing us to take advantage of newer frameworks resulting in superior performance.
The module system sounds very exciting, how will this work? Who will create the modules and how will they be distributed?
End of Part 1
That brings us to the end of part one of our interview with Jarrod Bell. Part 2 is available here.
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