One of my coworkers, a 55 year-old constantly bugged me with his dream about whole-home automation. Nowadays, that dream is becoming a reality even for ‘ordinary’ people.

Control4 2.0-based InfinityEdge design: 5" and 7" Glass Touch Screen Displays for controling your digital homeWe recently heard that Control4 launched a new 5” and 7” edge-to-edge glass design InfinityEdge In-Wall Touch Screen. According to a generically-written press release, InfinityEdge is "an affordable IP-based control and entertainment system. You can automatically adjust lightning, thermostat, shades, AV equipment and security systems."
How affordable? The prices start at $599. Now, this brings me back at the day when we got quoted $10,000 for a home automation setup by X.10 [light switches, AC control, etc.]. Needless to say, that was way out of my family budget. Not that I can afford it now either. But if a whole setup would run for less, I could think of getting such a setup. I know my co-worker is planning on this upgrade for the fall using a $2K budget.

One of the cool features is that InfinityEdge can be completely wireless and packs multiple power options – no need for additional installation costs.

But is it worth it? After watching the video of Control4 2.0, their second generation flash-based operating system on YouTube, I consider Control4 to be a 21st century baby monitor. You can communicate with a single room and listen from any room in your home ranging from your baby breathing or simply as use as an intercom. An additional cool thing is that you can access the Contro4 system using your iPad, iPhone and soon even BlackBerry and Android.

Also, you can access Control4 remotely over the Internet – the system even sends you an e-mail updating you with what’s going on with your home using IP cameras even if you are on vacation. We have already seen systems such as this one, but the cost of ones like Logitech’s setup were rather prohibitive. Naturally, the final price depends on how paranoid you are [or want to be, Ed.].

If you are a cheerful and optimistic person such as me – the total control aspect is pretty scary. No more skeletons in the closet, you can be monitored anytime and from anywhere. In a way, I feel sorry for today’s teenagers. In my time, when you closed your bedroom doors – you turned off the parental controls.