Although there wasn’t much HD news at EHX this year, I did have some time to stop by and talk to some of my favorite home automation vendors. And at the Elk booth I learned about a really cool new way to control my home.
eKeypad Plus isn’t the best name for a home automation application and the $45 cost and icon might scare you off before you even get started, but it really cool. The application ties into an Elk security system — which is also a damn fine home automation controller — and gives me the type of access I’ve been waiting for. Even my wife was impressed and it when it comes to iPhone apps, we don’t see eye to eye on most.
The key features I’m pleased with are the ability to check the status of the alarm from anywhere (armed etc), the ability to adjust the thermostat and I love being able to turn lights on and off without getting off the couch.
Overall I don’t have any complaints — although $45 is the most I’ve ever paid for an iPhone app and I’m still not sure it is a good value — but there are a few tweaks it could have like when you click thermostat it shows the lists of thermostats in the house, even though I only have one. It also be nice if there was a way to view the Elk’s logs so I could go back and look at previous events — evidently on the roadmap for the pro version.
Anyways, if you have an Elk there’s no reason to wait, just go buy it you won’t be sorry. (I should point out that the Elk Ethernet expansion module is required for this to work.)