Mac Home Automation Software Indigo 6 Released
Perceptive Automation, the leading provider of Mac-based home automation software, today announced the immediate availability of Indigo 6, an update to the company's intelligent home control and automation server for Mac OS X. With Indigo, users can easily monitor and control lights, appliances, thermostats, lawn sprinklers and dozens of other items found in the home, thereby helping to reduce energy usage.
New with this release is support for many Z-Wave lighting, appliance, thermostat, and sensor devices. Z-Wave devices, which are widely available worldwide, are a significant step forward in technology for those outside of North America who have had to rely on X10 or other older solutions to meet their automation needs. With this new addition, Indigo now has built-in support for three of the most popular home automation protocols: Z-Wave, INSTEON, and X10.
"I know the INSTEON world has had this for a long time, but being able to poll devices and know what state they are, along with the incredibly reliable communications, is such a steep improvement from the X10 world where most devices can only receive commands. Z-Wave is brilliant for that and it's thanks to Indigo that we can now leverage it," said Indigo customer Nic Barnes from England.
"Indigo's Z-Wave support enables Mac users, especially international users in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, to finally realize the benefits of an advanced home automation solution," said Jay Martin, a partner at Perceptive Automation. "While X10, along with similar technologies, have provided automation solutions to our international customers, none of those protocols were as capable and reliable as Z-Wave. The additional benefit is that Z-Wave devices are available from a variety of vendors which allows for many device styles and capabilities."
Indigo can seamlessly integrate devices of any supported protocol together in a technology independent way, and can do so simultaneously. Z-Wave and INSTEON, along with X10 and 3rd party plugin-based devices, coexist harmoniously in a single environment. Users are free to pick and choose the devices that solve their automation needs without regard to protocol. For instance, a user can use an IP-based thermostat, Z-Wave, INSTEON, and Philips Hue lights, and INSTEON or X10 keypads, motion sensors, and sprinklers - in a single easy-to-use interface.
Other new features include expanded INSTEON support for many new and updated INSTEON devices including the Leak Sensor, Smoke Bridge, and DIN Rail modules. A new Virtual Device interface makes it easier for users to integrate other devices and services and to create cross-technology scenes. New energy monitoring capabilities, for both whole house and for individual lights and appliances, have been added since energy monitoring and reporting has become a key aspect to home automation systems.
Another area of focus in this release is improved usability. Users will now find a more unified experience with more context sensitive help. Indigo now includes more device specific in-application help links to online documentation, which includes device information, usage tips, and a community forum section where users can discuss their experiences with a specific device. Additional context sensitive menus have been added, including a detailed dependency report and object shortcut references for simplifying writing Indigo scripts.
Server security has been improved with the addition of a visual password strength indicator, which shows how well the entered password is constructed. Also, more prominent warning dialogs have been added to alert the user if they configure the server in an insecure way, encouraging them to fully enable secure authentication. Reliability and performance improvements have also been made to the installer, Prism reflector service, and plugin sandbox architecture.
Indigo continues to foster a thriving 3rd party ecosystem, with 40 plugins available spanning diverse categories such as Alarm integration, A/V components, presence and location tracking, weather data integration, advanced events and notification, alongside a wide variety of IP-based devices and other home automation technology support. The plugin API has been enhanced to support several new types of hardware as well as to more directly integrate plugin devices, events, and actions into the user experience. This usability enhancement means users will now find plugin functionality in the UI directly alongside built-in functionality.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers a Mac-based home automation solution that supports many common Z-Wave devices," said Matt Bendiksen, founder of Perceptive Automation. "Indigo's support of Z-Wave and INSTEON devices, along with the availability of dozens of powerful and robust 3rd party plugins tightly integrated into Indigo, make it a professional quality solution for both home automation do-it-yourselfers and commercial integrators worldwide."
Pricing and Availability:
Indigo 6 Pro is available now for $199.95 and Indigo 6 Lite for $99.95 (USD), both through the Perceptive Automation website. Owners of some previous versions of Indigo can get an upgrade discount to Indigo 6. Also available online is a 30 day trial copy of Indigo 6 Pro. Indigo runs on Mac OS X 10.5 or greater. Evaluation copy of software available upon request.