Home > Automation > Crestron And Microsoft Cuddle Up For SideShow

Crestron And Microsoft Cuddle Up For SideShow

Following our story last year that Microsoft and Crestron were seriously working together comes new news that Windows SideShow from Microsoft just got a big shot in the arm, with Crestron announcing support for the technology in its touchscreens and other two-way controllers.

Click to enlarge

SideShow is a struggling Windows Vista technology that allows “auxiliary displays” to tap into PC-based applications, even when the PC is asleep. Users are able to access RSS feeds for news, weather, sports and stocks, along with other apps like Outlook and Windows Media Player.

According to CE Pro Crestron has incorporated Web-based access to RSS feeds and other services, but only for its more robust touchscreens and Web tablets.

“We wanted to have it work with every Crestron touchpanel, even those without full graphics capabilities,” says John Pavlik, senior marketing and development engineer for Crestron.




In particular, he points to Crestron’s ZigBee-compatible MLX-2 handheld remote, and the APAD keypad for Crestron’s moderately priced Adagio system. Even without built-in Web browsers, the devices can let users scan and select songs (for example) from a Windows Media Player gadget installed on a Vista PC.

“One of the nice things about SideShow is that there are already a bunch of applications—stocks, RSS news feeds, etc.—and it’s easy to kind of put it in a basic format,” Pavlik says.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of configuration. Just set it up in Vista by checking a couple of boxes. It’s just a very simple design,” Pavlik says.
The SideShow support adds no cost to the Crestron controllers, Pavlik notes. “It’s just something else you can do with a Crestron touchpad.”
Windows SideShow has been slow to gain traction in the home controls space. Home automation vendors Lagotek and Superna have created home automation gadgets that allow users to control their automation systems from SideShow-enabled devices, but those devices have been few and far between.

For more on this story see CEPro