Home automation experts praise the iPad as a home controller. You probably already know that. On the other hand, you probably also know that the reality falls short of the promises the experts have made. Cutting through the hype and noise became a full time job months ago.

To begin with, the iPad has plenty to recommend it as a home control device. The form factor makes it ideal for wall mounting as well as moving effortlessly around the home. The on board battery allows for long term operation, and the touch screen shares the ease of use and accuracy of its smaller cousins on the iPhone and iTouch.

The problems lie with the software. As a homeowner you want a system that consolidates all of your home control systems: HVAC, lighting, entertainment and security. Multiple vendors have introduced systems that do this, including Crestron, Savant and Home Controls, to name a few. But even with these systems you need to program the iPad to control your environment seamlessly. Some people have designed their own systems, which is fine if you can crank out code.

The short answer is that you’re going to need some help. The best home automation dealers also offer consulting guiding their clients in making these decisions. Ask about what you need now while considering what you’ll need in the future. For the best results, look to Kiwi Audio Visual, who listens to your needs and has expertise in working with the latest technologies.