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Originally published Friday, September 13, 2013 at 8:05 PM

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Motorized window shades? There’s an app for that

Motorized shades have been popular for a long time, so that part isn’t new. But being able to control them from your iPhone or iPad is.

Scripps Howard News Service

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If you have an Apple mobile device, you are halfway to adding a new home-technology feature to your life.

The Platinum app from Hunter Douglas allows you to control the motorized window treatments in your house over your wireless network.

Motorized shades have been popular for a long time, so that part isn’t new. But being able to control them from your iPhone or iPad is.

Why would you want to add another technology thingy to your life? Well, if you have skylights, you know that at times during the day the glare or heat that comes from the sun pouring in can be brutal. Having a covering for them is a good idea. Reaching them to make the covering work is easily done by remote from your phone.

Some windows are hard to reach, so the phone remote application is ideal for those windows, too.

What is so special about the phone app and these new motorized treatments, you ask? Well, you don’t need an electrician to get them to work, there is no wiring that needs to be installed and the app is free.

According to Hunter Douglas, the inventors of this technology, the shade-control app is available as a free download with no service fees. The setup is straightforward and requires minimal hardware. After a few short, preliminary steps, the app lets you move all the Hunter Douglas window coverings in your home or by room at the same time or one shade at a time, in real time.

A timer feature can also schedule it for later — ideal for summer, when shades can be set to automatically lower at any time of the afternoon. If you like to awaken to sunlight, you can program the bedroom shades to open at dawn or whatever time you choose.

You can control your window treatments when you are away from home, as well.

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