The Smart Jack receptacle is a station with all the electronics and processing of a button / slider station but without the buttons or sliders. Instead of a button or slider interface, there is a 4-pin XLR connector that allows a portable station to connect via a tethered cable. Since the processing and station electronics reside in the Smart Jack station, all programming resides in the station as well. This allows multiple Smart Jacks to be installed in a facility and the portable station will operate according to the programming of the Smart Jack that the portable station is plugged into.
This application is particularly common in convention centers and ballrooms where a technician may move from room to room with the same “control surface only” station to adjust lighting levels for each room’s individual event.