This summer, our customer, Lowe’s, the home improvement and appliance retailer, will be entering into the smart home market with the introduction of an affordable, cloud-based home management system, Iris. “Lowe’s has been watching the smart home space closely for a few years, but the project launched in earnest late last year when we thought the timing was right to venture into this new space with what we think is an innovative new approach,” said Kevin Meagher, vice president of Lowe’s Smart Home division. The Iris system will easily let customers digitally manage their thermostats, lights, appliances, locks, alarm systems and other adjustable home elements from anywhere via a smart-phone or computer.
Iris will be using Genability technology to provide homeowners with the varying cost of electricity supplies. Other products to be featured include Blue Line Innovations’ PowerCost Monitor sensor and WiFi Gateway, providing electricity usage, cost and trends in real time; Pella SmartSync, enabling remote control of shades and blinds; and Orbit Landscape Products’ technology which enables the remote control of landscape lighting and sprinkler systems. All products will be supported on the cloud-based platform provided by U.K-based smart energy technology company, AlertMe.
When smart home technologies began emerging, some argued that adoption would be hindered due to low consumer awareness, high prices and complicated setups. Both Microsoft and Google felt the sting of low consumer adoption and have both decided to discontinue support for their online energy management services, Microsoft Hohm and Google PowerMeter.
While adoption may not be soaring the big box retailers still see potential in the market by going beyond energy monitoring and incorporating a total home control system.