Stake Your Claim to the Connected Home

Control4, 2gig Technologies, iControl Networks and Vivint share their expertise on home automation and the residential landscape.

How are you expanding your services to residential customers?

Smith: We continually improve our product and add new and compelling features. The Control4 seven-inch portable touchscreen (model C4-TSWM7-E-B) provides video conferencing capabilities. Our Control4 MyHome-Android phone and tablet software allows consumers to control their systems from mobile devices. We also recently introduced the Control4 Panelized Lighting Solution that is 100 percent IP-enabled.

Santiago: Our goal is to enable homeowners to more affordably and conveniently protect and manage what’s most important to them while at home and on the road. We innovate with the purpose of driving cost out while adding more convenience and functionality to the homeowner. Products and services in our pipeline include more robust energy management, video, entertainment and security. We are working to ensure that what was once available only to the highest income bracket will soon be available to everyone.

Roberts: iControl is constantly enhancing our OpenHome broadband home management software solution to enable our deployment partners—ADT, Comcast, Rogers and Swisscom—to offer their customers more connected home services. The platform utilizes open technologies such as Z-Wave, ZigBee and Wi-Fi to leverage a huge ecosystem of hardware, device and application developers that enable our solution to provide more features and services. With this strategy, we are able to expand our broadband home management solution to support energy management, home healthcare and other benefits that have mass market consumer appeal.

Dunn: Vivint is dedicated to offering the best products and services to our customers. While we continuously work on new offerings, we are focused on making sure our customers embrace our smart thermostat, door locks and lighting controls. We’ve only been selling these additional services for eight months, so we are still focused on educating the consumer on energy-efficient and money-saving options.

Many players outside of security and even home automation—such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T—have stepped into the ring to offer home energy and security services. Should security-industry dealers and integrators be prepared to work with such vendors in the near future? If so, how should they prepare to integrate their service offerings into security hardware?

Smith: These players are directly targeting the $30/month revenue stream currently collected by traditional security companies and should be considered a direct threat. The best way for dealers in the security industry to counter this threat is to surpass the features and functionality offered by these companies. Becoming a Control4 dealer is a great way to do this as our technology seamlessly integrates with most security systems and has features that go beyond what Verizon and Comcast offer. For example, at home users can arm their security system from the same user interface they use to control lighting, temperature, music and movies from a wide range of mobile devices, a Control4 touchscreen or even their remote control. Users can choose to get email alerts at work, text notifications on their smartphone or access the system remotely for an overall security check.

Santiago: It’s uncertain how and if dealers and integrators will work with these new players. The reality is that these new entrants want to displace them. In spite of the threat, there is a huge opportunity to take advantage of the market awareness being generated by millions of dollars of advertising. No one is better suited to provide superior and personalized service and support than the dealer and integrator community. The key is to be prepared to offer competitive solutions and services beyond basic security. Using solutions like our GoControl system enables dealers to match and exceed the newcomers’ offering at a much better price and allows them to tap into recurring monthly revenue (RMR).