Home automation technology gains momentum

As some of the country’s largest cable and telecommunications firms continue to make their push into the residential security market, the adoption of home automation technology has also increased. One company that is reaping the benefits of this trend, iControl Networks, announced on Monday that its OpenHome software platform will be used by Time Warner Cable to power its new home management system dubbed “IntelligentHome.”

The IntelligentHome solution will not only allow customers to manage and customize their security systems, but it will also provide them energy management features such as thermostat and lighting controls.

According to iControl CEO Bob Hagerty, the emergence of broadband communications and the flexibility it provides has brought a new level of functionality to the residential security market that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

"It allows you to broaden out and give a number of features that you could have done before, but was pretty limited given the technology," he said. "So, you take broadband and then the other macro-movement is mobility, combine it with security and you’re able to do amazing things with home management. Security gives you that piece of mind that you want, but with home management we connect you with your home and family and make it all extraordinarily easy."

In addition to Time Warner Cable, iControl’s OpenHome platform is also being used by Comcast in its Xfinity Home Security service, as well as by Rogers Communications in Canada. The company’s software has also been utilized by ADT in its Pulse solution and by DSC’s Connect 24 service.

Despite all of the enhanced features that are available with home management solutions, Hagerty said that security is still the key component that will drive adoption of the technology.

"We absolutely think it’s the anchor," Hagerty said. "I think that you save money of course with the energy management, you get the peace of mind with home management, your life becomes simpler, your life becomes easier and you become connected to everything that you have."

Hagerty said that the combination of broadband and mobile communications capabilities is really broadening the home management market and that residential security is becoming another part of that broadband connection.

"We’re in a monumental market transition. This is the beginning wave of a major new shift in the way things happen," he explained. "Home security is really becoming a home broadband connection that allows you to do home management, which includes security, energy management, home healthcare and that deep connection to all the things that you have and being able to run them. Smartphones really took off because they allow you to do the things you used to do from your PC, but do it easily and simply on your mobile phone. We’re going to allow you to do all of those things that you normally did with a security system, plus home management and energy management and do it from a mobile device."