Lowes leans on AllJoyn, mobile app for updated smart home platform

4 January 2016 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Smartphones loom large in Lowes’ plans.

Lowes is rebooting its Iris home automation platform. There are two big differences: the new system is mobile-centric and it was developed in-house with support for Qualcomm’s open source AllJoyn protocols, according to a company spokesman at CES Unveiled this evening.

The platform, which currently supports about 70 products ranging from light switches to thermostats to hot water heaters, is now controlled primarily via an app that’s available for both the iOS and Android operating systems.… More

Wearables flood in, home hubs back out from CES Unveiled

4 January 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

The pot calls the kettle back.

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show will be about networked wristbands and coffee pots, if CES Unveiled – the opening press group grope – is anything to judge by. Wearables and home automation – products that lived in a geek ghetto only a couple of years ago – are the hot new categories this year.

Contenders in the wearable fitness tracker category seem to be following a common path: cram some sensors and a Bluetooth module into a sleek looking wristband, write iOS and Android apps to talk to it, then beef it up with some server-side analysis.… More

Lowe's Iris home automation service goes national

11 January 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Point of sale.

“We made the investment to go national”, said Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager for home automation at Lowes. “We’re pleased with progress to date, we have confidence in the huge potential for the market”.

He was talking about Iris, Lowe’s home automation control platform that was introduced at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, amid predictions that it was doomed to failure. Instead, as Meagher explained at this year’s show, it’s grown to include about thirty devices from more than a dozen manufacturers.… More

Three ways for start-ups to cash in on the Internet of things

9 January 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

There ought to be an app for that.

“There is money to be made in the internet of things”, said Steve Brumer, a partner at 151 Advisors. “There is a vertical market, there is a horizontal market and there’s an ecosystem” that innovative entrepreneurs can tap into to make money. “There’s not one vertical that’s not touched by the Internet of things”.

Big companies might be building the infrastructure, but figuring out what to do with the data they collect is anyone’s game.… More

Simplicity key to manufacturers' home automation solutions

Cloud-based server checks to see how it's running. You can look inside yourself to see if you need milk.

Three competing, and perhaps ultimately complementary, home automation business models are emerging:

  • Manufacturer supported.
  • Consumer-centric.
  • Carrier managed platform.

Lowes and AT&T moved aggressively at CES last week to position themselves as leaders in the consumer and service provider categories, respectively. Several companies were pitching to manufacturers, but the leader in that space looks to be Arrayent at this point.… More

Lowes executes a home automation play

8 January 2013 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Presumptive retailing.

“It's our fault – technology and business models – we just haven't gotten it right,” said Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager for the smart home segment at Lowes. The problem isn't consumers, who readily accept automation. “It's in our cars and none of us would buy one without it. The hurdle is getting it into the home,” he said.

Meagher was speaking at the Parks Associates Connections Summit at CES this afternoon.… More

CES Unveiled 2013 highlights

6 January 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

Now your plants can talk to you.

Three different approaches to home automation and a sleek wearable video eyepiece and camera stood out from from the crowd tonight at CES Unveiled. More than 70 companies demonstrated new products at the annual pre-show press event. Mostly, it was headphones, speakers, big displays, mobile phone cases and various other accessories.

The new OLPC XO 4 tablet/computer was a delight, more about that here.

The other standouts were…