Appliance and home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies launched Iris, a new cloud-based smart home system. The system lets homeowners monitor and control their home from anywhere using a smart phone, tablet, or computer with a free basic level of service. The retailer plans to roll out the system to 500 of its stores by the end of August 2012.
Greg Bridgeford, Lowe's chief customer officer, characterized the smart home systems on the market as complex and expensive, and he said Iris offers an alternative.
"It offers our customers simple, affordable, and customized solutions to make their homes safer, more efficient and customized to their needs, interests and life stage," said Greg Bridgeford, Lowe's chief customer officer.
Lowe's partnered with AlertMe, a smart home technology company in the United Kingdom, to develop the Iris platform and Hub.
Iris will launch with three different starter kits.
Iris Safe & Secure will retail for $179. It uses motion and contact sensors to monitor the home. The system can send the homeowner an email, text, or call when alarm events happen at home or when children arrive home from school. The kit includes an Iris Hub, motion sensors, a keypad and door, window, and cabinet sensors.
Iris Comfort & Control will also retail for $179. It provides the Iris Hub and a thermostat, allowing programming through a user interface as well as remote control of home settings through the Iris app. The kit also includes a smart plug to remotely control devices in the home and report back on the specific device's current and historical energy usage.
Iris Smart Kit retails for $299 and combines the features of Comfort & Control and Safe & Secure in a single kit to deliver a full smart home solution. The kit includes an Iris Hub, a motion sensor, a smart plug, a key pad, a range extender, a smart thermostat, and 2 window, door and cabinet sensors.
Homeowners can add additional smart devices and sensors to fit their needs. Lowe's is working with vendor partners to further develop devices to be compatible with Iris. Schlage, GE Jasco, and First Alert have already announced plans to work with the Iris platform.
A Premium service from Iris for $9.99 per month allows additional messaging to the homeowner for home events and lets users "program" their home through the use of home modes and customized rules for home management. This allows the homeowner to manage their home at night or while on vacation, utilizing scheduled device activation to move around in certain areas of the home at night or turn on lights and other devices on varying schedules when on vacation.
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