Lowe’s is always looking to get into new markets. Now it seems they’re coming after whole home automation and monitoring systems… sort of. Lowe’s just announced a partnership with British monitoring-tech company AlertMe on a system called Iris. Iris allows people to remotely control heating and cooling, home alarm systems, security cameras or even smart appliances. With the housing industry in a slump, more and more companies are looking to have the skills and capabilities to take on larger portions of bid contracts. In this case, Lowe’s seems to be serving contractors with a system that fits snugly into a particular “middle-ground” market share.
Lowe’s Iris Home Monitoring System
So what does the Iris system do? For starters, the system lets homeowners monitor and control devices in their home remotely using a smartphone, tablet or computer. The AlertMe platform is based on a wireless hub and is compatible with a tons of third-party devices. Now the Lowe’s Iris Home Monitoring System is launching in late August with three different starter kits:
- Safe and Secure ($179)
This system will alert homeowners by e-mail, text or phone call when an alarm event happens or, alternatively, when the children arrive home from school, or when a visitor comes. The Safe & Secure system will come with a wireless hub, motion sensors, a keypad and door and window sensors.
- Comfort and Control Kit ($179)
This system will control a house’s energy and temperature levels. The kit includes the hub, along with a thermostat that can be remotely controlled and a smart plug that can remotely control devices and report current and historical energy usage. This kit is nifty, but is probably more popular for vacation homes or locations where you’re looking to prep the temperature for when you return. I don’t know too many people jumping at the chance to remotely monitor their energy usage.
- Smart Kit ($299)
This kit combines both packages, and of course homeowners can add additional smart devices and sensors as desired.
This is a new direction for Lowe’s, but it seems to be a controlled one. The company isn’t taking on larger whole home systems that combine lighting, audio/video, and control systems.Instead, Lowe’s is easing into it with basic monitoring. Of course, the downside is that systems like this aren’t very robust and expansion into those other areas will likely result in a completely new system. We’ll have to watch and see what happens with Iris and whether or not it gets much traction in the U.S. marketplace.