Home improvement retailer Lowe's on Thursday announced that it will use next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to debut a new set of products and services for Iris, its cloud-based smart home solution.
Iris home automation products. (Image source: Lowe's)
During CES, Lowe's said it will display over 15 new Iris devices and services that can perform such functions as security and energy management in addition to supporting the growing use of smart phones and video streaming.
Complementing its new set of routers and switches, the new line will include a set of WiFi range extenders and powerline networking solutions that allow homeowners to expand network coverage by leveraging a home's existing electrical wiring. Initially, Lowe's plans to roll out the new products to 100 U.S. stores in the first half of this year followed by a full rollout later in the year.
"As the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world, Lowe's recognizes the evolving needs of today's homeowner and is well positioned to offer the widest breadth of compatible connected home products and services at an attractive price," said Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager of Smart Home at Lowe's.
Being a big box retailer, one of the advantages Lowe's has is it can rely on its broad customer base for brand recognition. It can also leverage its large partner base, which includes companies such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Honeywell, Whirlpool, and Jarden Safety, to sell integrated home automation solutions.
The timing of Lowe's new product line comes at a time when where one of its partners, Verizon, is expanding its role in the home automation market. Other service providers, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) have launched similar services that could potentially leverage the products that Lowe's is developing for this market segment.
ABI reported in its "Home Automation and Monitoring" study, issued in 2011, that while only 1.8 million home automation systems shipped in 2011 globally, that number will increase to over 12 million shipments by 2016.
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