By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s will roll out its wireless Iris home-control and monitoring system to all of its 1,750 stores by the end of next year, up from a current 500 stores, a spokesperson told TWICE.
The company’s three own-brand Iris systems, launched in July, are also available on the company’s website.
The do-it-yourself self-monitored home-management systems are monitored and controlled via an app on Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. Iris systems use the wireless ZigBee, Z-Wave and Wi-Fi standards to connect to security sensors, Wi-Fi security cameras, thermostats and smart plugs, which provide remote control of plugged-in lamps. The Iris app also supports third-party wireless devices such as Schlage deadbolt door locks, FirstAlert smoke detectors, and products from GE Jasco and Radio Thermostat of America. The Iris app will be updated to add control of additional third-party devices in the future, the spokesperson said.
From within the home, consumers use their smartphones and tablets to control home systems via a Wi-Fi-connected Iris Smart Hub, which incorporates the ZigBee and Z-Wave wireless-control technologies. From remote sites, Iris systems can be controlled from smartphones and tablets via cellular if Iris is connected to a home’s broadband modem. Beginning Nov. 21, Lowe’s will also offer a Verizon-network cellular USB modem to deliver a remote connection to the Iris Hub, making a wired broadband modem unnecessary.
At January’s International CES, the company said it plans to roll out its next-generation Iris products to add energy-consumption management and monitor per doors.
Currently, Lowe’s offers three Iris starter kits. The $179 Safe & Secure kit features motion and contact sensors to monitor a home. Users receive 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, an in-home keypad, a door sensor, a window sensor and a cabinet sensor.
A second $179 kit, called Iris Comfort & Control, includes the Iris Hub, a thermostat and a smart plug that can remotely control devices in the home and report back on a current and historical energy usage.
The $299 Iris Smart kit combines the features of the two kits and includes an Iris Hub, a motion sensor, a smart plug, a keypad, a range extender, a smart thermostat, and two window, door and cabinet sensors.
The free basic service sends alarm alerts to a single account holder, enables review of the last three events in system history, lets users turn devices on and off remotely, delivers streaming security-camera video for up to two minutes to a computer or mobile device, delivers remote thermostat control from a computer or mobile device, delivers a real-time view of electricity consumption, and enables remote door locking and unlocking.
The $9.99/month premium service alerts up to six people from the user’s address book when an alarm is triggered. Different people can be alerted about different events, and Iris can contact a list of people in priority order.
The premium service also lets users access the system’s entire history, set specific schedules for devices and link control to events, stream security-camera video for up to 10 minutes, record video on command or based on alarms and events using rules that users set, and store up to 1GB of video online. The premium service also features two home modes to save energy when you're away from home, provides consumption-based triggers to automatically turn off items in a home, and four home modes, or default settings, of alarms, locks, lights and video cameras when users are on vacation, when they’re sleeping, and the like.
The premium service also allows temporary access to the system with temporary passwords or PINs for kids or guests, and the service provides notifications when authorized users enter the home.
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