Salt Lake City –
Cisco and home-control supplier Control4 have entered into an agreement in which
Cisco will invest in Control4, use Control4 technology in Smart Grid
infrastructure and services that it will sell to utilities, and sell
Cisco-branded and Control4-branded products.
Under the global agreement, Cisco will sell
products through its value-added resellers (VARs) into homes in conjunction
with utilities’ deployment of Cisco’s Smart Grid technologies, which are
designed to reduce energy consumption. Cisco will also sell products through
its VARs to developers of so-called greenfield cities, built on the outskirts
of existing cities usually outside the U.S.
In both channels, VARs would sell products to
control energy use as well as automate and control lighting, entertainment,
communication and security systems. As a broad rule, control systems would be
Cisco-branded, and peripherals such as lighting-control systems would be
The deal provides Control4 with additional
resources as well as worldwide distribution channels that “will expand our
reach dramatically” by “leveraging the Control4 platform to every single home
in these communities,” said Control4 CEO Will West. The deal will also open up
opportunities for custom integrators who could later add onto a basic Cisco Smart
Grid EMS 100 energy-management system, he said.
The EMS 100 consists of Control4’s EC-100
energy controller, a 4.7-inch color touchscreen controller that provides
details of a home’s electricity consumption and costs, Control4 Advantage
software, and a WT-100 ZigBee-equipped wireless thermostat.
Although Cisco-marketed products would carry
the Cisco brand, their user interface will still carry the Control4 brand. The products installed by utilities and
integrators would deliver a single consistent user interface and be tightly
integrated with Control4-branded products, the company added.
The Control4 EMS 100 platform has been
selected by multiple utilities to connect consumers to the smart grid, the
Cisco’s investment in Control4 does not make
it a majority owner with control, West noted.