Smart Home Ventures Enters Home-Automation Market

Kansas City, Mo. — Start-up Smart Home Ventures is bringing the home-automation and security platform developed by Icontrol Networks to retail for the first time.
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Smart Home Venture’s Peq home-automation hub

Kansas City, Mo. — Start-up Smart Home Ventures is bringing the home-automation and security platform developed by Icontrol Networks to retail for the first time.

Icontrol’s smart-home platform was previously available on an OEM basis to such service providers as ADT and Time Warner Cable, but Smart Home is offering the platform and devices direct to consumers starting today through its own website. BestBuy.com and select Best Buy locations will offer the system starting Aug. 31.

The company also said it has “established partnerships with major national retailers, e-tailers, service providers and other major distribution channels.”

The launch promises to inject additional competition into the market for mass-market home-automation system, already available from multiple suppliers.

Smart Home’s Peq (pronounced peek) home-automation system is a wireless system consisting of a thermostat, lamp module, window and door sensors, motion sensor, water sensor, carbon-monoxide sensor and security camera, all wireless. Monthly service costs $9.99 without a contract and includes live video streaming from security cameras to smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The system can be controlled remotely and monitored from iOS and Android tablets and smartphones and from PCs.

The service lets users create rules to turn home devices on and off. The monthly fee also includes the recording and storing of up to 20 video clips and up to 40 images per day. Users can get unlimited email alerts and up to 20 text messages per day.

The service is scalable so that users can add more devices without raising the monthly subscription price, the company said.

The company also launched an OpenHome developer program to accelerate the number of devices compatible with the platform.

SmartHome Ventures was established in early 2013 to bring home automation to the mass market, the company said. It is led by former cable, retail and wireless executives. They come from Google, Comcast, Charter, Sprint and BestBuy.

The company is backed by investors including venture capital and private equity firm OpenAir Equity Partners.

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