Life After Iris: Lowe’s Sticking With Smart Home

But as a seller, not a developer
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Lowe’s says it will continue to support the smart-home category after Iris is sold. Seen here, the retailer’s connected-home shop, operated by B8ta.

Lowe’s says it will continue to support the smart-home category after Iris is sold. Seen here, the retailer’s connected-home shop, operated by B8ta.

The decision by Lowe’s to sell off its six-year-old Iris smart-home platform — part of a plan to jettison “non-core businesses” under recently installed CEO Marvin Ellison — won’t affect its support of either the brand or the category.

“We will continue to carry Iris and other smart products on our shelves,” a company spokesperson told the AI & IoT Daily, which ostensibly includes the current front-of-the-store smart-home sections operated by B8ta. “However, we will focus on the retail side of the Iris business, not on supporting our own smart-home platform.”

Related: Rethinking Experience Retail

With Iris, Lowe’s in 2012 became the first mass-market retailer to launch a private-label home-automation system that leveraged the ubiquity of the smartphone and tablet as control devices. After upgrading the proprietary, Cloud-based home-management platform in 2015, Iris went on to support some 75 ZigBee-, ZWave-and Wi-Fi-compliant devices, including “Works With Iris” lights, locks, timers, alarms thermostats, garage door openers and other IoT gadgets from First Alert, Honeywell, Jasco/GE, Kwikset, Schlage, Swann and Whirlpool, among others.

Lowe’s announced its intention to put Iris on the auction block with last week’s third-quarter earnings results. Also targeted in Ellison’s downsizing were Lowe’s’ retail operations in Mexico; its Alacrity home renovation and repair business; its Orchard Supply hardware chain; and 50 underperforming stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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