2012
11.14

Connected home technology is becoming harder and harder to resist. Even if you’ve never considered installing a system in your own home, a number of options available are making it more difficult to ignore the benefits. While home-control systems used to be expensive and complicated to install, those days are mostly over, and now there are so many systems to choose from it makes me feel almost guilty for not having one.

The reason I feel this way is that I think I would enjoy the features these systems can provide. The ability to mange lighting or monitor windows and doors remotely would be convenient, and provide peace of mind.

That’s why I was excited to learn about a new element to the Iris smart home solution from Lowe’s. The company announced it is working with Verizon to enable a new communications option for the system. Beginning November 21, Iris customers can choose to use the Verizon network for remote monitoring and management. The wireless connection will be available via a USB modem that connects to the Iris Smart Hub. This means homeowners will have another option in addition to connecting via wired broadband.

Iris launched in July, and it provides a number of options for home control, such as monitoring of motion sensors, doors, windows, and cabinets with the Safe & Secure kit, or a smart thermostat and a smart plug that can remotely control home devices and report on energy use with the Comfort & Control kit. Users can control the system via smartphone and tablet.

Lowe’s says Verizon will be the exclusive wireless connectivity provider for Iris, and Lowes.com will offer the USB modems.

Adding the Verizon option seems like a smart move for Lowe’s. Verizon also offers its own home monitoring and control options. This makes me wonder whether customers will prefer to buy a system branded by a retailer or by a carrier. Either way, more options are good for consumers, and more options for communications are good for network operators.

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