A smart home solution catering to both homeowners, developers

A smart home solution catering to both homeowners, developers
The smart home and connected home concepts are taking hold across the globe as homeowners look for IoT technologies and devices to enhance the home experience. While DIY remains a popular channel, it does have certain disadvantages for example difficulties to set up and get support. Providing a solution that eases the installation process and addresses other needs for both homeowners and developers, therefore, becomes critical.
 
That was the point raised by Control4, which recently launched its CA-1 Automation Controller. “The CA-1 is a solution for homeowners who are interested in lighting, security, temperature control or other control features to start a smart home system. It provides an orchestrated smart home experience that’s customized for each homeowner, with scenes and control methods that suit their lifestyle,” said Martin Plaehn, Chairman and CEO of Control4. “For homebuilders, MDU (multi-dwelling unit) developers and hoteliers, the solution gives them a way to differentiate with the inclusion of the most sought-after smart home experiences.”
 
The controller leverages the Control4 product ecosystem of thousands of devices including sensors, door locks, lighting control, cameras, shades and more, paired with the Control4 operating system that gives homeowners control of their devices using the Control4 App, a handheld remote, wall keypads, voice commands or a touch screen.

Benefits to homeowners, developers

 
According to Plaehn, the CA-1 offers homeowners an option other than getting smart home devices from the DIY channel. “The emerging range of smart locks, thermostats, lights, and cameras available today have certainly raised consumer awareness for the promise of the smart connected home,” he said. “DIY solutions fall flat due to difficult setup, device libraries, multiple apps, and no professional support. Homeowners as well as home builders and building developers are looking for more than a just collection of independent, smart devices. The CA-1 provides the smart home features that many families are looking for in an orchestrated smart home experience that’s set up for them and easy to use from the app and other intuitive control methods. Instead of experimenting with smart features by buying DIY devices piecemeal, homeowners can select the CA-1 to add security, comfort, or convenience features from Control4’s large database of devices to get started.”
 
Further, Plaehn said that the CA-1 is suited to new-build, MDU and hospitality installations as an easy addition allowing builders, developers and hoteliers to standardize home technology features in their projects. “It is also beneficial for larger installations, as it can function as a Zigbee range extender. Professional installer can add other features to the system, including more robust networking from Control4’s Pakedge line of networking equipment,” he said.
 
The controller includes Ethernet, WiFi, Zigbee and serial communication. Using the optional Z-Wave module sold separately enables the CA-1 to be compatible with a selected set of Z-Wave control devices including door, window, water, flood and temperature sensors, electrical outlets, and dimmer outlet modules. The CA-1 also features Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) so it can be installed virtually anywhere with a single network cable.
 
A unique feature of the controller is a variety of scenes incorporating multiple devices that suit the homeowner’s lifestyle. “A ‘Dinner Time’ scene can open the shades, dim the lights at the table, and turn on the fireplace. And when it’s time to turn in, a simple voice command or button press can activate a ‘Good Night’ scene that locks the doors, shuts off the lights, lowers the heat, and illuminates the porch,” Plaehn said. “The CA-1 was just announced in February 2018, and we expect to receive feedback from both residential and commercial installations in the coming months.”


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