Best Buy To Embrace Home Automation Big Time

Dave Zatz —  January 28, 2014 — 7 Comments

xfinity-securityFrom a well-placed friend in retail and possibly corroborated via a Starbucks conversation, we’ve learned that Best Buy intends to double down on the home automation market. Best Buy devotes significant space to this burgeoning category, but will up the ante very soon with an expanded two-tier approach. First, stores will offer what we believe to be a DIY white label hub and associated apps, similar in concept to Staples Connect and Lowes Iris. We’re told the BBY solution will primarily communicate with Zigbee devices, although eventual Nest integration is confirmed. Second, in Comcast markets, a higher tier of monitored services and security will be offered, similar to Best Buy’s current broadband and satellite television sales – with those beefy commissions. All we need now is a name, some pricing intel, and why we’d choose Best Buy’s implementation given the interesting competition.

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7 responses to Best Buy To Embrace Home Automation Big Time

  1. Sounds like the Xfinity stuff is being integrated into Best Buy’s back office and they will not sell other manufacturers simpler gear like door chimes and window sensors, which Best Buy will white label and profit more handsomely. My mole also wonders if non-Zigbee devices like Kevo could lose shelf space if they don’t ultimately integrate into Best Buy’s hub as the retailer attempts to exert more control and unify things for consumers. By the by, Comcast’s stuff is largely powered by iControl so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them (a recent Twitter follower) quietly involved.

  2. What if I have FiOS or Cox or TWC? Or will that not matter?

    Is there a standard coming or more proprietary black holes?

  3. I am looking at buying a Chamberlain garage door opener with MyQ integration to open it from my smartphone. First piece of home automation I will have – is there something else I should look at to be more in line with things like NEST or what is coming in these new integrators?

  4. Sounds like it will be Zigbee hub with direct communication with the Nest – the Nest comes with a zigbee radio inside already, always did but was never utilized. Now that I bet will only be compatible with the Zigbee HA that Centralite manufactures as their Azela line of zigbee devices with which are only compatible with Xfinity by Comcast, Time Warner and Rogers Cable hubs that come with their paid services. ie: the cable cos.

    The question that occurs to me is one (ok more than one), will they add more than one radio to it? Perhaps a Z-wave radio like Staples Connect has so it is compatible with a 1,000 other compatible devices or just zigbee and their 27,000 incompatible devices? Or Wi-Fi unlike the Connect, or Bluetooth?

    And two, I agree with what the author is suggesting, and iControl IS involved. I suspect the cable cos are expanding their offerings of their Centralite Zigbee products (with iControl software) to the open market by selling the devices through Best Buy. Time Warner already stopped selling their switches and modules to consumers, a month ago so now will Xfinity and Rogers in Canada follow suit and sell them through BB instead?

  5. I’m betting the dormant Zigbee Nest capabilities remain off… and Best Buy hub communication is via WiFi/LAN/Internet. My retail guy says they were adamant that Zigbee is the preferred/primary communication standard. Of course, that could always change down the line, but it sounds like it’s Zigbee at launch. And Best Buy probably doesn’t care so much about the 27,000 other devices – as long as they have enough variety to stock their shelves.

  6. Yeah stocking their shelves with zigbee devices will be interesting. The cable companies use zigbee but if you buy devices to work with their hub, those same devices won’t work with an off the shelf zigbee hub, so I will be very interested to see if they stock the zigbee version that Xfinity, TW and Rogers uses, or if they will stock the Zigbee HA that everyone else uses or one of the other versions. Time will tell I guess.

  7. I’m a huge fan of home automation and think the industry is going to completely explode. The “smart home” concept can be taken to so many levels. Garage doors, lighting, door locks, etc. aside, what do you see happening in the next 5 years that will revolutionize the home automation industry?

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