As our homes acquire sentience, a few are attempting to traverse the technological silos… in an approachable way, suitable for civilians and geeks alike. While companies like Zonoff, Revolv, and Smarthings each strive to take home automation mainstream with somewhat differing technological and marketing approaches, they share a vendor- and network-neutral approach as they aim to provide an alternative to the security and telecom firms that are likewise pushing into this realm. And, as you might guess from the tweets and pics, I came away from CES quite enamored with Zonoff.
Instead of selling directly to consumers, like a Revolv, Zonoff is more iControl in powering partner company solutions – such as the Staples Connect. And I appreciate that they conduct themselves in an aboveboard way, working alliances, rather than spoofing Sonos and Nest communication… something I see as an unsustainable business model that could lead to a number of upset customers when, inevitably, protocols change and C&D letters arrive.
Staples Connect is the most accessible and encompassing of their offerings thus far and consists of a $100 Linksys hub module, with no recurring fees, and the requisite apps for designing activities and home control. Think Harmony Remote for Home Automation. Again, the power here is their agnostic approach. View your D-Link security cam on your Samsung HDTV, as shown above, or tell your Jawbone Up fitness band you’re headed to bed which, in turn, triggers your Lutron dimmer-controlled lights to power down.
We anticipate we’ll have a whole lot more to say on the subject of Staples Connect in the near future… stay tuned!