The trend in the home automation market in recent years has been for system suppliers / vendors to pursue new systems, at the expense to existing users of them having to abandon their legacy devices. Our aim is to reverse this trend, and to breathe life back into these older devices, most of which have proved very reliable, and still perform as well as their more modern counterparts.
Home automation was pioneered in the UK by AlertMe. It released its first range of products in 2008. By 2011, it was promoting Energy Consumption and Home Monitoring as its two main applications, to which it added Smart Heating in 2013.
In 2012, Lowe’s acquired the rights to resell the AlertMe technology into the North American Market under the Iris brand. Iris introduced Safe & Secure, and Comfort & Control as its two main applications, which it also combined as its Smart Kit.
In 2015, AlertMe was acquired by British Gas, and the emphasis shifted to Active Heating under the Hive brand, and Smart Meter Reading. This led to the formation of Hive as a separate business within Centrica, the parent company of British Gas.
The acquisition of AlertMe by British gas appears to have resulted in Lowe’s moving away from the AlertMe products. It introduced its own 2nd Generation range, with the AlertMe range then being sold as its 1st Generation range. In 2016, Lowe’s ceased support for the 1st Generation range.
In 2016, British Gas reintroduced Active Lighting, Active Plug and motion and door sensors, also under the Hive brand.
In 2018, Lowe’s announced its intention to sell its Iris business. It also announced recently its intention to reorganise its main business, with the closure of many of its retail stores.
Hive is also heavily discounting its products, especially the more expensive ones, such as the Smart Thermostat and the View Smart Indoor Camera.
Many more manufacturers have entered the home automation market over the last 5 to 10 years. The technology has also advanced to the extent that the legacy technology, with its reliance on cloud based services, is looking dated and expensive.
This is putting commercial pressure on the more established manufacturers, which may result in them abandoning the home automation sector. Users will then be left with perfectly good devices, which can no longer be used, as has already happened with the AlertMe and 1st Generation Iris devices.
The new system is designed to be future proof, so that users can continue to base their applications on the older devices, while having a forward path through the addition of the latest devices to extend and improve their applications.
The other pages in this section address the types of application that the new system is capable of accommodating, and the way in which we aim to cater for users ranging from those with relatively simple requirements, and with only a few devices to those with much more sophisticated systems, and with many more devices.