Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some retailers will focus on home automation for holidays

We know we'll see tinsel and bows go up in about six weeks as retailers set up for the holidays. You probably wouldn't have guessed that gadgets for home automation also would be a focus of the festivities.
Wireless and remote controls for your home ultimately are expected to be such a big market that retailers want us to think about them whenever we're focused on making the house more efficient and organized.
These are systems that let us use a smartphone, computer or tablet to turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat and unlock the doors.
Apple is said to be working on a system called HomeKit. Microsoft has Insteon for its retail locations, one of which is expanding at SouthPark mall.
Lowe's started selling Iris systems in 500 retail stores in 2012. Today you can find Iris at all 1,750 locations, said Jaclyn Pardini, a spokesperson at the company’s headquarters here. Displays are in each store to help customers understand what these systems can do.
“This is still very new to consumers,” Pardini said.
Last year the company offered Iris deals for black Friday. A whole-house water shutoff system is coming in October, the official start of the store’s holiday season. With the new product, you'll be in control if your pipes burst while you're having Thanksgiving dinner far from home.
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