Light Reading
Best Buy's new PEQ home automation solution is powered by Icontrol, the same platform company behind numerous cable operators' smart home services.

Icontrol Powers Smart Homes for Best Buy

Mari Silbey
8/18/2014
50%
50%

Icontrol is ready to move beyond its cable customer base. The company has confirmed that Best Buy is using the Icontrol platform to power its new PEQ home automation service, which is launching today online and in select stores on August 31.

Blogger Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny uncovered details on the PEQ service last week, including product features and pricing information. Best Buy is offering the service for a $9.99 monthly fee with hardware bundles that start at $119.99. Available devices for PEQ include a smart home hub and numerous sensors, as well as a camera, thermostat, and carbon monoxide detector.

Best Buy's entry into the smart home market puts it in competition with a host of other providers. These include fellow retailers Lowe's and Staples, some of the largest cable and telecom operators, online and hardware giants Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and even consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Corp. , which purchased Internet-of-Things specialist SmartThings just last week. (See IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings .)

In an interesting twist to the story, however, Best Buy is, in some ways, throwing in its lot with the cable industry. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) and numerous other North American cable providers also rely on the Icontrol Networks Inc. platform. By partnering with the technology company, Best Buy is ensuring that a number of the smart home devices it sells are (at least theoretically) interoperable with cable provider services. (See Icontrol Rubs Its Touchstone.)

A spokesperson for Icontrol noted that "PEQ exclusively uses OpenHome Certified devices, as do all of Icontrol's service provider customers." The spokesperson also clarified that "Many times, these are the exact same devices, but that is not always case. Each service provider can curate their own catalog of devices that they support from the OpenHome Certified list."


For more of Light Reading's coverage of new broadband services such as home automation, visit our broadband networked home content channel.


While both Best Buy and cable operators are promoting their own specific sets of service-supported smart home devices, Icontrol's ambitions extend even further. Icontrol has said it currently manages more than 22 million sensors and devices, and the company started its OpenHome program last summer to make it possible for more third-party hardware manufacturers to get certified on the Icontrol platform. Products in the OpenHome ecosystem include name-brand door locks, connected light bulbs, and smart home plugs and wall switches. (See Icontrol Embraces New Devices.)

As for PEQ, while the service is powered by Icontrol, it is officially marketed and sold by a company called SmartHome Ventures. Officially launched on August 13, SmartHome Ventures boasts an executive team "led by former cable, retail and wireless executives."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 10:23:34 AM
Lifeline for Best Buy?
Best Buy coming on board might help the retailer for a whle, but if the products are aveilable elsewhere at a lower cost, Best Buy will again suffer from being a showroom for other sellers. This is what killed Circuit City and many others. Best Buy has generally just survived. 

If someone needs electronics or computer-based hardware, software and needs to buy from a brick-and-mortar store (the percentage keeps shrinking), typically a Fry's or TigerDirect offer better deals, though they have far fewer locations.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed