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Icontrol Rubs Its Touchstone

Mari Silbey

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Cable Show -- Icontrol Networks Inc. is unveiling Touchstone, a new self-install solution for home monitoring and control that is based on the company's OpenHome software platform. The timing of the Tuesday launch is no coincidence. On Monday, Comcast Corp. announced it is separating out its home automation applications from its professional home security services. Icontrol's new self-install product is the foundation for Comcast’s new Xfinity Home Control service. (Comcast's managed security service, meanwhile, will now be branded as Xfinity Home Secure.) The Touchstone solution includes video monitoring, lighting and small appliance control, and remote thermostat adjustment. "This is a product that can be sold on store shelves or shipped to homes, and can be easily upgraded to a professionally monitored security solution, which will ultimately increase consumer access to the next-generation smart home," said Jim Johnson, an executive vice president at Icontrol. So far, Icontrol has proven to be the home monitoring platform of choice in the North American cable market. Besides Comcast, both Time Warner Cable Inc. and Rogers Corp. have deployed Icontrol, in addition to several smaller MSOs. (See TW Cable Picks iControl, iControl Powers Rogers' Smart Home, and Small MSOs Go for iControl.) Verizon Communications Inc., on the other hand, relies on 4Home (now part of Arris Group Inc.). AT&T Inc. uses Cisco Systems Inc.'s platform for its Digital Life services. (See Services Battle Shifts to the Home.) Broadband providers are eager to develop smart home services into a new revenue-generating channel. However, as Heavy Reading reported, there is stiff competition in the market, and MSOs will have to prove they are both reliable and trustworthy if they hope to secure even higher monthly subscription fees from their residential customers. (See Are Cable's Smart Homes a Smart Move?) — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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