Forgot to turn off your heating systems while leaving for office this morning? Not sure whether your security systems are on? Worry no more. Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), the second largest home-improvement retailer after Home Depot (NYSE:HD) in the U.S., will soon launch a “smart home” app that will link a home’s multiple devices including home energy and security systems into a network, capable of remote access through Internet.
Lowe’s has partnered with U.K. based AlertMe to provide equipment and a cloud-server for the app. The new app is also expected to drive product sales for the company, as several of Lowe’s new and upcoming product launches are expected to be internet-enabled, capable of easy integration with the cloud-based app.
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The new cloud-based “smart home” application would enable homeowners access their electronic, heating and security devices’ controls through any operating system, personal computers, laptops, tablets or mobile phones. The product, expected to be available for sale in mid-2012, is likely to be priced for the mass market and should attract consumers with its energy management, cost-savings and convenience. Even though the AlertMe app currently charges a monthly fee from its U.K. customers, the U.S. users would enjoy the app for free through Lowe’s website. Also, since several of Lowe’s new and upcoming product launches are expected to be Internet-enabled, capable of easy integration with the cloud-based app, it is also expected to drive Lowe’s sales of such ‘smart’ products.
Lowe’s may not be the first player to enter the smart home and energy management space, but it certainly leads its toughest home improvement competitor Home Depot in quickly going digital, rebuilding its online sales platform with popular online tool “MyLowes” and launching smart apps in a bid to fast-track its sales and market share.
Last summer, Google unveiled its Android@home program to build a wireless home lighting network remote-controlled through an Android smartphone and it also plans a similar wireless home theater system under its “Project Tungsten” program.