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November 13, 2012

Verizon and Lowe's Partner to Make Smart Home Solution Smarter

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor

Technology is making our daily devices and appliances smarter. With smartphones, smart cars and smartboards in educational institutes, it only makes sense that our homes should be smart as well. The smart home market is booming and technology companies are jumping at the chance to help you control and monitor your home's systems, which include temperature, security and energy use.

For the first time, a national retailer entered this space that isn't another tech giant. Lowe's, the world's second-largest home improvement retailer, recently launched an affordable, cloud-based home management system: Iris.

The Iris Hub connects to your home's broadband router and communicates with your smart home devices. Iris is a cloud-based home management system, so your computer or smartphone can "talk" to Iris to get a status check on your devices and control things whenever and wherever you want. For example, with Basic service you can turn your alarm system on and off or control your thermostat remotely. With Premium, you can set your entire home to one of four configurable modes — home, away, night, or vacation — which will automatically adjust your alarm, thermostat, and lighting for that mode.

And you thought starting your car from your remote key was cool.

Image via Charles and Hudson

Lowe’s and Verizon (News - Alert) announced today that customers of the smart home solution will now be able to use Verizon’s network for remote monitoring and management of their homes. Available to U.S.-based Iris customers beginning Nov. 21, Verizon will be Lowe's exclusive provider of wireless connectivity, employing the nation's most reliable wireless network to deliver additional peace of mind and control when customers are away from their homes.

The new Verizon wireless connection available via USB modem will connect to the Iris Smart Hub, eliminating the need for homeowners to have a wired broadband connection. The USB modems will be sold on 

"Lowe's is a highly respected retailer in the marketplace and a valued customer, and this is a great opportunity to be the exclusive wireless provider of its award-winning Iris smart home solution," said Scott Eason, vice president of retail and financial services, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, in a statement. "The trend and expectation from consumers is to be connected to all facets of their lives no matter where they are, and visibility into the home front is invaluable."


Kevin Meagher, Lowe's vice president of smart home, said, "Wireless connectivity is of great value to our Iris customers who would like the freedom to manage and monitor their home without a broadband connection and with the peace of mind that connectivity to their home won't be lost should their Internet connection become interrupted.  Verizon has worked with Lowe's for many years, and the extension of this relationship demonstrates our joint commitment to keeping our customers connected to the things most important to them whenever and wherever they choose."

This new wireless addition to the Iris Smart Home solution expands a 14-year relationship between Lowe's and Verizon that includes wireless, wireline and hosting solutions, in addition to professional services consulting.

Lowe's offers three different Iris starter kits that can all be paired with the Verizon wireless USB modem to facilitate connection with the Iris Hub for remote home monitoring and management: Iris Safe & Secure ($179), Iris Comfort & Control ($179) and Iris Smart Kit ($299).

Iris Safe & Secure provides peace of mind to homeowners by using motion and contact sensors to monitor the home when away. Users can receive an e-mail, text or call when alarm events happen at home or when the children arrive home from school. The kit includes an Iris Hub, motion sensors, a keypad and door, window and cabinet sensors.

Iris Comfort & Control combines the convenience of home automation with the ability to save on energy costs in the home. In addition to the Iris Hub, this kit includes a thermostat, which makes programming simple with an intuitive user interface and remote control of home settings through the Iris app. The kit also includes a smart plug that can remotely control devices in the home and report back on a current and historical energy usage.

The Iris Smart Kit combines the features of Comfort & Control and Safe & Secure in a single kit to deliver a full smart home solution. The kit includes an Iris Hub, a motion sensor, a smart plug, a key pad, a range extender, a smart thermostat and two window, door and cabinet sensors.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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