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Control4 Pushes ‘Long Game’ of Expanding Smart Home Market, Awareness

Control4’s Certified Showroom program, CA-1 controller for builders, Intercom Anywhere and expanded BakPak initiatives help feed integrator pipeline.

Charlie Kindel, senior vice president of products and services at Control4, says both the Certified Showroom program and the Smart Builder Program built around the CA-1 Controller are expanding the smart home market.

CE Pro Editors · September 27, 2018

Control4 (NASDAQ: CTRL) is doing its part to expand the consumer and homebuilder smart home markets for integrators, while admitting broad consumer awareness of the channel is a "long game."

Indeed, the company is expanding its Certified Showroom and Smart Home Builder programs, updating the BakPak platform, and rolling out its new video doorbell solution to help feed the integration channel pipeline. 

Speaking exclusively with CE Pro about the Certified Showroom program, Charlie Kindel, Control4’s senior vice president of products and services, says, “It is going really well. We launched it last May and we have 160 showrooms worldwide now. It is kind of an obvious idea… customers want to be able to experience what a smart home really means.

"If a customer can go into a showroom where all the experiences are enabled – intelligent lighting, multiroom audio, multiroom video and security—it is a really powerful thing."
— Charlie Kindel, Control4

"Sometimes it is hard to visualize or describe online. But if a customer can go into a showroom where all the experiences are enabled – intelligent lighting, multiroom audio, multiroom video and security—it is a really powerful thing.”

“It is working,” says Kindel. “I have spoken with multiple dealers who have explained to me how it is working for them, and they are really happy. They are seeing conversions of new customers that have come in through the funnel where customers have contacted Control4 and say they are looking for an installer in their area, as well as existing customers that have come into the showrooms.”

Kindel believes it is exciting to see consumer awareness for Control4 and home automation/smart home technology finally creep up, but cautions, “It is a long game.”

Control4 Doorbell, Home Network Intros

Another Control4 initiative helping to feed the pipeline of integrators is its CA-1 Controller targeting the homebuilding market.  The $350 device incorporates several of Control4’s IoT solutions, including integration with lighting, energy management, security, surveillance, Alexa and more. 

It has the same IP (Ethernet, Wi-Fi), ZigBee and serial control as Control4’s flagship EA Series, but it also incorporates Z-Wave more integrally than before – via a slide-in module, rather than an external dongle.

The unit is specifically designed to drive business from the production-builder and MDU markets (hotels, condos, hospitality).

Kindel says succinctly, “It is working well.”

The company’s recently introduced Intercom Anywhere is also adding to consumer awareness of the smart home via the hot category of the video doorbell. The Intercom Anywhere lets users communicate with a visitor from anywhere in the world and allows users to activate smart-home scenes – like turning on the lights or unlocking the door – from within the intercom app.

Control4's BakPak remote management
capability is now available for simple
systems as small as a single wireless
access point. 
 

Lastly, Control4 has made its BakPak remote management capability available for all Pakedge WK and WX access points, as well as PowerPak PDUs (power distribution units).

Dealers can now reboot devices, update firmware or change Wi-Fi passwords from anywhere, without additional hardware or licensing fees. 

Available via a firmware update, this BakPak release makes remote management a standard capability for all Pakedge access points and PowerPak PDUs.

Even systems with a singular Pakedge access point or PowerPak PDU can be remotely accessed, configured and managed from a mobile device or web browser. The company has also updated the mobile BakPak app. 



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