Staples Connect vs. Lowe’s Iris: Home Automation Smackdown at CES 2014

Goji, Withings, Koubachi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Insteon join Staples Connect; Lowe’s adds smart water valve and major in-store display.

Mick Koster, director of operations for Lowe's Iris home automation system, showing some new features at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.
Julie Jacobson · January 9, 2014

Two giant retailers are duking it out at CES 2014 with their respective home automation systems: Staples Connect and Lowe’s Iris.

Lowe’s launched Iris last year at CES, and Staples announced Connect last September and just started shipping in November.

At CES, Lowe’s is announcing a few new Iris-compatible products, including the new UL-certified garage door controller from Linear and a SmartValve water flow monitor and shut-off device from Soneter.

The bigger news, though, is Lowe’s has created a substantial kiosk for all of its stores. Previously, the displays were pretty anemic.

The new kiosks, which consume four 8-foot bays, showcase Lowe’s commitment to home automation and some serious one-upmanship on Staples, which previously had a better retail display.

SmartValve water flow monitor and shut-off device from Soneter

Staples Adds Partners
That brings us to Staples, which had several announcements during CES, where it is demonstrating Connect in a private suite with its partner Zonoff, provider of cloud-based smart home services.

Speaking of one-upmanship, Staples says it is opening a Staples Connect in-store display in Manhattan, located at 2248 Broadway.

Staples Connect display at select Staples store

As for technology, Staples is expanding its platform to include ZigBee, Bluetooth and Insteon-enabled devices, joining Z-Wave, Lutron ClearConnect and Wi-Fi as radios/protocols supported.

Staples also has new device partners for its platform:

Kwikset (door locks)
Radio Thermostat (thermostats)
Centralite (ZigBee lights, thermostats)
Koubachi (Wi-Fi sensors and automated plant care)
Waxman (water management)
Goji (door locks)
Rachio (smart sprinkler controller)
Withings (Wi-Fi scales and other fitness devices)

These companies join existing partners already available in Staples stores or online

Lutron (lighting and motorized shades)
Philips (Hue lighting)
Linksys (router/hub)
Honeywell (thermostats)
First Alert (Z-Wave fire/smoke detector)
Yale (locks)
GE (Z-Wave devices)
Cooper (Z-Wave lighting)
Leviton (Z-Wave devices)
Schlage (door locks)
Ecolink (learning thermostat system)
Aeotec (Z-Wave sensors)
Ivee (voice-control alarm clock for home automation)
Doorbot (doorbell/camera)

CES 2013 Shocker: Lowe’s Iris Home Automation Has Legs
Staples Connect Home Automation Hits Stores Today
Staples Launches Connect Home Automation; Teams with Lutron for Lighting, Shades

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · Iris · Lowes · Staples · All Topics
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