URC Takes Europe, Fills Hole Left by Philips Pronto
Philips Pronto was a dominant player in the European market for universal remotes, and now URC hopes to take over that business with KNX support, aggressive training, 433 MHz products.
URC may sell a lot of universal remotes and home controllers in the U.S., but it hasn’t been the dominant supplier in Europe.
The landscape has changed, however, since Philips dropped its Pronto line of controllers – formerly a staple in European markets.
The demise of Pronto presents a “major opportunity for 2011,” said URC senior VP Doug Cole during Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) this week in Amsterdam.
URC is hard at work picking up the Pronto slack, with “aggressive online training” and a serious new focus on Europe.
For example, the company is demonstrating KNX support for the first time, enabling URC products to communicate with KNX-enabled lighting and HVAC control systems. KNX is the dominant European home and business control protocol.
Initially, the KNX support will be implemented in URC’s two-way IP controllers, and eventually will find its way into the company’s new Total Control integration platform.
In addition, as new products are introduced in the U.S., “all products will be manufactured for the European market as well,” says Cole.
That means URC will deliver 433 MHz wireless solutions “on a timely bases” after 418 MHz are delivered to the U.S. market.
Already, URC offers multilingual support for Spanish and German, and the company’s European distributor BMB Electronics has created libraries for additional languages.
Visit URC at ISE stand #1L35
URC KNX interface
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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 email@example.com
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