Voice control is quickly establishing itself as a powerful interface for integrators to offer with professional installation. That fact was confirmed when Control4 announced that more than 10,000 of its systems, which are only installed by professionals in the custom installation channel, are operating with Amazon Alexa voice control. The information also quells the notion that voice control is purely a DIY play that undercuts CE pros' businesses.
“Voice input is certainly a very important addition and recent addition to that portfolio of interaction with smart devices and whole home automation,” said Control4 chairman and CEO Martin Plaehn in the company’s Q2 conference call with investors. “Control4 has a very deep integration with Alexa and the Amazon Echo… the product itself, their back-end APIs as well as working with their team and collaborating on new functionality.
“We have over 10,000 existing customers — Control4 customers — that use Alexa on a daily basis within their home to control Control4 automation experiences. We see that growing; we see the usage very consistently and frequently increasing,” says Plaehn.
The actual connection of the Amazon Alexa to a Control4 system can be done by the homeowner, but Plaehn sees that as a strong reinforcement for smart home control, not a deterrent.
“We designed our integration with Alexa to be such that a Control4 customer could buy an Alexa from Amazon, take delivery of it and install it themselves and then tune the way they speak or the use of synonyms themselves, so that the integration of Alexa with Control4 at the base level does not need a dealer. So we got good velocity and consumers get interested and engaged with their modern connected voice-driven home,” he notes.
Plaehn says Control4 expects to stay abreast of whatever Amazon is doing.
“We think it’s good sunshine on our section of the industry and we don’t view it as threatening,” he adds.
Read Control4's entire Q2 2017 results, including how the company funded the entire Triad Speakers buyout in only six months, here.