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Examining The Successes And Failures Of Lowe’s Foray Into The Internet Of Things Home Automation

Published: Aug 06, 2016 at 08:00 UTC
Internet Of Things Home Automation

Lowe’s is one of America’s biggest and most successful home improvement stores. It is truly impossible to live in America and not be familiar with Home Depot and Lowe’s. With this in mind, you should also know that the company just recently decided to step into the home automation industry. The company’s fundamentals and the concept of home automation are definitely capable of correlating with one another excellently.

Have homeowners embraced the Iris or have they completely ignored Lowe’s lineup of automation products? You’ll find out about the company’s home automation successes and failures below.

Iris Smart Hub

The home automation gateway is a necessity, if you own several home automation devices. The hub allows users to control all of their home automation enabled devices with one app. Lowe’s joined the internet of things home automation industry, by introducing Irish Smart hub to their product line. This is classified as a wireless hub, but it must be plugged directly into your existing Internet router and a 110-volt electrical outlet. Lots of consumers have invested in the Irish Smart hub, but have not received positive results. From complaints about the not-so-friendly app interface to poor customer service, it appears that Lowe’s failed on this one and failed badly.

Iris Next Gen Key Fob

If you own a Smart Home device, especially the door lock, you will definitely want a key fob. This device offers instant access to your Internet of things home automation system and door lock. While the key fob does have some limitations, it is a very helpful product. Instead of needing to pull out your iPhone, just to lock/unlock Smart lock or arm/disarm your wireless security system, you can simply grab your key fob and commence to perform these actions.

Hundreds, if not thousands of consumers invested in the Irish Next Gen key fob, leaving one to speculate about its success. While, many of the customers were satisfied with the device, others complained about an inconsistent wireless connection. One of the most favorable compliments that the customers gave Lowe’s, concerning this device was the easy return option. It remains to be seen, whether or not Lowe’s will be able to stand up with the major Smart Home brands.

November 2015 And The 2nd Generation

internet of things home automationAs mentioned above, the Iris was the company’s first step into the Internet of things home automation industry, but they refused to stop there. Despite a few failures, the company decided to enhance the product and release a 2nd generation. This model was released to the public in November of 2015. Upon its release, the company advertised the product as a massive improvement over the previous and insisted that the new system focused more intently on home maintenance and management. Unfortunately, users that made the upgrade have not been impressed.

Since the 2nd generation release, consumers have had nothing good to say about the product. In fact, most admit the product lacks in terms of functionality, when compared to the previous. The failure to live up to their initial promises is far worse.

A Hub For A Hub

Before the release of the 2nd generation Iris hub, owners of the 1st gen model received invitations to sign up and receive the new hub for free. This may sound great initially, but there is one major problem. Many consumers flooded Iris users forums to complain about nonexistent hubs. Despite signing up for the next gen model, a large quantity of customers never received their promised hub. Much of the problem rested solely with the fact that there was a shortage of sensors and other compatible accessories.

These individuals were not the only ones, who were unable to find a 2nd generation Iris. Consumers across the nation reported being unable to find the 2nd gen Iris Internet of things home automation hub within their local stores. Until recently, Lowe’s was unable to sufficiently stock their stores and this undoubtedly led to a lack of sales. Still, the company insists they’re listening and are working diligently to rectify all problems on their end.

A Few Recent Updates

Despite the many failures mentioned above, Lowe’s has no intention of giving up on their Internet of Things home automation venture. In fact, the company has chugged along and is finally starting to make progress. First and foremost, the company finally made the transition to smartphone controllability. Until recently, owners of the Iris smart home system were required to utilize a web browser to setup and configure their systems. This is no longer the case. Now, everything can be setup directly from the associated smartphone application.

Internet Of Things Home Automation2

Another bonus is the fact that the smartphone-controlled hub is slightly cheaper than the previous. The new hub is also compatible with a wider array of platforms, including ZigBee, Z-Wave, AllJoyn, and Wi-Fi. The company has also released a few smaller, upgraded sensors, plug and keypads. It is truly startling to see a company as big as Lowe’s face so many setbacks, but consumers can rest assured knowing the company is working extensively to acknowledge their complaints. When compared to the offerings of FrontPoint Security, many consumers will agree that Lowe’s Iris is more hassle than it is worth.

Lowe’s Plans

Before embracing the Iris, it is essential to realize that the company offers two plans. The basic plan, which offers everything consumers need to control their devices and receive alerts, is completely free. The premium plan is nearly ten dollars a month. Of course, those that wish to take full advantage of home automation will want to make the upgrade. This is the case, because the premium plan allows consumers to make rules and program their devices for additional convenience and immense peace of mind. The premium plan makes it possible to create custom groups of lights and switches, which can then be automated.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, Lowe’s offers a great home automation system, but it could be much better. When compared to the alternatives, such as FrontPoint Security and Protect America, it is truly hard to justify the switch to the Iris at this time. If you want to do Lowe’s a favor, buy an Iris now. Otherwise, you’re better off waiting, until Lowe’s gets it right.

 
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