Home improvement retailer Lowes recognized the opportunity presented by the digital home some time ago with the launch of their cloud-based smart home solution, branded as Iris. With Iris, customers can install a home monitoring and control system and manage it through their broadband connection. Iris competes with many of the same offerings now marketed through broadband carriers.

Lowes is taking their digital home strategy up a notch or two. At the upcoming International CES, they will demonstrate more applications for their Iris digital home platform. According to a Lowes press release, Iris will add the following capabilities to their platform:

  • Iris for Safety: The next generation of Iris products and services combines advanced safety features with the latest technology to provide homeowners with peace of mind. For example, Iris can help improve care for seniors and loved ones, alert homeowners to smoke and carbon monoxide in the home even if they are away, and help control door locks from a phone or tablet – eradicating that age old concern: “Did I forget to lock the front door?”
  • Iris for Efficiency: Iris’ new expanded features include a broad array of monitoring tools that can help reduce costs by controlling energy and water consumption. For example, Iris will feature a number of programmable smartphone-controlled devices including connected thermostats and water heaters, sprinkler systems, window blinds, and even network connected light bulbs.
  • Iris for Convenience: Innovative new Iris products make daily life more convenient for homeowners. For example, Iris can include a pet door that tracks the comings and goings of up to five different pets, a moisture sensor that reminds homeowners to water their plants, and a new Verizon USB Modem that keeps everything online even without an internet connection.

Lowes has partnered with several companies for their Iris platform, with the U.K.’s AlertMe acting as a key integrator. They also recently partnered with Verizon to add wireless connectivity to the Iris platform.

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Lowes sells self-install Iris kits, ranging from $180 to $300. Customers can then opt for a basic free alert service, which in addition to sending text messages for certain alerts, allows them to monitor certain sensors via broadband. Or they can opt for a more robust monitoring service for a monthly charge that starts at $10/month. Wireless connectivity (through Verizon) adds another $10/month.

Iris from Lowes demonstrates the evolving digital home ecosystem and highlights the growing number of competitive options that hope to capitalize on the growing appeal of the smart home.