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Connected Home Manufacturers Go for the Pros

Connected Home Manufacturers Go for the Pros

After a star turn at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, the connected home continues its momentum with new manufacturers tying their once analog, manual products into automated, digital solutions.

Many of the developments show that builders are taking the connected home from a “ground up” approach, including it in their plans.

Home Depot announced this month that it is placing a new focus on its professional community, and last week, LG announced that it is following suit.

In conjunction with the International Builders Show convening this week in Las Vegas, LG launched LG Pro Builder, a new U.S. division made up of dedicated sales and service teams with extensive builder-specific experience, according to a press release. The division is aimed at bringing the company’s portfolio of connected home appliances to building and design professionals nationwide.

The move is expected to include an extension of the ThinQ Smart Home platform that LG designed to connect appliances to the consumer lifestyle. LG called the ThinQ UP 2.0 lineup the “servitization” of home appliances and said it gives consumers a range of services that include subscriptions and smart home services as well as laundry services and automated services for re-ordering household goods.

For example, customers who buy a ThinQ UP 2.0 washing machine are asked to participate in a three-step “Life Pattern Analysis” survey, conducted through the LG ThinQ app. LG analyzes the survey results and applies optimized washing cycles matched to the consumer’s preferences, with the flexibility to adjust them and then save their personal settings on the app.

Marvin Introduces Connected Home Innovations

The International Builders Show also saw innovations in the connected home from window and door manufacturer Marvin, which launched “Marvin Connected Home” Monday (Feb. 26).

With Marvin Connected Home, builders can install voice-activated and programmable smart skylights, windows and doors. Through simple smart speakers or more sophisticated home automation systems like Crestron Home or Control4, consumers can operate the company’s products without touching them.

The system gives consumers the ability to create customized schedules and scenes in a smart home platform or home automation system for different times of the day as well as the ability to program windows and skylights to responsively react to outdoor conditions such as temperature and humidity.

The Marvin Connected Home “is designed to transform the way architects and builders approach home design, providing … increased productivity and a personalized in-home experience for homeowners,” according to a press release.

Marvin CEO Paul Marvin added in the release: “By blending exacting design with cutting-edge technology, Marvin Connected Home is a first-of-its-kind solution setting a new standard for the industry and reaffirming Marvin’s long-lasting commitment to innovation.”

Companies Show Off Connected Tech

Several firms highlighted the connected home at CES, including companies like Kia, which tied the EV lifestyle into an entire automated experience.

Samsung also made it the centerpiece of its CES effort, introducing the SmartThings TV Quick Panel, which allows users to manage devices, view cameras, and even ring their phone to locate it within their home. Consumers can use the TV interface to oversee their entire smart home without diverting attention from their viewing. For example, as consumers approach their television, it intuitively turns on, presenting not only the desired programming but information about connected devices and appliances.

“From your television, you can view your home’s camera feed, temperature and remaining time in your laundry cycle, all at a single glance,” the company said in a press release.

PYMNTS Intelligence data showed that compared to February 2022, 21 million more consumers participated in activities involving some type of smart home device in February 2023, whether they used voice assistants like Google Home, smart thermostats like Ecobee, or security systems like Ring. The average participation in these activities stood at 40%, an increase of 31% year over year.

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