Honeywell and Microsoft make home auto cheap

Thursday, December 1, 2005

SYOSSET, N.Y.--Security systems installers who work in the homebuilders market can increase their sales and offerings as a result of a collaboration between Honeywell and Microsoft that seeks to make "home automation affordable for the masses."
"These products will allow security dealers to grow their business in adjacent [home automation] markets," said Tim Trautman, senior product manager for Honeywell.
"As security dealers are selling and installing their products, they'll have the opportunity to offer this family of products to their customers," he said.
Honeywell announced this fall, that its Honeywell Automation Server and Honeywell Internet Connection Module will integrate with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. Working together, these products will give the same high level of home automation control for modest- and mid-level homes as it does to high-end homes, Trautman said.
"Dealers can sell a world-class security system and also have the opportunity to sell home automation services as well," Trautman explained.
In addition, Honeywell plans to offer dealers opportunities to increase recurring monthly revenue by selling monitoring and service contracts for the home automation services.
Microsoft Media Center provides integrated digital entertainment, but it is also capable of scaling to power home control solutions.
The Honeywell Automation Server is used for mid- to high-end residential customers and small retail establishments and other low-end commercial entities. For entry- to mid-level residential customers, Honeywell substitutes the APEX control panel for the Honeywell Automation Server.
Many homeowners are already familiar with Microsoft Media Center because they use it at work or on their home computers, Trautman said.
Integrating the security and home automation services will enable homeowners to have systems that will turn off a furnace blower, and light an exit pathway when a fire detection system goes off for example.
The Microsoft application offers a "simple and intuitive interface to some fairly complex devices," Trautman said.