Honeywell grabs up FutureSmart Systems

Monday, December 1, 2003

DRAPER, Utah - Only a few months after FutureSmart Systems joined up with systems integrator LifeStyle Innovations to bring complete home networking solutions to market, the home controls manufacturer has been sold to Honeywell International.

The new deal provides FutureSmart with the financial resources that were lacking under LifeStyle Innovations and the ability to integrate its home control panel with security products from Honeywell, such as Ademco. The purchase price for the October transaction was not released.

“The idea of combining FutureSmart and LifeStyle was a great idea,” said Jacqie Soechtig, president and chief executive officer of FutureSmart, a company whose products serve as the backbone for home technology systems. “The problem was that LifeStyle didn’t have the funding to make the integration.”

Officials at LifeStyle Innovations decided in May of this year, only two months after it bought FutureSmart, to sell the company. LifeStyle attempted to raise $1.5 million in a public offering, with the financing earmarked to fund the integration of FutureSmart, but that round of funding did not succeed.

While the sale of FutureSmart marks a missed opportunity for LifeStyle, for Honeywell the deal opens the door to the possibilities in the home controls market. FutureSmart comes to the table with an already created home controls products and an established customer base in both the home builder and security dealer market.

“We’ve offered lighting and appliance control as part of our security systems, but FutureSmart will take our capabilities in home control to a whole new level,” said Ron Rothman, business leader of Honeywell Security Products. “This will essentially allow us to create a powerful, centralized nerve center for the home.”

For example, if a homeowner sets his security system at night, but forgot to close a garage door, an integrated home control system won’t just tell the homeowner the door is open, but will close it for you, said Soechtig.

Rothman said consumers are demanding home control capabilities and want more than just security.

According to Soechtig, the home networking market is relatively untapped. Two years ago, only 15 percent of new homes included structured wiring, she said, but this year that number is expected to grow to 38 out of every 100 new homes.

As a result, FutureSmart expects its revenues to grow accordingly. The company reported $5 million in revenue for 2002, with expectations to reach $7 million in 2003.