Does the connected home market need yet another smart home hub and ecosystem? The team at Universal Electronics thinks so, and to prove the point has launched a collection of new home automation and security kits powered by the Nevo Butler, a smart home hub with an integrated digital assistant. Whereas many existing hubs are aimed at DIY consumers, the offerings from Universal Electronics are designed for installation by integrators into various use case channels and focus on expanding interoperability between devices.
Smarter Living Kits a Starting Point
Dubbed Smarter Living Kits, the components are packaged into ready-to-install sets including the Nevo Butler hub and various accessories. These include safety sensors, security sensors, smart thermostats, temperature sensors, and a range of other IoT products validated through the Works with QuickSet certification program. Similar to the Works with Nest program spearheaded by Alphabet’s Nest Labs, Works with Quickset expands upon the “works with” program genre by integrating devices from both entertainment and smart home device manufacturers.
“Our Smarter Living kits are a great way for our customers to accelerate introduction or expansion of Smart Home services and for consumers to experience the power and convenience of the smart home,” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP of Product and Technology for Universal Electronics.
“By offering add-on experiences for safety, security and energy management on top of the most reliable and accurate entertainment control experience,” continued Hatambeiki. “We can give consumers a reason to opt-in to the home automation trend, and our customers the confidence to scale their subscribers’ smart home experiences on a solid foundation.”
All Kits Include Nevo Butler
All of the Smarter Living Kits are built around the Nevo Butler hub. Among the various kits demonstrated at CES 2019 in Las Vegas were: Care Kit (a self-monitored safety and security package); Eco Kit (including a smart thermostat and occupancy sensors); Ease Kit (a lifestyle-centric kit with smart lighting capabilities); and Hospitality Kit (clearly aimed at mass deployment in the hotel industry with its energy management, entertainment control, and in-room service integration capabilities).
Works with Quickset Certifications
Among the sensors already integrated through the Works with Quickset program are those from Ecolink and RCS, and it appears many of them are built around the popular and secure ZigBee protocol. Among the integrations are products from AT&T DirectTV, Bose, Denon, Dish Network, LG, Philips Hue, Samsung, Sony, and others. The company also offers the QuickSet Cloud for further integration of products and accessories.
Just prior to CES 2019, Universal Electronics also announced they are working closely with Microsoft to integrate virtual assistant solutions that work with the Microsoft AI and Azure IoT services.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.