Control4 recently hosted its annual ‘Control4 Australia CEO Roadshow’ with chief executive Martin Plaehn to update Control4 dealers on the state of the industry and new and exciting things coming from the company.
“The roadshow allows us to engage with our dealers and answer questions about future products and competitive situations to help them be more effective. It’s also a way for us to measure how effective we are in the local marketplace and for me keep in touch with what’s happening in these markets,” says Martin.
“We’re 100% focused on the connected home and we’re continuing to invest in building and strengthening that channel.
“We believe targeting production home-builders is a good way to do this. Production houses are starting to be built as smart or smart-ready and we want to become involved in that.”
As part of this strategy, Control4 released its CA-1 Automation Controller at ISE 2018.
The CA-1 has been tailored specifically for smart home projects that require lighting, heating and cooling, comfort and/or security. The CA-1 leverages the existing Control4 ecosystem and, as with the EA Series, it includes Ethernet, WiFi and Zigbee. However, it also incorporates Z-Wave more integrally via a slide-in module. This module can be purchased separately and enables the CA-1 to be compatible with selected Z-Wave control devices, including door, window, water, floor and temperature sensors, electrical outlets and dimmer outlet modules.
“The CA-1 takes our existing platform and expands it into new markets,” says Control4 director for Southern Asia Adam Merlino.
“Where our traditional EA line focuses on entertainment and automation, CA-1 has been developed specifically for control and automation. It’s been designed to go into production homes so our dealers can offer smart home experiences to a broader market of home builders, MDU developers and hotel operators.”
Martin says Control4 is also investing in network and device management, evidenced by the acquisition of Ihiji earlier this year. Ihiji is a provider of remote management services for technical integrators servicing connected home customers.
“Investing in networking and device management helps our dealers be more efficient because everything they do depends on the network,” says Martin.
“We’re going to be merging our BakPak initiative with Invision from Ihiji to create one unified platform and service offering. This will give our dealers the capability to efficiently and securely monitor end-customer systems.”
Control4 is already developing this cloud-based platform and Martin says it will be available in phases to Control4 and Ihiji dealers later in the year.
The other main announcement at ISE 2018 that Martin will be discussing with dealers at the Roadshow is the major firmware release on Control4’s wireless system. A new layer of firmware has been introduced that takes deployment time down by approximately 80-90%, from 50-60 clicks down to just two to set up a wireless network.
“A big priority for us is raising the competency and efficiency levels of our channel,” says Martin.
“The connected home is a very large, broad scoped industry so we’re always looking at how we can expand and improve what we already do.”