Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Sage home-automation and security system uses your TV and smartphone or tablet as control panels

Michael Brown | Jan. 6, 2015
A central hub controls lighting, door locks, cameras thermostats, and other devices; uses picture-in-picture technology to show live TV inside its user interface.

"If you see an intruder," Lett continued, "simply press the 'Call 911' button on the app and it will connect you with the local emergency responder. At the other end of the call, they'll see your local address on their screen, so they'l know where your house is. Because you can verify the event with video, they will send an emergency response. And the system avoids false alarms because you can verify what's happening inside the house."

"We've gone to extreme measures to make the system easy to install and easy to use," said Lett. "We developed a conversational rules engine that asks you questions about what you want to accomplish."

But Echostar doesn't intend to entirely reinvent the wheel. The company also plans to operate a certification program to ensure that third-party products meet its requirements for performance, security, and interoperability.

The Sage hub will have a battery backup and a GSM module, so that it will remain able to send alerts to your smartphone in the event of a power outage or if a burglar cuts the phone or cable-TV line that you use for Internet service. This all sounds like a lot of service and infrastructure for EchoStar to support without an ongoing revenue stream, so I pressed Lett on this point. He reiterated that there would be no monthly service fee--unless the customer signed up for some optional services, such as purchasing cloud storage for additional video for the security cameras. "We're still trying to figure that out," he said.

I'll continue to report on this product as EchoStar does that. It's a very product.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.