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May 16, 2014

Microsoft eyes the smart home market

The software giant has agreed to sell connected home devices from Insteon.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Microsoft will soon start selling connected devices from home automation firm Insteon as the software giant puts part of its efforts into the smart home market.

The Insteon apps, to be released on 1 June, will be made available for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 devices on Microsoft’s online retail stores.

A starter kit, home kit and business kit will be available to purchase at $199, while devices such as a leak sensor and LED lightbulb will range from $30 to $80. .

Todd Brix, general manager of Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, said: "Windows PCs, tablets and phones are supported by a rich app ecosystem that offers a variety of quality apps that take advantage of the platform’s unique features and design such as Live Tiles.

"The unique camera and control features in the Insteon app really come to life on both Windows and Windows Phone."

The Insteon app will include complete Live Tile integration capable of offering status updates for multiple devices at once on the start screen of devices running Windows 8.1.

It also allows users to view cameras without an Insteon hub, while a dashboard enables users to control multiple homes or businesses from a single account.

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Joe Dada, CEO of Insteon, said: "The Windows 8.1 platform provided Insteon with an unparalleled opportunity to develop a beautiful and easy-to-use connected home experience. The Live Tile architecture is especially well-suited for home automation.

 

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