OliverIQ Debuts at CES 2024 with Smart Home as a Service Subscription Model
The new SHaaS solution from newcomer OliverIQ launched by Control4 co-founders Will West and Eric Smith provides 24/7 support access, embedded software, hub device, and a robust app.
LAS VEGAS—The creators of the smart home control and automation company are hoping to work their magic again, announcing the official debut of their latest endeavor, OliverIQ, at CES 2024.
Developed by Control4 co-founders Will West and Eric Smith, OliverIQ is a Smart Home as a Service (SHaaS) platform featuring a subscription model with unlimited support and a user-friendly app for control and automation of popular smart home devices.
Partnering with national and global service providers, OliverIQ aims to scale their SHaaS platform rapidly, providing product support, unlimited online and phone support, in-home assistance, and security system monitoring, the company explains.
OliverIQ Platform Is Agnostic with Devices & Communications Protocols
The SHaaS software can be embedded in common household devices such as routers, set top boxes, or the OliverIQ hub. It’s supported by an easy-to-use application with access to around-the-clock technical support. The company is partnering with ISPs, security providers, builders, and major home retailers to sell and service subscriptions.
“When we started Control4, our intent and thought was we wanted to bring smart home automation and benefits to the broader market; certainly not everyone, but the broader market than what was achievable at the time. In many ways, what we want to do now is complete that vision, to make it accessible, and the world has really changed enough that we think it is possible,” West, OliverIQ’s CEO, stated in a pre-CES call.
“Think about the differences in the market when we started Control4 and now – it’s an unrecognizable landscape. There were virtually none of what’s available today,” West added, noting devices such as the Nest thermostat, Ring video doorbell and the millions of smart speakers installed in people’s homes.
“So why isn’t that good enough? And the answer is, it’s not good enough because when you put all these devices in your home … most people have eight apps, 10 apps for controlling various things. It’s separate control, it’s not automation. Automation is when you things together to create a better lifestyle using the devices in your home working together.”
West notes that making a cohesive system out of myriad IoT devices can get complicated. The OliverIQ solution communicates with the connected devices in the home through a multiprotocol platform – owners can use any devices, from any manufacturer or protocols including RF technology, Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Wi-Fi, Matter, Thread, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.
“It’s not just the fact that you’ve got all [these protocols and devices] going on in your home, it’s that every one of these manufacturers is doing updates whenever they want,” West adds. “Samsung is not checking with Google before updating the drivers to their televisions. Nobody coordinates with anybody else, and the reality is when you put a bunch of devices in your home, stuff happens.”
The SHaaS model addresses these complexities and maintenance challenges typically associated with smart home setups, according to the company. Customers don’t to navigate the daunting process of integrating multiple devices or managing ongoing maintenance. OliverIQ handles everything from initial setup, automation, software updates, to troubleshooting – all managed via their app.
According to the company, its app can communicate with over 90% of the most popular off-the-shelf smart devices in the market.
Simple-to-Access Support Makes SHaaS Attractive
OliverIQ’s SHaaS solution – a business model paid through the service provider – offers the technical service and support homeowners need to build, program, and maintain a truly smart home. Support is ongoing, not a one-and-done install, so functionalities don’t degrade and they always have the latest updates.
“We’re breaking down the barriers in the smart home,” says Smith, CTO of OliverIQ. “Our platform is designed to bring the convenience and lifestyle of a fully automated home to a broader audience at an affordable price point, with at-your-service technical support.”
Homeowners get unlimited technical support calls, as well as access to the company’s Knowledge Center. Tech support teams can offer guidance remotely via a phone or computer screen, and perform remote device takeovers to troubleshoot issues for the customer.
If a problem can’t be solved through remote support, the service provider can deliver in-person service, with the cost of the initial visit applied toward any required repairs.
The new company will also offer a sub-$100 standalone multiprotocol hub that can be added into home systems where another hardware device for embedding OliverIQ is not present.
Through their service provider partners, OliverIQ is building the scale to support homes nationwide, with pricing based on the services requested, the different markets service providers work in, and other variables.
“The reason we started the company is that right now there’s only three ways to get home automation – you can do Crestron, Control4, Savant, great stuff; integrators do a great job and give you a great system. You can get a Comcast or ADT or Vivint smart security with a smart doorbell and they call it a smart home. And the third choice is you’re on your own, do it yourselves,” Smith says.
“We all have plumbing, we all have HVAC and electrical in our homes and we don’t pay people $200,000 to install that for us. There are contractors willing to do that for reasonable prices for the broader market, and we felt like average consumers need help doing this. So we thought let’s build a platform where consumers don’t need to do it themselves, but they also don’t need to do it at a $100,000 level.”
OliverIQ is currently in beta with select partners in the U.S. and will be in market by Q2 2024.
This article originally appeared on Security Sales’ sister publication’s website, CE Pro
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