Today, if you want Savant home automation system, the price of entry is about $4,000. But the maker of Apple-friendly home controls is rolling out a “system” at CEDIA Expo 2013 that starts at $999 for a controller and slick handheld remote.
The key is a new $500 Gateway nicknamed Big Boy Automation—as in, not a wimpy little box that a mass-market home control newcomer such as Comcast sells you. The Linux box, expected to ship in Q1 2014, features the full Savant software and does not require a Mac Mini on the network (although one can be added to enhance the system).
The Gateway is packaged with Savant’s new $499 Wi-Fi universal remote, the SUR-0500.
A kit that includes one Wi-Fi dimmer/keypad one Wi-Fi thermostat and user license (both iOS and Android) will retail for $1,499.
A security-centric package is on the way.
Savant’s Jim Carroll says that television commercials from home automation mass-marketers are driving consumers to specialty dealers.
Those custom electronics pros tell him, “We need to be relevant. … Here, I’ve got something for $1,000.”
The Gateway includes IR, two RS-232 ports and two GPIOs. It “can do everything a full-blown million-dollar Savant system can do,” Carroll says, but a full “luxury license” will be required … and of course a lot more I/Os.
Savant recently launched a line of Wi-Fi dimmers and is adding to the Internet of Things category with $99 Wi-Fi plug-in modules and smart power supplies.
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.