August 03, 2010
| by Julie Jacobson
Over the past couple of years, URC has worked hard to reposition itself as a whole-house control company – not just a maker of remotes.
In a symbolic gesture, the company even changed its name in March from Universal Remote Controls to just plain URC, which is what everyone has always called it anyway.
The name-change sets the stage for CEDA Expo 2010, where we’ll see URC’s most ambitious play in the home automation space.
The company promises a “monumental unveiling” of a new line called Total Control, which pushes URC “beyond controlling the home theater and becomes the whole house control company of choice,” according to a CEDIA teaser.
Of course, we’ve heard that claim from URC before. Likewise from virtually every manufacturer of higher-end remote controls.
So what makes this particular unveiling so monumental?
Today, “We offer whole-house control, but to a large extent it’s with third-party products,” URC marketing director Jon Sienkiewicz tells Electronic House sister publication CE Pro. “Now, we’ll have URC-branded products.”
URC-branded products? As in subsystems?
It wouldn’t be a first. With help from Lutron, URC developed its own line of natively compatible lighting controls in 2008. The company did recently unveil an energy monitoring app for its networked controllers. Could thermostats, multiroom audio, IP cameras and other subsystems be far behind? URC isn’t saying.
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.