Live from ISE | No Plans to Abandon the Luxury Market for Savant

2/6/2014 8:24:00 AM
Savant made major news just a week in advance of ISE with the surprise appointment of a new CEO, former Barnes & Noble CEO William J. Lynch, in an apparent effort to help appeal to a more mass market, along with a new home automation system set to launch in the spring.
 
While I was hoping to meet Lynch here in Amsterdam, I was told that he ended up with important meetings stateside. I was interested in finding out what this “mass market” move would look like for a control system that has primarily targeted the top of the luxury market.
 
Tim McInerny, director of product marketing, explicitly stated, “We are not moving away from the luxury market.” Savant feels that with the advent of the "internet of things," there are really significant business opportunities for more everyday consumers. He even said that while Savant has no immediate plans to target the DIY consumers, it is a definite possibility in the future.
 
For now, Savant is approaching a broader consumer base by bringing down its control system price points, aided by its Linux-based controllers. The new automation system is currently dubbed Savant Smart Host, although this is just a working title. The company's booth at ISE highlighted both commercial and residential tools, including door locks, thermostats, and various wired and wireless solutions.
 
With its True Image visual control tool, Savant dealers or homeowners can take a picture of a room to upload to their control interfaces where they can adjust lighting or other features by tapping the image on a display. User tools are available, so homeowners can make simple adjustments themselves, though the programming is still maintained by the dealer.
 
McInerny also told me about a new Android residential interface he expects to be available in Q3 of this year, which he described as a “2015 interface,” in a nod to the rapid changes in technology and the need to design home tech that won’t be quickly outdated.

Comments

Photo GalleriesMore Galleries >
Leon HQ Tour 2017

Residential Systems' Jeremy Glowacki and Leon Speaker's Noah Kaplan at the end of the tour

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Inside Leon's anechoic chamber

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's hands-on manufacturing process

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's hand-wound crossover

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Unique sculpture is on display throughout Leon. Much of it was created by Leon CEO Noah Kaplan.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon sources its drivers from Israel.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

A warning before entering Leon's engineering department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Inside Leon's engineering department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's engineers at work

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's demo room

Leon HQ Tour 2017

A wide shot of Leon's final assembly

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Here's another stage of assembly

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's picturesque headquarters hallway

Leon HQ Tour 2017

More original artwork from Noah Kaplan

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Noah Kaplan demonstrates a miter saw

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's Timbre SEVEN bookshelf speakers

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon invested in a machine to shred old boxes into new packing materials

Leon HQ Tour 2017

As part of its Lean Manufacturing, Leon delivers speaker kits to its assemblers in these custom-built cases.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Wrapping speaker grille cloth

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Putting finishing touch on grille cloth

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Adding the drivers

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Testing a speaker for proper polarity

Leon HQ Tour 2017

The Glowacki family taking a breather in the marketing department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Noah Kaplan next to a prototype concept in the hallways of his company's headquarters

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Outside Leon's Ann Arbor headquarters