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a “2015 interface,” in a nod to the rapid changes in technology and the need to design home tech that won’t be quickly outdated.