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Set yourself ABB-free with merged smart home, security, and entertainment system

By Bruce Brown

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Switzerland-based ABBlaunched a new smart home control platform at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego this week. The company promises the somewhatawkwardly named ABB-free@home will integrate major homesystems with an intuitive all-in-one user interface.

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The new smart home automationsolution operates via Wi-Fi to merge controls for climate, lighting, communications, security, and entertainment in an open platform that accommodates established players in their respective fields. For example, the Swiss product claims compatibility with AmazonAlexa, Sonos, and Signify’s Philips Hue.

According to the company, customers can utilize the Alexa voice assistant to talk to the smart home system to manage climate control and homelighting.Users will be able to configure and control their installed Sonos speakers from the platform app on computers, smartphones or tablets or via in-wall keypads and proprietary touchpad.

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The company’s products includeintelligent light switches, window blind switches, door communications products, and thermostats, all of which incorporate mesh network technology to expand network coverage throughout the house.

Fully configured systems can be set up and activated via the platform app running on a tablet or laptop computer, according to the company. Once configured, setting changes are easily made with the app on any supported mobile platform or desktop.

Similar to driver memory settings in a car, customers can configure multiple settings within the platform for various times of day, functions, or even mood. All you need to do is press one button on a switch or in the app to switch settings, which can include lighting scenes, temperature, blinds, and even music. There’s also a preprogrammed “everything off” switch, so all devices on the Wi-Fi network are turned off at the same time.

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“Our goal is to make people’s lives easier, safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable through the application of smart home solutions. This momentous launch in the U.S. represents a significant step forward in achieving that,” said Franklin Sullivan, ABB Electrification Products U.S.lead division manager.

The newcomer to smart home systems historically supplies electrical and mechanical systems to industrial and commercial customers, including control systems and robotics. This step into the consumer market marks an additional market venture, so integrating with existing smart home brand leaders was a given.

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