Control4 has had a remarkable last few months. Strike that, a remarkable last few years. Ever since going public five years ago, the company has spent $55 million to acquire other brands (and their technology) bought back significant amounts of stock and has more cash on hand than they did after their IPO (initial public offering). The also hired Charlie Kindel after Mr. Kindel spent so much time with Alexa. So, yeah, they’re in a good place.
As CEDIA Expo 2018 launches this morning, we’ll take a look at a number of announcements Control4 has just made, what they mean, and what tea leaves we can (or can’t) read.
BakPak for All
With the purchase of Pakedge, Control4 put a stake in the ground around the network of the home. It’s been said more than once on ResiWeek that the network is the center. Control4 has incorporated the Pakedge brand into their control platform and is now rolling out their monitoring software, BakPak, into all access points and power controllers. This will give dealers the ability to remotely manage even more gear and provide feedback as well as remotely servicing the products on the clients’ network.
Those in the US may not be familiar with KNX but you need to be. They call themselves “the worldwide standard for home and building control.” With over 7,000 products, they have a case for that. Now, Control4 is part of that group. Launching at CEDIA this week, Control4 now has KNX lighting, HVAC, and shading controls that will integrate with their platform. This helps EMEA dealers right away as KNX has a strong footprint in that area. It will help US dealers in the long run as more US companies develop KNX solutions.
When Then Upgrade
Last year’s CEDIA had Control4 introducing the concept of When/Then to dealers and clients. The idea is that the customer can customize certain aspects of the automation without the need for a programmer. It did not eliminate the need for a programmer though. This year Control4 is expanding on that idea and giving more control including the ability to edit automation of Alexa commands.
Control4 is in a pretty good spot. CEO Martin Plaehn said their focus was on creating “fantastic products” and delivering them responsibly. The company is in a good place financially and technically. They’ll further develop their own products and making those they interact with better. With control, networking, and audio under their roof, one is left wondering when they’ll tackle video. For now, Control4 is focused on making their products, and the ones they interact with, better. At CEDIA 2018 it looks like they’ve done that.