Flying the Flag for Home Automation, Control4 Now Listed on Nasdaq: CTRL

  • Posted on: 8 August 2013
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

control4From a hobbyist activity, home automation has gone mainstream creating a market worth billions of dollars. To prove it and to fly the flag for the sector, this month Control4 was list on the Nasdaq stock exchange (CTRL) as a purely home automation solution company.  Today the company is worth $500 million and with its stock trading around the $20 mark, but looking back how did a company selling geeky solutions got this far.

Control4 has been around now for over a decade and has work to bring home automation to a growing market.  Call it good timing or excellent solutions the home automation sector has move from a garage/shed activity to an upmarket solution.

According to its chairman “roughly 45 percent of Control4 customers have household incomes of $100,000 to $250,000. Some 13 percent have household incomes of less than $100,000.” The company as grown steadily in the home control business and today has approximately 2,800 active dealers and 120,000 residential installs and distributors in 70 countries.

Many factors have lead to Control4 successes; one is the ease of integration between consumer electronic (CE) products. Conrol4 said their system interoperate with more than 6,500 third-party consumer electronics devices.  This has made it much easier for different devices to communicate and for us to manage them.

Talking about management, the increase in chip power has allowed for the development of better graphical interface, which enhances the user experience of the controls user use to manage the system. In addition, popularity of smartphones has also help; now you can use your phone to manage and control your entertainment system, AC and heating.

Some of the unsung heroes in the sectors are the different standard bodies that have work tirelessly to galvanise support for standard in device-to-device communication.  The concept “Internet of Things” is also working to expand the sector. The idea that everything will offer some form of connectivity and be smart is an established concept and has the technology to support it.

Socially society is changing; today we want to be more connected to friends, family and our homes from anywhere and at anytime.  This is where Control4 and its competitors are finding opportunity, e.g. remote monitoring.  Energy conscious consumer can employ the technology to help them better manage their energy use and same money at the same time.

Last but not least are the different government initiative such as smart grid and smart meters. Maybe they might seem disjointed at the moment but further down the road we will see how all of will be connected.  Already there are concept devices that work with the utility providers to through the smart grid infrastructure to use less energy. Projects like Microsoft hohm and Google energy management (both now discontinue) are trends and solutions that are feeding the home automation sector.