As Microsoft Found its Perfect Connected Home Partner?

  • Posted on: 13 May 2015
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

Microsoft has big ideas and plans for the connected home but with most ideas you need support and partnerships to make them a reality.  Since last year I have noticed that the relationship between Microsoft and Insteon has grown and Insteon it seems has become a key partner in Microsoft’s connected home strategy, something they have been working on for some time.

The Microsoft Insteon relationship was hinted at last year when Insteon released Insteon for Microsoft Windows platform including apps for the windows phone. The apps went as far has offering exclusive features for the windows platform.  This followed by selling Insteon products and US Microsoft Store stocking Insteon products.

As I have pointed out before Microsoft was in need of a strategic partner for the connected home market, just as they did with smart phone.  Now, through the Insteon partnership Microsoft has access to some of the connected home’s most popular products.

Microsoft’s speech recognition technology ‘Cortana’ has also been integrated in the Insteon Microsoft connected home solution.  With basic voice command such as “Insteon, turn on ‘Movie Time”, “Insteon, adjust ‘Living Room Thermostat’ temperature down” and “Insteon, turn off all of the lights” your home appliances are at your command.

“Using Cortana to control our products is the next logical step as our relationship with Microsoft continues to evolve,” said Joe Dada, CEO, Insteon.  “Our long-term goal is to give users complete autonomy over their homes and smart products. Adding a voice-driven, personal assistant into the mix is just another way that we can make people’s lives easier.”

The Insteon Windows 8.1 Phone app came with features designed specifically for the Windows users these include:

  • Visitor Mode – provides restricted access to children or guests in your home
  • Enhanced Camera Support – view multiple cameras at once, view full-screen, and camera support without the need of an Insteon Hub
  • Multi-House Support – enables you to control multiple homes or businesses from a single account
  • Dashboard View – a quick and organized view of the status of your home.

Already both companies are promoting Windows 10 for the connected home, Insteon said they are developing a universal app for Windows 10, which they said “will allow Insteon to run seamlessly on any Windows 10 device across computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables and more”.

Insteon is opening up its entire product line to the AllSeen Alliance through its AllJoyn-enabled Insteon Hub. The AllJoyn-enabled Insteon Hub will make it easy for developers to integrate their own applications with the Windows 10 SDK and communicate with the entire Insteon product line.

Insteon is also working with Microsoft on their new smart wearable solution, the Microsoft Band, fitness wearable powered by Microsoft Health. Using the Insteon’s RESTful API developers can now create home automation apps that use the Microsoft Band.

In think the partnership has worked well so far and I am looking to see more and better collaboration between both companies.