Tom Kraeutler: This is the Money Pit’s Top Products podcast. I’m Tom Kraeutler at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. There’s a lot of players here in the smart home space, and one of the leaders is Honeywell. They have a brand called “Lyric” that covers just about every smart home application one could want. With me to talk about that is Tony Uttley. He runs the business for Honeywell.
So Tony, what’s the edge that Honeywell offers this business. There’s literally hundreds of companies now that are offering similar smart home products. You guys have been in the business for many many years. You’ve got a great brand. When you look at this business, how do you approach that?
Tony Uttley: I think that’s really domain expertise. When you think about being safe in your home, when you think about being secure in your home, energy efficiency … That peace of mind, it comes from somewhere … Comes from something. It usually comes on relying on somebody who knows what they’re doing, who makes sure that these products work, because what they’re protecting is extraordinarily important. It’s your family. It’s your house. It’s the things that matter most to you. Our ability to go do that, and do it in frankly a way that’s [inaudible 00:01:15] and really enjoyful by consumers. It’s fun. It allows us to do things like our Lyric Smart Thermostat, which now in our 2nd generation version of it, connects with Apple’s home kit. It allows us to have our Lyric security system, which secures homes in a way that allows you to talk to it and control multiple things around your house, whether it’s who just came home … Did Tommy just come home safe from school? Did somebody open the gate to the pool? What’s going on back there? … Things that are going to matter because they really drive safety and security.
Tom Kraeutler: You mentioned the Apple home kit. I’m going to be able to talk to Siri and ask Siri to turn my heat up or down?
Tony Uttley: Absolutely you are. One of the benefits of being a part of that Apple home kit ecosystem is that you do get to use Siri. Plus you get to use the Honeywell Lyric app, and we partner with other ecosystems out there … Samsung Smart Things or Lutron. We want consumers to be able to really make that choice. What app do they want controlling their house? Let Honeywell makes sure that the product itself does what it needs to do.
Tom Kraeutler: Everything has to play together well in the same backyard. You have security products. You have lighting products. You have leak detection products. There’s so many choices. Is it your job to make sure that not only they play together, but the choices are out there for consumers to make?
Tony Uttley: Absolutely. We want people to start to solve whatever problem they have originally. You don’t have to buy a hub. You don’t have to buy a system. You solve that problem. Am I worried about leaks? Buy the leak and freeze detector. If I want sometime later on to change my thermostat to have an internet connectible thermostat that I control via an app, then you can add that. That can be part of the Lyric family. If you want them to have a different system that’s part of Apple’s home kit, we’ve designed these things to be able to work together. People can still make that choice. Honeywell’s done the hard work to make sure these things are going to work together.
Tom Kraeutler: We’re talking to Tony Utley. He runs the smart home business for Honeywell. Their brand is called “Lyric”. What’s the next big thing you guys are working on?
Tony Uttley: I think what you’re going to see from us is how do you take energy efficiency, so things that you’re going to see in terms of thermostats and broaden it out … How do you combine that with what we’re doing with leak detection, with security, and have them all work together in the same platform? That’s what we’re doing to expand our Lyric ecosystem. Think about those problems you may have about who just came to the door, or do you live by a schedule? What we’ve found is that people really don’t live by a schedule anymore. So we’ve built geo fencing, which is you set a radius around your house … You set a circle around your house, and when the last person in your family leaves, that’s when it starts to do the magic. It might set your thermostat down. It makes sure that your garage door is closed. It makes sure that your lights are off. Then when that first person comes back, it starts the reverse process. It says, “I’m going to make you comfortable in your home. I’m going to turn the lights back on.”
Tom Kraeutler: That makes a lot of sense because, as you say, we’re not living by the same schedule. It used to be that the average American had the, so to speak, 9 to 5 job, so they were always up about the same time and home about the same time every day. So many of us here in Las Vegas had to get up very early to jump on planes to come out to this trade show … One small example of a change to a schedule. It would be nice if the thermostat knew that by the time we got 3 miles away from the house, it was time to turn it back down and let everyone else sleep.
Tony Uttley: That’s exactly right. That’s why we built the geo fencing directly into our Lyric ecosystem.
Tom Kraeutler: Tony Utley from Honeywell. Thank you so much for being a part of the Money Pit’s Top Products podcast.
Tony Uttley: Thank you very much.