Tom Kraeutler : Welcome to this addition of The Money Pit’s Top Products Podcast. I’m Tom Kraeutler broadcasting today from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. At this show home automation is absolutely huge, and one of the leaders in that space has been Nexia home. They’re here with a new brand, which they simply call Life. With me to talk about that is Lindsay Kirchhausen from Nexia. Welcome, Lindsay.
Tom Kraeutler : I’m well. Let’s talk about this overall branding just so we can position where Nexia is. Now first of all, Nexia is not new to home automation, right?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Hi, how are you?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Correct. Nexia has been around actually a little over six years, which is kind of ancient in this kind of space as the home automation and internet of things is finally front and center here at the show this year.
Tom Kraeutler : What you guys have done is really taking this to all stages of life, and that’s why you call it Life. Let’s talk about some specific examples of the things that Nexia can do for us in our home. Maybe start with this idea that you guys call Geofencing. I think that’s very cool.
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Sure, first to step back. Nexia life is kind of the theme of our booth this year. For that reason, as we talk to more and more consumer about home automation and just getting into it, most people don’t have thousands or hundreds of products in their home. They just find that that one use case of what’s really important to them and then they can customize it based on how your life changes. That’s what we’re showcasing is all the different life stages that people go through and how Nexia can ease in different ways. Geofencing is one of the things we’re launching this year. It’s going to be out probably at the end of the Q1. Geofencing is location-based so it uses the GPS in your phone. For example, you can set a Geofence of you’d put in your address. Most common use case is going to be your home. When you leave or enter your home you can set different triggers for your smart products to take actions.
Tom Kraeutler : For example, as I’m rounding the corner maybe I’m a half mile from home, I could have my lights come on, my heating system come on, my music come on?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Your garage door open, same thing. Then it’s great, also you can have multiple accounts or phones on that so something if you want to set up your wife or your kids. Different things can happen when different people enter or leave your house.
Tom Kraeutler : What happens when the whole family comes home together?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Then that will be another setting. Everyone comes together, right, you’ll have the whole family trigger go on.
Tom Kraeutler : That’s very cool. Then another product that works on the Nexia platform is the new Nexia Trane thermostat. Now that adds a lot of convenience and energy efficiency to your home.
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Trane has a number of connected thermostats that we have integrated into Nexia. The one that is probably the coolest thermostat of them all is the Trane XL824, which we have here. The reason why it’s the coolest of all, it has the Z-Wave bridge built inside of it. It’s kind of your home automation base inside your home. There’s also a lot of fun features of the thermostat: color, touchscreen panel.
Tom Kraeutler : Now this isn’t just about gadgets. you also have an integration with Andersen Windows. How does that work?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Yup, Andersen Windows as well as Pella Windows. Both companies have integrated their own software into there. Andersen Windows actually has a patent on their locking and unlocking system. It will talk to Nexia and you can from your Nexia screen, besides all the other gadgets in your home, see when your windows are open/closed, locked and unlocked.
Tom Kraeutler : Will it close the window for me if I left it open in a rainstorm?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Maybe some day.
Tom Kraeutler : Let’s talk about some of the safety capabilities of the Nexia platform. You have an integration with First Alert. How does that work?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Yup, just earlier this year we developed the support of First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide detection, which is so important for safety of your home. It’s a Z-Wave device, very simple, do-it-yourself. Just install it like any other smoke detector. You hit a button to enroll it into your Nexia account and there it is on your mobile app, or again, on your web app through Nexia.
Tom Kraeutler : We’re talking Lindsay Kirchhausen with Nexia home. What’s next for Nexia?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : We talked about the Geofence. Another really exciting thing we’re going to be testing early this year is voice control. I think a lot of people … we [right 04:15] that there’s such a value for being away for your home. Also being in your home, being able to speak to your phone and just have things do it without any touches. It’s great for I think elderly if it’s harder to see their phone. Any special needs is also great. Then also, when you’re away from the home and in the car, it’s great hands-free. All you do is speak into your phone and activate those devices within your home before you’re there.
Tom Kraeutler : Now with a system like this you can start small and build for that. What’s the cost [eventually 04:42] to start with the Nexia platform?
Lindsay Kirchhausen : I think that’s the biggest value of what Nexia brings is that low barrier to entry, or no barrier. The only thing that you need to start with Nexia is the Bridge, the Nexia Bridge. It’s the only piece of hardware that we require. That Bridge plugs directly into your modem. Or as I spoke about the Trane XL824 thermostat, the Bridge is already inside of it so you can have that instead. That’s all you need, and then it’s up to you as a consumer, as a do-it-yourselfer, to purchase whatever products you need in your lifestyle. If you want to start out small and just get a camera and a lighting module, or you can do some in-wall switches you can start right there, or you can go up to over 200 products in your home all at one time.
Tom Kraeutler : Easy to get going. Lots of safety, lots of convenience. Home automation by Nexia Home. Lindsay Kirchhausen, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit Podcast.
Lindsay Kirchhausen : Thanks to you, too.