Windows-Powered App Automates Your Home

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June 12, 2014

Do you turn on the lights in your home by hand? Must you get out of bed in the morning to brew the morning pot of Joe? You won't have to for much longer. Redmond and Insteon recently partnered to offer home automation apps and hardware, powered by Windows.

With Google's new $3.1 billion acquisition of Nest, Windows couldn't stand to be left out of the home automation industry for much longer, and Windows likes to play big. After all, Insteon is the brain behind one of the most popular home automation and control software systems available on the market today, and now it will be powered by Windows.

The new Insteon app was released on June 1 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 users. It gives users all the standard features Insteon has to offer, and more. The app is user friendly and is compatible for PCs, phones, and tablets. Those who are new to Insteon can expect to see Windows-powered hardware in-store, as well.

So what's so cool about the Windows-exclusive app? First, it has a guest feature, which allows the administrator on the account to grant restricted access to guests or children. Windows users can also enjoy watching multiple camera feeds simultaneous, syncing multiple homes or businesses to one account, a streamlined interface featuring home vitals, and increased camera support and technology.

The app is free to use, but the hardware is not. Users can purchase one of three starter kits for their home or business, starting at $199. Users can also choose from one of five stand-alone items, including sensors that detect water leaks and the opening and closing of windows and doors, ranging in price from $29 to $79.

Insteon is one of the most popular home automation and control technologies available, because it relies on dual-band technology, including both existing power lines and radio-frequency communication, making it more reliable than the WiFi-powered competition. Unless the power and RF signals are down, your home automation system will always be connected.

The partnership is brilliant, since it brings together arguably the best home automation technology and Windows' following. Insteon fans can enjoy the easy-to-use Windows 8 interface, and as long as Windows doesn't force the premature download of its newest update, users can enjoy the functionality of one of the most popular OSes around.

Windows is smart to enter the market now, since it's expected to grow more than $16 billion over the next five years. Windows, however, has more tricks up its sleeve. Word on the street is that it also recently bought out a home automation and control start-up (although they probably won't admit it just yet).

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