Source: Greentech Media
Service providers vie for market control—and turn to open platforms to make it happen.
Katherine Tweed: September 25, 2013
EcoFactor is joining iControl’s device-agnostic OpenHome Partner Program, which will bring cloud-based HVAC control and data analytics to iControl’s suite of services.
The partnership is new, but the relationship is not. EcoFactor and iControl are already teamed up through Comcast’s Xfinity home platform. Comcast’s venture arm is an investor in iControl and uses its platform to run the Xfinity offering, which includes EcoFactor’s service branded as EcoSaver.
“Our vision is to give consumers a 360-degree view of their energy usage, as well as the tools to make smart energy decisions with the touch of a button,” Jim Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of iControl’s Austin Division, said in a statement. “This partnership is making that vision a reality.”
But Comcast could be just the beginning — iControl also counts ADT, Cox, Rogers, Swisscom, and Time Warner Cable amongst its customers. Now that EcoFactor, a software-as-a-service company, is on board, iControl will be adding additional thermostats that can run EcoFactor’s software.
“It enables a marketplace,” Ted Fagenson, chief marketing officer for EcoFactor, said in an interview. Instead of just being told what thermostat comes with your service provider’s offering, Fagenson sees a world where customers could go to a big-box store and choose from many thermostats that are approved to run on their service provider’s platform, if that service provider offers an open platform. (Indeed, if yesterday’s news is any hint, this is the future of home automation that office retail giant Staples sees as well.)