ATLANTA, Feb. 10, 2001 — General Electric Co., Microsoft Corp. and SMART LLC today announced they have agreed to create a company that will offer simplified,
“connected home” solutions for homebuilders and new home buyers. The new company will continue to do business under the SMART name and will be led by SMART LLC President and CEO Herman Cardenas. The company will provide homebuilders with a complete product and services line – essentially a one-stop shop – powered by GE, SMART and Microsoft® technologies, making it simple to install and maintain an Internet-ready, connected home. (See related SMART fact sheet.)
At the 2001 International Builders’ Show, representatives from all three companies demonstrated a prototype connected home that offered a preview of products and concepts SMART will offer soon. In addition, the companies showed how those new products and services would integrate with SMART products available today.
“We will work together with Microsoft, through SMART, to combine products, systems and software into one compelling connected home offering for builders, backed by the best service network in the industry,”
said Lloyd Trotter, president and CEO of GE Industrial Systems, and Larry Johnston, president and CEO of GE Appliances in a joint statement.
“This is about bringing the connected lifestyle into everyone’s home,”
said Craig Mundie, senior vice president of Advanced Strategies at Microsoft.
“Together with GE, through SMART, we are now empowering the home-building community with a simplified, one-stop solution to introduce an array of rich, new connected home scenarios to consumers.”
“The strength of SMART lies in bringing together well-known brands, proven expertise in home-control products and superior technology platforms to create the best solution for the new builder community,”
SMART’s line will focus on providing a
approach for builders looking to technology-enable homes for new home buyers. That approach is intended to eliminate the hassle builders experience when they must correct problems that result from procuring materials from multiple suppliers and to ensure a great experience for consumers. The system will initially consist of SmartGear lighting-control products and structured wiring systems. A home server powered by Microsoft technologies, connected home applications, Web-enabled devices, , Internet access and installation services will be added through the end of 2002.
SMART products will be available to homebuilders through SMART’s authorized dealers and GE’s network of electrical products distributors. Information about SMART products will be available through http://www.ge-smart.com/ . Because access to reliable service is critical to the success of connected homes, GE has agreed, in principle, to offer comprehensive warranty, service and support through its nationwide network of service providers.
) is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with a commitment to achieving customer success and worldwide leadership in each of its businesses. More information can be found on the company’s Web site at http://www.ge.com/ .
SMART LLC is based in Las Cruces, N.M., and is a leader in the home automation industry. SMART specializes in developing, designing and manufacturing innovative integrated control products and technologies. Its GE SMART-branded products include a full line of professional and
(DIY)-grade lighting control products. All SMART products offer bidirectional communication using CEBus protocols and are designed to emphasize affordability, ease of use and installation, and easy integration with existing products and systems. More information is available by phone at (505) 521-6000 or on the Web at http://www.ge-smart.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
SMART Products and Services
SMART LLC will offer an integrated line of products and services that range from a line of structured wiring products to a fully integrated connected home system. Products available now include the Digital DataCenter system and SmartGear lighting control products offered under the GE SMART brand.
The Digital DataCenter makes it possible to integrate and manage all the communications systems in a home: telephone, cable, satellite TV, audio and security for up to 16 rooms. By converging all those systems’ wires into one central hub and connecting them to a broadband Internet connection, the entire home becomes a high-speed network.
SmartGear lighting control products instantly convert a home’s electrical wiring into a full-featured network. A light switch can now change a home’s temperature, a TV remote control can now turn down its lights, and a garage door opener can disarm its security system. SmartGear lighting control products require no special wiring to install and no special skills to program. More information can be obtained by visiting SMART at http://www.ge-smart.com/ or calling (505) 521-6000.
Throughout 2001 and 2002, SMART will expand its offerings to include a home server, Internet access, Web-enabled devices, connected home applications and services powered by Microsoft® software, services and technologies.
The entire end-to-end solution will utilize industry-standard technologies such as Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Simple Control Protocol (SCP). UPnP is the common denominator software architecture based on open industry standards and protocols that enables a wide variety of devices, PCs, appliances and home automation systems to automatically connect to each other and the Internet across the home, office and everywhere in between.
SCP, which Microsoft, GE and other vendors introduced in 2000, is a lightweight, royalty-free networking technology for devices such as smart appliances and home-control products. SCP is complementary to UPnP and seamlessly extends capabilities and usage scenarios for UPnP networks to networks and devices not capable of supporting a TCP/IP stack. The combination of SCP and UPnP will enable consumers to control the entire home with one network, including virtually all device types. Additional information on UPnP, SCP or Microsoft’s work in the connected home space, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/topics/homenet/default.asp .
SMART products will be available to homebuilders through SMART’s authorized dealers and GE’s network of electrical products distributors. Information about SMART products will be available through http://www.ge-smart.com/ . Because access to reliable service is critical to the success of connected homes, GE has agreed, in principle, to offer comprehensive warranty, service, and support through its nationwide network of service providers.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.