All the big players are getting into the smart home/connected device market. First, Google acquired Nest, then came word last week that SmartThings was bought by Samsung. While Apple is staying away from connected device hardware, iOS 8 will bring a home automation framework to iPhone and iPad through HomeKit. Today, big box retailer Best Buy announced that it is bringing Icontrol Networks' smart home platform directly to consumers through a home automation service called PĒQ.
Icontrol Networks' products have primarily been available in the past through security and telecom providers such as ADT Pulse and TWC Intelligent Home, although the company's Piper security cam/automation hub has been directly available to consumers since earlier this year. You'll be able to get a variety of home automation products at Best Buy through the PĒQ brand, everything from a connected thermostat à la Nest to light switches, cameras, water sensors, window and door sensors, and more.
Devices that use the Zigbee RF protocol should work with the PĒQ home automation hub. A PĒQ representative noted that they're using a single protocol to avoid latency and interference problems that happen with "universal" hubs supporting multiple protocols.
Like many of the other home automation/security providers, PĒQ will offer a service for storing security video, setting up rules and text alerts, and update equipment firmware. The service is reasonably priced at US$9.99 per month, with no subscription required.
While you can take a look at the PĒQ ecosystem and purchase products right now at the website, you'll have to wait until August 31 to buy the products on the BestBuy.com website or at selected store locations.