Savant is switching strategies in the United States of America, with the company set to offer a smart home remote to consumers through Best Buy.
While Savant’s traditional customers have been those in the custom install market, the Mass.-based manufacturer is realising the growing potential of the DIY market.
The new Savant Remote will cost consumers in the US $499 (£322) for a starter set and App-based Savant Instant guided set-up designed for DIY-ers.
It is not surprising to see a home automation major go after the DIY market – especially considering the competition in the space is beginning to heat up with the likes of Samsung having entered the market in recent months.
“For the first time you can set up a Savant system without an integrator,” says Savant CEO William Lynch during a preview of the new product before CEDIA Expo 2015.
“You can also buy direct through Savant.com, BestBuy.com, Best Buy Magnolia and our 850 dealers.”
Like other DIY smart home solutions, Savant is keen to stress that users won’t be able to get the full power of its custom automation solutions, but they will be able to utilise the same technology found in the company’s pro line.
“We’re providing luxury technology in a more affordable way,” William adds, by combining the convenience of a universal remote with some home automation.
Savant will have competitors in the universal remote sector however.
Established market leader Logitech has recently bolstered its smart home integration, with the company’s Harmony line-up of universal remotes now being able to control automation systems from the likes of Lutron, Honeywell, SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue and more.
Savant’s strategy is to focus on entertainment, with its universal remote offering easy-to-set-up control of devices consumers regularly have in their home – like a Sonos multi-room system, Apple TV or other set-top boxes.
Unlike Logitech’s Harmony range, Savant will be able to offer more information to users through its universal remote – with its user interface displaying information such as the last show or song played.
Savant’s smart remote will also enable multiple household members to have a personalised experience and even use their voice to control their home.
Leaning on its home automation roots, Savant is also keen for users to try out the remote’s ability to create custom scenes, such as ‘movie night’ or ‘good morning’ – which can adjust the settings of multiple devices in one click.
Although the Savant Remote is the centerpiece of the new line, which Savant designed in collaboration with industry designer Robert Brunner and his design studio Ammunition, ‘tons of time and energy’ went into the design of a companion App that consumers can also use as a controller, says director of product management George Katsiris.
The redesigned Savant App includes Savant Instant, an in-app guided set-up for the Savant Remote family of devices: Savant Remote, Savant Host, Blaster and Lamp Controller.
The App is designed to walk users through each step of the set-up process and connect all their devices without needing to know specific model numbers.
It can control 380,000 of the most popular entertainment devices, according to Savant.
“This is by far the easiest universal remote on the market to set up,” notes William in a press release.
Savant isn’t leaving custom installers out in the cold with its universal remote however, as the company’s CEO says that the custom integration community can leverage the Savant Remote to solve an escalating demand.
“The integrators we’ve showed it to are excited about it for single-zone jobs, for instance, with a Sonos sound bar,” William notes, adding that that’s increasingly common type of home installation project and it allows integrators to stay engaged with middle-market consumers.
The Savant Remote and Host entertainment package will cost $499 (£322) in the US; lamp controllers will be available separately for $99 (£63) each; The Blaster Wi-Fi-to-IR adapter costs $69 (£44); and additional remotes cost $399 (£257).
Savant has yet to reveal a UK release date or pricing, but says that US customers can expect to start seeing the device in December.