Whirlpool, Bell Canada, Cisco, HP, Microsoft, P&G and Others Announce Collaboration to Advance the Connected Home Space

Top Companies Join Forces to Uncover the State of the Connected Home Market

and Identify Business Opportunities for the Future

Apr 22, 2008, 01:00 ET from CABA

    AUSTIN, Texas, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Underscoring the importance of
 collaboration in the smart home space, 10 top companies -- Whirlpool
 Corporation, Bell Canada, Cisco, Direct Energy, HP, Legrand, Leviton,
 Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Zensys as well as the Z-Wave Alliance --
 announced today that they are teaming up to conduct an in-depth study about
 the state and future of the smart home. The smart home is defined as a home
 where the systems (security, lighting, sensors, heating, air-conditioning,
 audio-video, etc.) are interconnected to allow the automatic or remote
 control of the home to save energy and improve comfort, safety and
 convenience for the homeowner.
     The 2008 State of the Connected Home Market Study is being conducted
 under the auspices of the Internet Home Alliance Research Council, which is
 part of CABA, a not-for-profit industry association that promotes advanced
 technologies for the automation of homes and buildings in North America.
     The results of the study, which will conclude on May 30, 2008, are
 expected to be released to the public in January 2009. The study is being
 conducted by Zanthus, a market research-based consulting firm that serves
 high-tech companies.
     "Cross-industry collaboration is key to the adoption of smart home
 products and services," said Henry O. Marcy, vice president, Global
 Technology, Whirlpool Corporation, the study's lead participant. "Our
 research reveals that consumers want comprehensive connected home
 solutions. They don't want to have to cobble together smart home products
 and services themselves."
     Bob Becker, Vice President and General Manager for Leviton's
 Residential Business concurs. "As the market for home automation grows, it
 is imperative that product suppliers understand their customers' needs as
 well as what other major industry players are doing to support the overall
 growth of the market. This intelligence will allow us to innovate in ways
 that provide value to end-users and help grow our respective businesses."
     "That kind of intelligence is why companies from across the value chain
 have joined forces in this study," says Ron Zimmer, president and CEO of
 CABA. "These companies could certainly conduct this type of research
 independently, but they recognize that collaboration and conversation are
 particularly important in this space."
     "As Canada's leading provider of communications products and services,
 Bell is constantly striving to improve and simplify our customers' busy
 lives," said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Residential Services. "This study
 will help us further understand our customers' needs in an effort to
 deliver our promise of the Bell Better Home."
     In addition to validating past and current trends in the marketplace
 and evaluating general consumer understanding of the connected home, the
 study will assess potential products and services and provide trend lines
 in specific application areas, including music, video, gaming, lighting,
 temperature control, security, communications/scheduling, health/fitness
 and productivity.
     According to Brian Burch, marketing director for HP's managed home
 business, "Consumers are just beginning to understand the value of
 connected entertainment systems and get excited about viewing digital
 content from their PCs on the biggest screen in the house, their HDTV. But,
 we still see a big, untapped opportunity out there and we want to see where
 those opportunities are."
     Orly Cocco, Future Home Innovation Manager, Procter & Gamble agrees.
 "We know that consumers today are constantly seeking ways to simply their
 lives and we are very enthusiastic about the role the home and products in
 the home can play in making people's lives easier and more fulfilling."
     To get those answers, the group will be conducting a series of Web
 surveys among both primary market consumers, defined as consumers who adopt
 technology as products first come on the market, and mass market consumers
 who wait for prices to fall or to assess a product's popularity before
 making new technology purchases. The study will also gauge the size of the
 'chasm' between the two consumer groups in terms of technology adoption.
     Consumers will be asked about the connected home solutions they own
 currently, their immediate and long-term home technology wants and needs,
 their home technology product and service purchasing habits and intentions,
 and their preferred channels for making and installing smart home
     Following are some of the potential applications that will be tested in
 the study:
-- When the phone rings, the caller ID shows up on a television screen -- The home's temperature can be controlled remotely, allowing the homeowner to save on energy costs by adjusting the home's temperature according to changing weather conditions -- Multiple rooms in a home can be video-monitored via the Internet from anywhere in the world -- A homeowner can adjust the home's lighting remotely, allowing travelers to give the home a "lived-in" feel About CABA's Internet Home Alliance Research Council CABA's Internet Home Alliance Research Council is a cross-industry network of leading companies engaged in collaborative research to advance the connected home space. The Alliance's research projects enable participating companies to gain important insights into the connected home space and leverage those insights into viable new business opportunities. Internet Home Alliance Research Council is part of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), a not-for-profit industry association that promotes advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings. For more information about the Alliance, visit http://www.caba.org/iha About Whirlpool Corporation Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion, 73,000 employees and 72 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company may be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com
Media Contact: Hilary Abbott, Dynabrand (770) 753-8144 habbott@dynabrand.com