Control4

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Control4
Public
Traded as NASDAQCTRL
Industry Home Automation
Founded 2003
Founders Eric Smith, Will West, Mark Morgan
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah
Key people
Martin Plaehn, CEO; Dan Strong, CFO
Number of employees
400
Website control4.com

Control4 develops smart home automation systems to control lighting, entertainment, security, energy, and other connected devices.[1] The company's 2013 initial public offering was considered to be the 'first pure-play home automation IPO ever.'[2] Control4 is based in Salt Lake City, Utah with offices in York, England; Shanghai, China; Bangalore, India and San Jose, CA.[3]

History[edit]

Founded in 2003 by Eric Smith, Will West and Mark Morgan, Control4 debuted at the CEDIA 2004 home technology trade show and released its first products later that year.[4] The company received funding from Foundation Capital, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners, Signal Peak Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures, and Cisco Systems[5] prior to its August 2, 2013 IPO.[2][5] Current CEO Martin Plaehn joined Control4 in September 2011.[6]

Products and services[edit]

Control4’s home automation systems have been likened to an operating system for the home.[7][8] The company develops a branded line of products and services to control home lighting, multi-room audio, and HVAC systems that utilize communication protocols such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave.[9] Control4 also supports more than 8,000 devices[10] from third-party manufacturers, including the Nest smart home thermostat,[11] Sonos music system,[8] and products from Sony[12] and Sub-Zero.[13] For example, with Control4, a homeowner could control “the ventilation in his garage, the music streaming to speakers in multiple rooms of his home, every light, the TV, the thermostat, even the Blu-Ray player in the guest house” from an iOS device.[14]

As of February 2015, Control4 was selling its products through a network of 2,676 North American and 787 international authorized dealers in 88 countries.[15][16]

In 2012, Control4 released its Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP), which makes products embedded with the code automatically discoverable on a Control4 network.[9] The company licenses the protocol, which is similar to Universal Plug and Play,[17] to other vendors for their products (such as Sony Bravia TVs).[12]

As of January 2015, over 100 developers supported SDDP in more than 500 devices, including Panasonic, Dish Network, Bose, TiVo, Epson, Harman Kardon, Denon, Pioneer, Sony, Sharp, and Yamaha.[9][18]

Additionally, Control4 partners with national homebuilders, including Toll Brothers, to provide optional home automation packages to homebuyers.[8]

Proprietary products[edit]

  • Audio/Video - a line of audio and video distribution products for controlling entertainment throughout a home using a centralized source.[19]
  • Lighting - wireless, programmable lighting control systems, controlled by switches, dimmers, keypads and remote devices.[20]
  • HVAC - smart thermostats, compatible with most HVAC systems worldwide and remotely controllable.[15]
  • Touch screens - touch screens, handheld and stationary, that operate as dedicated interfaces for Control4 systems.[21]
  • Remote controls - Remote controls that enable control of an entire smart home system.[22]
  • Controllers - main device connecting and controlling the entire system.[23]
  • Sensors/Relays - motion and light sensors to automatically initiate actions within the system, like turning on the lights when you enter a room.[24]
  • Cameras - security cameras for video intercoms, or “door stations.”[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Control4 Experience". Control4.com. Control4. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Jacobson, Julie (5 August 2013). "Control4 Up 25% on First Day of IPO; How Did They Get There?". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "About Control4". Control4.com. Control4. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Jacobson, Julie (1 June 2014). "Introducing Control4: Automation Vets Plan ‘Unrivaled’ Product Launch". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Fehrenbacher, Katie (1 July 2013). "Connected home startup Control4 files for an IPO for up to $60M". GigaOM (GigaOM). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Control4 Names Martin Plaehn President & Chief Executive Officer". Control4.com. Control4. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^ LaMonica, Martin (15 February 2011). "Cisco ties knot with Control4 for smart home". CNET (CNET). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Jacobson, Julie (8 May 2008). "Control4 Aims to Be ‘OS’ of the Automated Home". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Jacobson, Julie (17 January 2014). "Control4 CEO on Home Automation Standards, DIY, Pro Install". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Control4 Uses Embedded SDDP Technology to Provide Smart Home Solution for Panasonic’s New 4K Ultra HD Series TVs". Control4.com. Control4. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Burns, Matt (9 September 2014). "Nest Finally Works With Control4, Crestron, RTI And URC Home Automation Systems". TechCrunch (TechCrunch). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Trout, Christoper (21 January 2011). "Control4, Sub-Zero get in on the home automation game". Engadget (Engadget). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  13. ^ O'Brien, Kelly (16 March 2015). "Can Comprehensive ‘Smart Home’ Systems Go Mainstream?". Boston.com (Boston.com). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Knott, Jason (6 February 2015). "Control4 Reports Higher Revenues, But Below Expectations". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Palenchar, Joseph (29 May 2014). "Control4 Sees Connected-Product Growth Boosting Its Sales Potential". Twice (Twice). Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  16. ^ https://lilin.zendesk.com/entries/58683848-SDDP-Simple-Device-Discovery-Protocol
  17. ^ Jacobson, Julie (6 January 2015). "Panasonic’s New 4K Ultra HD TVs Get Control4 SDDP for Integration". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Control4 Branches Out with New A/V Switches, Amplifiers". CE Pro (CEPro). 5 September 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Burger, Dennis (7 May 2013). "Control4 Vastly Expands and Updates Its Wireless Lighting Control Lineup". Technology Tell (Technology Tell). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Control4 Introduces New Whole-Home HD Video Intercom, Smart Climate Control, and New High-Performance Touchscreens". Hidden Wires (Hidden Wires). 2 February 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Palenchar, Joseph (10 February 2015). "Control4 Adds Products, Upgrades OS And App". Twice (Twice). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "System Overview". Contrl4.com. Control4. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Knott, Jason. "Control4 Launches Wireless Lighting Control Line". CEPro (7 May 2013) (CEPro). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Jacobson, Julie (10 February 2015). "Control4 Builds Better Video Intercom, Sexier Touchscreens, Next-gen Remote". CEPro (CEPro). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  1. Official website
  2. Wilkinson, Darryl (February 2006). "Control4 Media Controller System". Home Theater Magazine.
  3. Sciacca, John (February/March 2006). "Control4 Whole-House Music Server/Automation System". Sound & Vision Magazine.