Whether professional installation or DIY is the more appropriate means of smart home adoption may depends on the user. But for better or worse, home automation enabler Control4 has decided to extend its service from professional installation to the DIY market.
The company has released a new update for its subscription service 4Sight. Now subscribers can create and edit home automation commands on their PCs or mobile devices through a web interface.
Control4’s DIY system, similar to IFTTT, is named “When >> Then.” Users first select a specific time (when) and then pair the actions that should happen (then). For example, when a sensor detects motion, all lights will turn on.
In an interview with CNET, the company said the new service was rolled out in order to improve the efficiency of its technician network and to empower users on gadget control.
In the past, Control4 customers had to call a dealer or integrator to get device control assistance. Although it was meant to be on-demand service calls, at the end it became “a hassle to homeowners,” Brad Hintze, director of product marketing at Control4, told CNET.
“One of the hesitations they have around professionally installed home automation is giving up control. This (the new subscription service) puts them back in control,” Hintze said.
Due to the rising popularity of DIY-minded platforms like Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, consumers are getting more familiar with smart home tech and with home device programming. As such, the need of tech support service may decrease over time.
The new “When >> Then” feature has been rolled out through a software update, and no new hardware is required. Over 10,000 devices supported by Control4 will be capable of enabling further automation with the new feature.
The 4Sight update also brings an intercom feature that allows users to receive video calls from the front door cameras, and then make light or lock adjustment mid-conversation.