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Control4’s Intercom Anywhere Service Delivers Mobile Peace Of Mind

by August 15, 2018
Control4 Intercom Anywhere

Control4 Intercom Anywhere

Control4 is already a major player in the luxury smart home business. The company’s dealer-installed equipment controls AV entertainment gear, lighting, and security features in over 370,000 homes, and is compatible with nearly 12,000 network-aware devices from a wide variety of brands. But the company still sees tremendous potential for growth, as the so-called “Internet of things” makes the benefits of a connected home seem both accessible and indispensable to millions of potential customers. In fact, 16% of Control4’s customer base signed up in the last year. In the wake of this success, Control4 is expanding its business model to go beyond selling gear. The newly-appointed senior vice president, Charlie Kindel, is tasked with cultivating Control4’s smart-home-as-a-service business, which provides ongoing enhancements and perks to customers who pay for a subscription service. Kindel spent 21 years at Microsoft before his recent five-year stint as the director of Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home division, and is expected to grow Control4’s ecosystem of products and services. The company currently offers a subscription service called 4Sight, which adds personalization, voice control, and mobile access to Control4 systems for an annual fee of $100. The newest addition to the 4Sight service is a feature called Intercom Anywhere, which allows users to receive incoming audio and video intercom calls on their mobile devices from the Control4 Door Station.

Intercom Anywhere is a complete AV intercom system that joins Control4’s upscale Door Station “video doorbell” with dedicated interactive touchscreens around the home, and mobile devices anywhere in the world. A new Intercom Anywhere app for iOS and Android mobile devices allows the user to receive audio and video intercom calls, and to interact with visitors at the front door or gate by controlling lighting, locks, security alarms, and other features as required by the situation.

Intercom Anywhere adds compelling everyday utility and capability to Control4 smart homes — elevating the ‘smart doorbell’ through a comprehensive in-the-home/away-from-the-home peace-of-mind solution that unifies access control, video surveillance, security, and interactive communication,”

- Martin Plaehn, Control4’s chairman and CEO.

Beyond Doorbell Control

Like other “video doorbell” devices, the Control4 Door Station allows homeowners to see who is at the door, and receive (or ignore) calls from visitors. Intercom Anywhere takes that idea to the next level, giving the user the ability to respond by turning on lights, locking all doors, and activating an alarm if a suspicious character shows up. When a friendly face appears at the front porch, the user can unlock the door and disarm the alarm, all from across town or across the country. The Intercom Anywhere system also allows the user to program customized responses to various situations, so multiple automated tasks can be performed simultaneously with the tap of a single customized button within the app. For example, if a family member or trusted friend comes to the front gate, just tap the “Family” button to open the gate, turn on the exterior and interior lights, and unlock the door. A “Backyard” button could open the side gate to allow gardeners access to the yard, or service workers to access the utility box. Need to receive a FedEx package at home while you’re stuck at the office? A “Delivery” button can be set up to open the garage door or the front door, whichever you prefer.

Intercom Anywhere also goes beyond these front-door features, providing a connection for family members, both within the home and beyond. For example, you can assemble the family for dinner by broadcasting a call to all the touchscreens around the house. Or if you’re out of the house and the kids aren’t answering the phone, you can use Intercom Anywhere to connect instantly to the Control4 touchscreens in any room of the house. Just enable the auto-answer function on the touchscreens to give your mobile device direct video access to your home for the ultimate peace of mind. Will the new features offered by Intercom Anywhere make Control4 the go-to home automation company for even more new customers?

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About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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