Resideo announced the launch of the Resideo Home app, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for the four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security – during its Resideo Live event, held in Austin, Texas, this past December. PM Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke had the chance to discuss the new app and the company’s Buoy Whole Home Water Controller and Leak Detector with Resideo’s Connect Home Vice President and General Manager Scott Harkins.
PM: The smart home concept has been around for decades, but it seems that smart home products are much more prevalent in the HVAC market, while smart plumbing products have only started to emerge the last few years. Why do you think that is and how is it changing?
SH: The security business was the first to adopt apps, and then connected thermostats came along. Next came lights and locks. But, when you think about water and the various ways water flows through various pipes and is used in the home, it was just about finding ways to apply technology to it. We’ve known for many years that water leaks are a giant problem for homeowners and insurance companies. Ninety-three percent of water damage claims could be avoided by using a leak detection device with remote shut-off. Fixing household water leaks can save thousands of dollars in home repairs and reduce the cost of water bills – but first, homeowners need to know the leaks are happening. I think you're just starting to see the smart home water management or smart water management come to play now. While our Buoy Controller is not the only product on the market that works like this, we think it offers a unique position because it works in our overall, whole-home ecosystem.
PM: Tell me a little bit about Buoy and how the product works?
SH: The Buoy Whole Home Water Controller connects to the main line coming into the home (in warm climates) or inside the home (in cold climates). It’s essentially a very accurate commercial water meter that looks at what the flow of water is around the house, and it can detect flow down to about a single drop of water. It takes about two weeks to learn how water is used in your home. So, it can determine when it's a toilet in use, a shower or the hose out back, and it can look for abnormal water usage around those things. In the new Resideo Home app, the homeowner can set up preferences and stay informed about any unintended water use. For example, if the homeowner loses 10 gallons of water in one minute in a catastrophic leak, it will automatically shut off the water valve so the main line will no longer be able to provide water into the house. It's also connected to Wi-Fi, so it not only notifies the homeowner when something happens, but it can also send a signal to a contractor. The plumbing contractor can take a proactive, concierge-like service approach and call if the customer has a plumbing maintenance agreement, for example.
The other thing that the Buoy Controller does, beyond just helping avoid catastrophic leaks, is it will see the entirety of the home water usage and it will categorize how that water is used. We also have Buoy Water Leak Detector that works in conjunction with the Controller. You place them anywhere around the home and they will report back to the same app. These also can be used to detect water coming in from outside the home.
This is especially useful when detecting a leak from a sink or appliance hose. For example, place the detector next to the washing machine, if it detects a leaky washing machine hose, it will automatically shut off the water via the controller.
PM: Why should plumbing contractors embrace smart home products like Buoy?
BG: There are a few reasons. If you're trying to provide a real service to your consumer, you want to eliminate leaks in the home. So, the Buoy Controller could theoretically create additional revenue opportunities 1) offering a meaningful maintenance agreement, a monthly or annual fee that allows you to provide monitoring on that home 24-7, 365 and create new service calls 2) Another reason is it’s an incremental offering and sale. The average sale price is pretty good, and it’s fairly easy to install. Additionally, that plumber becomes part of that consumer’s life in the Resideo Home app. So, it creates a longer-term customer relationship.
PM: Tell me about the Resideo Home app and the initiative behind it?
SH: In North America, Resideo has four main apps that control our connected smart products across air, water and security solutions. With the release of the Resideo Home app, all those other apps will start to go away. As we move into 2020, these 6.5 million connected products will begin to merge into the new Resideo Home app. The consumer will have one app to go to, whether it’s for security, comfort or to check the status or conservation of water or energy, one place where all of these products work together.
PM: There is also a Pro side to the app, correct? How does that work?
SH: We announced two apps: The consumer app, Resideo Home, and then we have a Resideo Pro app. That Pro app is the tool that the contractor or the plumber will use to install the product. So, the Pro app will walk them through how to provision, how to get connected and how to register it for warranties. We also announced our loyalty program that will connect to that Pro app and allows our pros to register and earn loyalty points. Those points allow them to buy products and more. It’s kind of like a frequent flyer miles type solution.
PM: What’s next for Resideo in 2020?
BG: We have a heck of a year ahead of us. We launched the app, so now, we have to start migrating all of those products over to it. We also talked about a new security system to be launched, we talked about two new thermostats that will be launched. So, we have a very robust offering of connected products. But, I'd also say Resideo does an awful lot of things that aren't connected. We're still working on that stuff, but we're not launching new products. Today was mostly focused on the smart home. But we have lots of other technologies that you'll see come to market. We’re really excited. It’s going to be fun.