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Staples hopes to cash in on ‘smart home’ trend


Staples is taking the next step in creating the largest curated ecosystem of “smart home” devices.

The company has announced that its home automation system, called Staples Connect, will now offer ambient alerts for the home and office. The alerts provide audio and visual notifications outside of the Staples Connect app and through compatible devices in the home or office.

"We're constantly improving the Staples Connect user experience, adding partners and functions that let customers make more happen with their connected homes and businesses," said Mike Edwards, executive vice president-merchandising at Staples. "The new ambient alert updates will help make the Staples Connect system more intuitive, without being intrusive, giving users more choices on how they are notified of events at their house or office."

Staples Connect's ambient alerts let users' home or businesses talk to them on a range of occasions, such as when a window or door has been opened, letting parents know when their kids arrive home. These alerts supplement the standard push notifications received on a phone, tablet, or computer. Other examples include a home entertainment system playing a noise alert when the garage door opens or a connected lighting system glowing red to warn of water leaks in the basement.

Staples also plans to offer new lighting products from LG that work with the Staples Connect app, including a wireless connected LED light bulb. By integrating with Staples Connect, LG will join the widest and deepest ecosystem in the industry, including over 35 existing hardware partners and close to 150 devices for the home and office.

Zonoff, creators of the Zonoff Connected Home Software Platform that powers Staples Connect, will be exhibiting the latest advancements to the platform during CES this month in Las Vegas. The demo suite will feature a full-sized smart home display to show the latest innovations of Staples Connect, as well as demos of new product integrations and software features.

"In 2014, Staples led the way in educating the mass consumer market about the possibilities of the connected home, and the industry is better off as a result," said Mike Harris, chief executive officer, Zonoff. "This year we expect to see a blurring of the lines between automation and entertainment, and we are thrilled to be working hand in hand with Staples to continue to deliver compelling customer solutions."

As Staples Connect has now been in-market for over a year, the company also released the following metrics regarding adoption and usage:

  • The Staples Connect Starter kit, consisting of Hub and one GE Plug-In module, is the most popular kit with customers. Staples will be offering starter kits featuring the latest version of the Staples Connect Hub from D-Link, beginning in late February.

  • The most popular devices adopted by Staples Connect consumers are IP cameras, with lighting and light sensors a close second.

  • The most popular product categories adopted by Staples Connect consumers are Safety and Monitoring. • Smartphones are the most commonly used app platforms for Staples Connect consumers, followed by tablets and finally desktop.

  • Users are interfacing with the Staples Connect app up to 12 times per day.

  • New Staples Connect customers are purchasing an average of eight connected devices in the first five to six months of owning the platform.

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