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Savant Systems recently entertained thoughts of making a public offering of its company which would make it only the second publicly traded company to focus solely on Home Automation systems. The other company, Control4, has been publicly traded (CTRL) since 2013 and markets an amazing array of automation systems as well as the professional installation crews to install everything if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.
Noticeably different from the direction Apple's HomeKit and Home Depots "Wink" system, Control4 has their own controllers, touch screens, shades, thermostats etc .. In short, rather then try to reach out and configure communication with multiple vendors and accomodate an every growing and changing series of communication protocols and control hubs, Control4 simply brings their own branded devices into play to provide a completely customizable package system.
The flexibility of buying your own components and integrating your home theater, audio or climate systems into their controller means that just like any other system you can choose how much you add to begin with. If money is tight invest in a climate control system, touch screen and control hub. The app comes along with it and allows you full control of your HVAC locally and remotely and of course with occupancy sensors or scheduling a better handle on keeping the house the right temperature based on who is there. They also offer integrated window shades that automatically lower during certain times of the day to block the suns rays from heating up your interior and causing your AC to crank back up.
Audio systems can be a pain, keeping track of a digital library, wanting to stream from different sites, or just different people wanting to listen to different music in different places. Control4 has simplified the process by creating a digital media server and an amplifier that can serve up to 8 zones as well as stream music from all your favorite sites AND store your entire digital library, easily accessed from any smartphone with the Control4 app or the central control panel.
Control4 can handle Security systems, Audio, and Lighting in addition to whole home climate control and video. It's not that you can not do any of these things with Wink or HomeKit or Iris, it's just that if you can afford it, all the pieces are built to integrate with each other well, without having to patch, or work around or search for devices that need specialized controls.
If the Savant IPO happens, it will be another significant step towards mainstream home automation, and will continue to drive interest in companies that can provide automation components and systems at a main stream price point.