A smart home, brought to you by Lowe’s

Telcos, cable companies, startups and Internet giants are all looking to make your home smarter — so why not a big box retailer? On Thursday Lowe’s announced that its smart home service Iris, developed in conjunction with U.K. startup AlertMe, is now available for sale online, and will be available in 500 stores by the end of August. The partnership was originally announced at this year’s CES in January.
The Iris security kit, which includes sensor and motion detectors for doors, windows and cabinets, costs $179, and the home energy kit, which includes a smart thermostat and plugs, also costs $179. For $299 you can buy a combo Iris kit with both security and energy controls. There’s also an additional subscription service for $10 per month that will give the customer additional customization and remote control capacity.
All of the devices connect via AlertMe’s cloud-based home management system, and customers can digitally manage their home appliances and devices via a computer or mobile app. AlertMe, which raised $37 million in funding from Good Energies, Index Ventures, Vantage Point Capital and U.K. utility British Gas, sells its own smart home kits to utilities in the U.K., and recently signed up British Gas.
Iris won’t be Lowe’s first smart home product, but it’s the first that is being branded to be sold via Lowe’s, and the big box retailer says it will use Iris as a platform for other smart home products from companies like GE and First Alert. Retailer Best Buy also launched a modest push into home energy products last year.
Despite companies talking about the potentials for the smart home for years, these types of products are still in an early stage in the U.S. AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast recently launched connected home services. The emergence of the iPhone and Android created an ecosystem for cell phones to control these connected devices.