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Control4 nabs powerful Cisco partnership

Home energy systems maker Control4 announced an agreement with Cisco today to develop home energy and smart community projects worldwide.

The partnership is part of realizing Cisco’s vision for smart and connected communities, in which homes around the world have the technological abilities to do anything from give their kids remote schooling from the living room to getting a teleconference visit with a doctor who can measure your blood pressure remotely.

That vision also includes smart grid and energy efficiency potential and requires one operating system from which all the potential services can operate. That’s a benefit of Control4′s system and one reasonsCisco opted to partner with the company, said Paul Fulton, a Cisco executive.

It’s a powerful partnership and validation for Control4, which will get access to the projects and relationships with utilities Cisco has around the globe. The agreement also entails Control4 technology being tied into Cisco’s service delivery platform and the introduction of Cisco-branded Control4 products.

“The platfrom for the digital home is really going to expand and accelerate in pace thanks to the partnership,” said Will West, Control4 CEO.

It’s been a busy start of the new year for Control4. Just last month it announced a strategic reseller agreement with smart grid company Silver Spring Networks, which paired a demand response offering with Control4′s in-home display and operating system. The combined offerings was selected for deployment by AEP in Northeast Ohio.

Cisco led a recent investment round for Control4, which has reportedly raised $93 million so far. According to an SEC filing, the most recent round Control4 raised totaled $15 million out of a planned $25 million.

Control4 has made a name for itself by having sleek, well-designed energy management displays that can also provide automation of your TV, lights, drapes, etc. Its utility customers include NV Energy and OG&E, and the company has also done installations for the Mandarin Oriental hotel and Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Automation and home energy management is an area getting hot this year, with players like Schneider Electric, Vivent, Intel, Tendril and LG jumping into the game.

Cisco sees connected communities as a huge opportunity. As cities grow, the company believes, governments and municipalities will opt to build smart and more connected communities when developing new homes.

Cisco’s so-called “Smart + Connected Communities” projects will use a combination of its smart grid communications infrastructure and home energy management with a Control4 hardware and software bundle, which includes a thermostat and in-home display. The offerings would provide residents perks like the ability to automate and control lighting, temperature, entertainment, communication, security and energy use.

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