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@ThingsExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Automic Blog, Liz McMillan

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INSTEON Windows 8.1 Phone App Employs Cortana to Enhance Life in the Connected Home

INSTEON, creators of the world’s best-selling home automation and control technology, today announced that it is continuing to augment the capabilities of its Windows 8.1 Phone app by integrating Cortana. Microsoft’s proactive digital assistant will enable users to control INSTEON smart products and monitor the home by just speaking to Cortana, making life in the connected home easier than ever. This news comes soon after INSTEON announced availability of its products in Microsoft retail stores across the U.S.

“Cortana was designed with a simple purpose in mind: To make the user’s life easier,” said Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and Chief Evangelist, Developer eXperience and evangelism, Microsoft Corp. “INSTEON utilizes Cortana’s personal assistant features so that users will be able to enjoy even more conveniences by just asking Cortana, ‘INSTEON, turn on my Kitchen Lights.’”

Cortana is Microsoft’s intelligent assistant that uses natural language understanding and text to respond to users’ inquiries, launch applications and set/send reminders. The all-new digital assistant also offers proactive suggestions, providing useful recommendations as she gets to know each unique user. Integrating Cortana with INSTEON products will enable users to accomplish a variety of tasks by simply speaking to Cortana.

For example, users can:

  • Ask Cortana to activate the lights for movie time based on specially created scenes
    • “INSTEON, turn on ‘Movie Time.’”
  • Instruct the thermostat to reduce the temperature to ensure that the house is cool upon returning home from work
    • “INSTEON, adjust ‘Living Room Thermostat’ temperature down.”
  • Tell Cortana that you’re ready for bed
    • “INSTEON, turn off all of the lights.”

“Using Cortana to control our products is the next logical step as our relationship with Microsoft continues to evolve,” said Joe Dada, CEO, INSTEON. “Our long-term goal is to give users complete autonomy over their homes and smart products. Adding Cortana into the mix is just another way that we can make people’s lives easier.”

Cortana will be available in the INSTEON Windows Phone app in the upcoming months.

INSTEON’s reliable dual-band technology uses both the existing wires (power line) in the home and radio-frequency (RF) communication instead of relying on spotty Wi-Fi connections and routers, which dictate where smart devices must be placed to work properly. By making every networked device talk to each other via RF and the power line, INSTEON eliminates the need for custom wiring and ensures that every device is always connected. Adding remote control and automation to everything from home monitoring to lighting, INSTEON’s dual-band network and devices allow users to manage the home or office in more variations than any other home automation technology.

For more information about INSTEON®, please visit www.insteon.com.

About INSTEON®

Developed in Irvine, California, the award-winning INSTEON remote control product line includes more than 200 devices, from lamp dimmers to thermostats and LED bulbs. INSTEON delivers the fastest, most reliable wireless device communication in the industry with its innovative dual-band and simulcast mesh technology, creating the optimum platform for the coming Internet of Things. INSTEON products are available throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as internationally. For more information about INSTEON®, please visit www.insteon.com, or connect with INSTEON on Facebook (www.facebook.com/insteon) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/insteon).

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