Florida Today: TiO offers customized preconfigured packages to make it easier for builders to integrate smart home technology, with the goal of bringing affordable home automation to the masses.
Original article can be found at: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/life/2018/03/16/turn-tio/420604002/
By Maria Sonnenberg
Given all the daily routing running a house entails, it is not surprising that entrepreneurs have stepped forth to help homeowners communicate directly with their nests through smart-home automation systems that control every outlet in the place. Among the contenders in this exploding field is Brevard-made TiO, aka Turn It On.
TiO, founded in 2014 in West Melbourne, can make you the master of your domain, wherever in the world you happen to be. The reasonably priced and consumer-friendly product has attracted the attention of builders such as LifeStyle Homes, which has incorporated TiO as a standard.
“We originally offered TiO standard in some of our more upscale communities, but because of its popularity and ease of use, and because of the increased demand for smart home automation in general, we decided to make it a standard feature in July of 2017,” said Karen Kicinski, director of marketing for LifeStyle.
LifeStyle offers all customers a “starter” TiO system, including four smart switches.
“Our homeowners are given the opportunity to add to this starter system if they wish, making their smart-home automation capabilities more robust,” Kicinski added.
Other builders are following LifeStyle’s lead even in the moderately priced home market, a reflection of how popular these smart home systems have become. TiO offers customized preconfigured packages to make it easier for builders to integrate smart home technology.
“TiO prides itself on offering simple and easy to use home automation with high end features that were previously reserved for homes over $1 million,” said Sanjay Patel, TiO’s president and CEO. “Our goal is to bring affordable smart home technology to the masses.”
TiO gives consumers the power to customize and create experiences that adapt to their comfort, convenience, and security preferences, all with an easy-to-use app. There is no need to call a programmer or pay recurring fees to have any changes made to their system.
Let’s go through a day with TiO:
It may be dark outside, but when it is a time to get up, TiO will automatically light a pathway from the bedroom to your kitchen for that first cup of coffee. You wake up naturally by using your bedroom lighting and favorite music as your alarm clock.
If you left for work and can’t remember if you turned your bedroom lights off, simply check the TiO app and turn off your lights through the app, or you can simply create a daily setting for all lights to turn off at 9am.
Better yet, you can create a “goodbye” experience, so that each morning when you’re ready to go face the world, at the touch of a button TiO will open the garage doors, turn off lights and music, set your home’s temperature and arm your security system.
After a hard day at work, TiO can turn on the air conditioner before you get home and also turn on the lights and have your favorite music playing to welcome you when you walk in the door.
“Our homeowners really like the “Welcome Home” feature, which automatically adjusts to their preferred lighting, temperature, music, and more with the touch of a button when they enter their home after a long day away,” Kicinski said.
There is no need for yelling through the house to tell the kids its dinnertime. Simply let TiO flash the lights to signal that its dinnertime.
At the end of the day, one button turns off all lights and music, turns the thermostat to the desired temperature and arms your security system.
If you’re leaving for vacation, you can create a vacation mode to turn on your outside lights at sunset and mimic your evening routine for inside lights to give you peace of mind when you’re away.
TiO gives power to homeowners to customize and change their home automation experiences through a simple to use app,” Patel said. “We understand everyone’s life is different and changes over time.”
In April, TiO anticipates voice integration with Alexa. Google Assistant is expected to follow shortly afterwards.
In addition to new homes, TiO is also suitable for existing residences.
It’s an easy retrofit into existing homes, although Patel recommends that, like any lighting product, it should be installed by a licensed electrician. Installation can run from a couple of hundred dollars and go up according to the complexity of the add-ons selected. There is no new wiring needed and no programming is required.
It was easy-peasy for Michael Mandese to have TiO up and running at his place in Melbourne.
“The system was simple to set up and configure” Mandese said. “The design of the TiO Home app makes using devices and making changes to settings seamless and easy to understand. When I did have questions, it was easy to find answers and to get in contact with someone to assist me.”
TiO, soon to be available at bestbuy.com, starts at $399.99 and goes north, but even the tricked-out version is still a fraction of the cost of high-end custom home automation solutions. TiO is also sold through authorized dealers and home builders.
Kicinski noted that among the many features LifeStyle offers in its new homes, TiO is a fave among customers.
“The TiO system allows for a surprise and delight factor for customers, especially when they realize how easy it is to operate,” Kicinski said.