Smarthome's Home Automation Contest Winner Rates Genius Status, Netting Owner $1,000 Prize

Smarthome's Home Automation Contest Winner Rates Genius Status, Netting Owner $1,000 PrizeFrom Warming Towels to Monitoring Home, Family Makes Most of INSTEON-Compatible Products for Security, Efficiency, Entertainment Irvine, CA -- July 17, 2007 -- If houses had IQs, Bryan Turcotte's would be eligible to join Mensa. Forget the simple basics of shelter and warmth, this house ably manages nearly every aspect of the Turcotte family's home operation, from warming their towels in the morning - at precisely 6 a.m. - to running nightly backups on their computers. "Just about every aspect of my house has some form of automation involved," Turcotte said.Turcotte's dedication to home automation won him Smarthome's 2007 home control contest and $1,000 worth of home control products. Smarthome, a division of Irvine-based SmartLabs, Inc., sought innovative home control applications from security to lighting to home entertainment. Contestants had to include at least one product compatible with SmartLabs' INSTEON wireless home control technology.Turcotte's home more than met the requirement. His whole house is monitored by INSTEON-compatible software and controllers and other home automation products from Smarthome. So, just after the towel warmer comes on, at 6:05 a.m. his pool filter turns on. As Turcotte, his wife or baby daughter move about the house, motion sensors turn lights on or off, depending on where lighting is needed. Later in the morning, once everyone has left for work and lights and radio are turned off, the filter shuts down and the fish in the family's aquarium get a 30-minute burst of oxygen-rich bubbles. And the end of the day, by checking a fingerprint reader, the family can see how the house fared during the day - who came and went, and mail or newspapers that were delivered. Turcotte wrote a schedule of a day in the life of his Dracut, Mass., home for the contest held in conjunction with Smarthome's annual home automation month. His detailed list included the winter/summer schedule for each room's mini blinds and his extensive use of motion sensors for keeping a vigilant eye on his home and surrounding property. His smart home never takes a break: Motion sensors are set to turn on lights in the middle of the night should someone need a drink of water and want to avoid stubbing their toes.Rajeev Kapur, president of SmartLabs, said Turcotte won because the family "incorporated home automation into almost every aspect of their lives/home." But according to Turcotte, there's more to do. He plans to use his winnings to install additional INSTEON access points to increase his INSTEON network with more INSTEON-compatible devices and INSTEON remote controls. He also plans to automate his bathroom and is looking to add automatic watering for the flower beds outside. "For anyone looking to get into home automation, the best advice I can give is patience," Turcotte says. "Decide what you want to accomplish and attack one room at a time."The second-place winner, Mike Morper of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., impressed Smarthome with his outdoor home theater powered by Indigo 2.0 INSTEON-compatible software running on an Apple Mac mini computer. Morper sent in a video detailing the system setup which included precise lighting adjustments before and during movie screening and a custom-made movie trailer welcoming views to "Morperhaus Theater." Morper won an INSTEON-compatible RemoteLinc remote control and a package of SimpleHomeNet home automation products.Eric Masshardt of Mead, Colo., placed third with his extensive use of INSTEON-compatible ELK M1 Gold System for security and home control. He was awarded Smarthome's Enjoy Lighting Candles and INSTEON ApplianceLincV2 and an INSTEON ControLinc.About INSTEONSmartLabs' INSTEON wireless home control networking technology uses a simple, low-cost combination of wireless and powerline communications to link core home systems such as lighting, security, comfort control, consumer electronics, appliances and safety sensors, allowing them to be controlled or monitored from anywhere in the world. INSTEON-compatible products also bridge to other networks, such as Wi-Fi LANs, the Internet and telephony and entertainment distribution systems, allowing INSTEON to serve as the foundation for a very robust integrated home control environment. The INSTEON Alliance offers a focused community for developers and manufacturers to incorporate the INSTEON standard into their products. Information about INSTEON can be found at SmartLabs, Inc.Founded in 1992, SmartLabs, Inc., is an integrated technology company in the home automation and control industry and the only one of its kind to offer technology, product development and a distribution channel for selling to dealers and installers and direct to consumers. SmartLabs is organized into three divisions: SmartLabs Technology, the pioneering architects of INSTEON wireless home control technology; SmartLabs Design, which designs and develops private-label home control products; and Smarthome Direct, which sells its own as well as third-party products to consumers at, and via the Smarthome catalog. More information about SmartLabs is available at SmartLabs is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.# # #

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