CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Home-improvement executives are hesitant to say that we've arrived at the home of the Jetsons, with everything in your house automated and controlled by computers and wireless devices, but they say we're not far off.
"There's been so much hype, we don't usually say 'the Jetsons house,' " said Kevin Meagher, vice president of smart homes for Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's Inc. "The reality is, we're getting there."
The company has started rolling out its Iris system, which it says will help consumers use less electricity, increase security and help monitor and alert homeowners to everything from freezer doors left open to elderly parents in trouble.
Iris gives users the ability to remotely control and monitor systems such as thermostats, door locks, power consumption, cameras and motion sensors, on a computer or mobile device. Lowe's is expanding Iris to nearly 500 stores this summer, up from a pilot run in 10 stores.