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Motorola Gets Back into Home Automation

By Julie Jacobson
Motorola Mobility is acquiring home automation developer 4Home, after trying two other home-control partnerships in six years.

Motorola is trying again to enter the home automation business - this time by acquiring 4Home, a home-control start-up backed by Verizon.

The acquisition is through Motorola Mobility, Inc., the mobile device division of Motorola, Inc.

Motorola's earlier efforts with home control were largely through its cable modem and settop box businesses. Perhaps the mobile group will succeed where its cable cousins failed.

A press release announcing the acquisition does not go into detail about the deal or 4Home.

4Home was founded in 2002 (as NearMedia and then 4HomeMedia) by Jim Hunter, a fixture in the home automation industry. The company offers a flexible home automation platform, alternately known as ControlPoint and Fluid, for integrating the typical array of subsystems - lighting, thermostats, security, surveillance, smart grid devices, media and more - into a customizable user interface.

While 4Home has created its own proof-of-concept finished systems, it never wanted to be in the hardware business. 4Home's software is meant to be implemented by third parties in the utility, cable, telco and other service sectors.

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