"Outside-In" is all about focusing on the customer experience and designing products to enhance that experience.
Mike Anderson | TiO Home Automation & Control
TiO has made a lot of news in the Home Automation industry the last few months, tell us a bit about TiO, what it is and how it got started.
TiO is an entirely new approach to home automation that focuses on the customer experience. This total focus on what the customers—both integrators and consumers—want is what we call "Outside-In" thinking, and it drives every decision we make. The founding members of our team constructed the original vision for the TiO Ecosystem in February 2013. We gathered together, locked ourselves in a room and committed to creating a whole new way of doing business.
We've seen a rapid increase in the number of home automation companies in the market; everything from super high-end to off-the-shelf DIY. Where does TiO fit into the picture?
TiO is the perfect middle ground between the high-end products and the DIY market. Our products offer the sophisticated features of high-end solutions, but without the complexity that comes along with the implementation of those solutions.
TiO empowers consumers by allowing them to set their own home automation scenes—we call them TiO Moods™ and Experiences™. This allows consumers to make small adjustments to their system whenever they desire without needing to call a professional. Though more commonly seen with DIY solutions, this type of on-demand customization is what a homeowner should expect from a high-end automation system. Still, unlike clunky DIY products, the TiO Ecosystem is designed to integrate seamlessly into the customer's home. This requires some real professional know-how, so our products will be sold and installed by our network of authorized TiO Pro integrators.
Earlier, you talked a bit about the term "outside-in" philosophy. Can you explain what you mean and how that's different from other companies?
"Outside-In" is all about focusing on the customer experience and designing products to enhance that experience. Too often, manufacturers decide on what technology platform they prefer and then try to push it onto the customer. Not only is that counter-intuitive, it is inefficient. “Outside-In” thinking has allowed us to envision and build a complete product line in less than a year. If we had gotten hung up on the technology and not the intended use, we never would have been able to get this done. By focusing on the destination, not the vehicle, we were able to dramatically reduce our development time and build a highly intuitive and elegant solution that maintains the focus on the customer.
We all know what scenes and settings are in control systems. Does TiO offer a similar approach with configuration and use?
Our approach puts the power of automation in the customer’s hands. With the TiO Home app, customers can simply walk into a room, set all the elements to the desired levels and tap “Capture Mood”. Instantly, every nuance of those settings are saved and can be recalled at anytime. You can schedule Moods to start at certain times of the day or sync with events such as sunrise or sunset. Once you capture a few Moods for your various rooms, you can group a collection of Moods to create a TiO Experience for the whole house. The key difference with TiO is that the customer can create, edit and activate their Moods and Experiences. Instead of asking the homeowner to adjust to the system, the system simply adjusts to the homeowner—and does so without having to bring the integrator back to the home.
Why should a professional integrator be interested that the entire system is "tablet-based"?
The TiO Ecosystem embraces the wireless world in every way and our tablet-based programming is just a natural extension of that approach. This is an exciting and exclusive feature that we can offer since the TiO Pro app—available exclusively to authorized dealers—is so intuitive and powerful. The TiO Pro app automatically finds all the TiO elements within the home. Then the integrator gives each element a name and assigns it to a room. All this can be done in less than 60 seconds for each TiO element, which truly exemplifies our “Outside-In” philosophy. We think our customers will love this approach and it will change the way they think about programming.
How scalable is the system and what opportunities does that offer professional installers and their customers?
The TiO Ecosystem is one of the most scalable automation solutions on the market today. Our decentralized architecture means that there is neither large upfront investment required nor bulky equipment requiring rack space. The cost per room is virtually flat, so there is no penalty for going big or small. Plus, the system and the individual elements within it connect wirelessly, so it’s easy to add more rooms and elements after the initial installation. Consumers can try the product with minimal investment and then add more functionality and elements over time – with no penalty.
For the integrator, this means that producing a quote is fast and accurate. With traditional, centralized systems there is always a pricing “sweet spot” where the price per room becomes economical. With TiO, any price point is a “sweet spot” which means the integrator can offer a solution no matter what the customer’s budget.
You will be attending CEDIA this year, what makes CEDIA an important show for your company?
CEDIA is our official product launch. We will be presenting the entire TiO Ecosystem with live demonstrations for the first time. We will meet face-to-face with the hundreds of potential TiO Pros who have already reached out to us, and we will introduce our revolutionary system to the thousands of integrators who have yet to learn about TiO. We can’t wait to get to Denver and really show integrators why TiO will change their approach to home automation!
Any preview on what we can expect to see from TiO at the show?
There will be plenty to see. Our booth (#3628) will feature our wireless TiO Ecosystem, including our audio zone players, climate and universal lighting control. If your readers want to know more, have them stop by and see for themselves. We may even have a surprise or two…
Mike Anderson, President and CEO of TiO.
About TiO Home Automation & Control
The real power of TiO is that it allows you to choose how the system interacts with your daily life instead of asking you to adapt to the system. Through a few simple steps, you can teach TiO how to best match your moods and preferences. Unlike other home automation products, TiO puts you in control. When your mood changes, the system changes with you. TiO is designed to provide you with the ultimate comfort, pleasure and peace of mind in your home.
Officially launching in July 2013, TiO products will be sold exclusively through authorized dealers and are designed specifically to enable professional installers the flexibility to easily specify and scale systems to affordably accommodate the unique needs and demands of a variety of applications and environments.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys
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