EchoStar Gears Up For The Smart Home Market

SAGE, a do-it-yourself home automation platform from EchoStar  Corp., will launch sometime next year, a company official confirmed Friday.

EchoStar isn't ready to reveal pricing and specific rollout details, but it’s expected that corporate cousin Dish Network will play a significant role in the distribution and marketing of the new product.

EchoStar, Charlie Ergen’s set-top and technology spin-off, teased the new SAGE service at the recent IBC confab in Amsterdam, and has posted a feature sheet that offers some details about the product, which will become just the latest to join an increasingly heated marketplace. 

The initial version of SAGE, billed as a do-it-yourself product that doesn’t require install technicians, will run off of a small (7x6” x 6.6” x 1.7”) device outfitted with an HDMI connection, two USB 2.0 ports and a remote control that provides  access to all SAGE functions via the set-top box interface.  The service, which will work with “SAGE-approved” devices such as cameras, sensors, and light switches, will allow users to manage and monitor their homes via iOS and Android apps that rely on EchoStar’s Sling video place-shifting architecture.

According to EchoStar, SAGE will be supported through the standalone device, but can also be integrated into set-top boxes.

The Rethink Technology Research newsletter was briefed about SAGE at IBC, and reported that several products, including a Honeywell thermostat, a Yale smart lock and a D-Link-made security camera were operating in tandem with the main SAGE box, which is outfitted with ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth Low energy and WiFi radios.

As the ZatzNotFunny blog points out, EchoStar has also sent in a wireless doorbell sensor, light switch module, and a home automation dongle for FCC review.

Any connection to Dish and its base of 14 million video subscribers will obviously be helpful to EchoStar as it enters a market that is now rife with home security and automation products from CE companies and service providers,  including Apple, Comcast, Verizon Communications, Google, Samsung, AT&T, Cox Communications, and SmartHome Ventures, a startup that recently launched a product under the “PĒQ” banner.