CR Talks To...Paul Starkey, President, ELAN Home Systems: An Automated Perspective
It's been quite a 10-month period for ELAN Home Systems and Paul Starkey, who became president of the pioneering home automation company last April. The company relocated with sister brands, ATON, Sunfire, Niles and Xantech, to the new North American headquarters of The AVC Group in Carlsbad, Calif.
It introduced its award-winning HR2 remote at CEDIA, began shipping its new ELAN g! Series controllers in November, launched its online ELAN g! school in December and began worldwide shipments of the complete ELAN g! Series with multi-language support. CustomRetailer caught up with an energized Paul Starkey just before he headed off to Amsterdam for the ISE Show.
CR: How do you feel about the new year that's just getting underway?
Paul Starkey: We couldn't be more excited or more optimistic. Here in America the economy is stronger by the month. Consumers are spending again, particularly on technology solutions that will improve their lifestyles. The continued penetration of the iPhone and iPad only serves to make more and more consumers aware that integrated control can be and should be a practical part of every facet of their lives. And we are delivering what is, in our opinion, the world's most appealing, affordable, easy to install and upgraded IP-based home automation system with a world-class remote to boot!
CR: Will this be the year mainstream consumers really start to embrace home automation?
Starkey: This will be the year when more mainstream consumers embrace some form of home automation in a meaningful way. I am absolutely convinced of that, as are our dealers, who are placing a record number of orders for the g! Series. Most of the orders are for what we'll call 'starter' systems, but they're systems that can be expanded very easily over time. We believe that getting into the home with the first system is 90 percent of the battle and that's what is happening in large numbers this year. It's no longer a question of 'Do I need home automation?' Now the question is 'In what form?'