Where is the Meter Reader, Tilt Sensor, & Others

By | February 9, 2014
Optical Electricity Meter Reader

Blue Line Optical Electricity Meter Reader

As with many big purchases, I exercised due diligence in product research and window shopping before making the initial purchase.  When I was evaluating Iris 4 1/2 months ago, the single most significant advantage of Iris was the wide selection of modules and their availability, online and even in-store.  Iris could do everything or so it appeared. Before spending a penny I carefully laid out the goals of my investment; saving energy, protecting my property, and making life easier and more exciting. After all, you could do just about anything with Iris; control lights and appliances, lock doors, detect fires and floods, secure property, manage comfort and energy usage, and much more.  With that in mind, I had a plan, or so I thought.

Lowes Iris Electricity Meter unavailable for purchase.

Lowes Iris Electricity Meter unavailable for purchase.

Nearly 5 months later my system is almost maxed out, not literally or because of a lack of imagination, but due availability of certain Iris components or lack thereof.   New devices such as the Tilt Sensor and Ceiling Fan Switch have been listed as “coming soon’ for what seems like forever while other devices like the Asset Protector have official instructional videos but have never appeared on the Lowes website for sale. Finally, there is the Blue Line Electric Meter Reader which has not available to purchase for months, but must have been in the past if the reviews on Lowes.com are to be believed.

Iris Asset ProtectorIt is not unusual for unreleased products to experience delays from unforeseen circumstances, so it’s understandable that Lowes has been quiet on the release of these items. The availability of the Blue Line Optical Electric Meter, a potentially useful device, is an apparent mystery. Lowes customer service, both in-store and online offer up a common response; check back often.

In the absence of an official statement by Lowes I continue to maintain the daily ritual of checking their site with the hope of being able to purchase it, or any of the other “missing” accessories.

Are you frustrated with the availability of Iris add-ons?  Leave your comment below.

4 thoughts on “Where is the Meter Reader, Tilt Sensor, & Others

  1. Profile photo of Chuck H.Chuck H.

    I find myself in the same boat. I purchased my Iris a few months back after doing some research. I was impressed with the variety of devices supported and the price of the system. I guess I should have checked the availability of those items before running out to my local Lowes to buy a system. I am finding myself now wondering when many of the items you list in your article will be available. I get that Lowes wants to announce products and show them off at CES, but if you can’t go to market with them in a reasonable timeframe, don’t announce them so soon or even place them on the website or within the Iris portal showing “coming soon”. I’m starting to wonder if I should cut my losses and make a switch to a different system.

  2. Adrian Chew

    I purchased the meter reader, but have been unable to pair it with the IRIS hub. The actual reader and wifi bridge seemed to work just fine, but unlike every other IRIS device it just won’t pair. Multiple attempts to help me by IRIS support didn’t help so I am taking it back to Lowes. One off thing I noticed is that the meter reader kit they sent me had a different wifi bridge than is shown on the IRIS website. The one I received is a wireless G bridge, and the one in images on the Lowe’s website I believe is the wireless B. Maybe this explains why it won’t pair wiht the IRIS hub. I have alerted IRIS support to this.

  3. Profile photo of EdgarEdgar

    I have done some research on this particular device. Be aware of the type of meters the meter reader can read. I was also upset that I could not find this device at Lowe’s at all so, I started researching on the web and found the manf website. Apparently, there is a large list of meters it can not read making the unit totally useless. If you live in Texas and Oncor is the power provider (not whom you pay your bill to), you meter (L&G Focus) is on the list of meters that can not be read by this device. Do some research before you buy it if you can find it.

    Also, I have noticed that the garage tilt/Asset protector device (Same device) is listed on the website, and it even has a video on how to set it up but it is no-where to be found. Odd isn’t it? Its been like this for a while and I find it frustrating that devices the announced in Jan of 2013 (CEN) have still not hit the market here in Feb 2014. Lowe’s needs to get themselves into gear if they want this product to be successful.

  4. Profile photo of Ken WebsterKen Webster

    I agree with all that has been said. I have been an Iris user since the very beginning and although I absolutely love the product, I have been equally frustrated with the slow product output and questionable communication practices of the company. For all the great things that the system does, I could stand them to be a little more forthcoming about what’s going on behind the curtain. Lowe’s has become somewhat masterful of “Etherware” announcements. Just like Edgar said, they announced that tilt sensor over a year ago and it still hasn’t hit the shelves. Last month, they announced that the thing would FINALLY be coming out “in June” – this month – but I have yet to see anything in the stores or on the website. Which makes me fearful that maybe the slow trickle of products is an indication of a bigger problem.

    What’s more, the field of home automation is getting more competitive. Staples (yes, Staples) has come out with their own home automation product (called Staples Connect) and even though I haven’t seen anything in stores yet, I must say – it’s impressive! They already have PTZ AND 360-degree cameras right out the gate and just made new partnerships with OEM manufacturers for more stuff. Now, I know that the Staples Connect product still needs to be fully vetted (to say the least), but I’m gonna admit that I was totally pissed when I saw all the stuff Staples was able to bring to market while Lowes is still struggling to bring out new products after having more than a year head start.

    Hopefully the increased competition will push Lowes to execute better in the space – a space that’s only been getting more crowded. I mentioned Staples above, but now the 300-ton gorilla Apple is getting into the mix. This will cast an even bigger shadow over the Iris platform. My biggest fear is that Lowes will abandon the Iris platform and leave us high and dry. That would be a devastating blow to me as I’ve got 26 devices attached to my system at present. However, I do appreciate forums like this one where information about the product can be shared and dissected – because Lowes isn’t doing the best job of getting the (fully accurate) word out.

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