SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Staples Brings New Brands, Features and Wearable Technology to Home/Office Automation Platform, “Staples Connect”

Staples, one of the world’s largest internet retailers, today announced a series of major expansions of its home and office automation platform Staples Connect, including a 500 store rollout, new pricing for the Staples Connect Hub, and collaborations with Microsoft, Jawbone, and D-Link. Staples is also the first retailer to announce the integration of wearable technology to its platform.

Staples' VP of Business Development Brian Coupland announces Staples Connect's expansion at event he ...

Staples' VP of Business Development Brian Coupland announces Staples Connect's expansion at event held at the Lutron Global Specification Office in New York. (Photo: Business Wire)

Major Expansion of Stores and Devices

After a limited launch in the fall of 2013, Staples is adding Staples Connect in-store displays to 500 retail locations. All compatible devices are already currently available for purchase on Staples.com and through all of Staples’ in-store kiosks. These devices - the most widely supported list in the industry, with 35 existing hardware partners - include an extensive variety of top brand name manufacturers including Lutron, Philips, Honeywell, First Alert, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Leviton, Cooper, GE, D-Link, , Radio Thermostat and dozens of others, representing close to 150 individual smart devices for the home or office.

“Staples Connect offers the best-in-class home and office automation solution, with the widest array of product and services from the most trusted brands,” said Mike Edwards, executive vice president, merchandising, Staples. “Our in-store expansion shows that Staples is committed to providing our customers the newest tech offerings and innovations, like Staples Connect, so they can make more happen in their business and at home.”

Widest Array of App Platforms on the Market

Powered by software from smart home technology company Zonoff, Staples Connect has the most supported App platforms in the industry, with apps currently available on native iPad, iPhone, Android, and web browsers via HTML5. In addition, the Staples Connect App is now also available for Windows 8 and will soon be available on Samsung Smart TV’s.

“Every day consumers are using their Windows 8 devices to engage with their favorite apps and games in new and unique ways,” said Todd Brix, general manager, Windows apps and Store, Microsoft Corp. “Today Staples is offering consumers the ability to manage their home or office environment from their tablets, laptops and PC’s with a new app for Windows 8.1.”

First Retail Platform to Support Wearables

With the Staples Connect in-store rollout, Staples is debuting an enhanced wearable technology experience, with a wide selection of brands, like Samsung and Polar. Select tech wearables available at Staples, including smart watches and lifestyle trackers like UP24 by Jawbone, will be able to control other integrated devices such as thermostats, shades, cameras, and doorbells. For example, users will be able to turn on the lights or open the blinds by turning off sleep the mode on their Jawbone UP.

“Every day, UP24 helps millions of people better understand how they sleep, move and eat, getting them engaged in their health and thinking about the lifestyle decisions they make every day,” said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “Our integration with Staples extends the possibilities of what UP24 can do for you, delivering a stronger, smarter ecosystem to make your daily experiences even more frictionless.”

Additional Staples Connect Hub Options

Staples also announced new options for its Staples Connect Hub, with a reduced price of $49.99 for the critically acclaimed Linksys hub, and a new hub, manufactured by D-Link, available in the fall. The D-Link hub, which will retail for $79.99, adds support for ZigBee and Bluetooth LE (low energy), alongside all the major wireless protocols found in the current Linksys hub which includes WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Z-Wave, and Lutron Clear Connect™. With the Staples Connect apps and the new hub’s expanded protocols, users can control and connect an even wider range of devices from the most trusted brands in the industry.

“We’re excited to be a part of the Staples Connect initiative and the impressive set of solutions here for connecting today’s digital consumer,” said Albert Ling, executive vice president of sales and marketing, D-Link Systems. “The Connected Home Hub is a powerful piece of networking hardware working seamlessly with the Staples Connect app for a stellar user experience enabling control over a wide variety of devices.”

About Staples:

Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it’s in-store, online or on mobile devices. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and break room supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Staples also offers free shipping for Staples Rewards Members, in most cases overnight. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

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