Anyware gets into the digital home

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Digital home gear vendor W Home Automation has inked a distribution deal with Melbourne peripherals specialist Anyware Computer Accessories.

W Home Automation, a subsidiary of Sydney-based wireless access operator SkyNetGlobal, will boost distribution outlets from 500 to 10,000 across Australia and New Zealand as a result of the Anyware deal.

Peter McCook, general manager at W Home Automation, said the deal would accelerate the emergence of networked homes. Anyware had about 10,000 PC resellers on its books, he said.

"The IT industry has been making plenty of noise about the convergence of home computing and home automation or entertainment," McCook said. "This is a huge boost in sales potential ... It also extends our product availability into a new channel."

PC resellers tended to offer a higher standard of customer service and support than many retailers, he pointed out.

W Home Automation previously distributed its products to some 500 retail outlets, including Dick Smith Electronics, Dick Smith Powerhouse, Tandy, Harvey Norman, Domayne and NARTA-affiliated stores.

Garrison Huang, managing director at Anyware, said the initial response by dealers had been excellent.

The W Home Automation range was launched to Anyware dealers in July sales brochures and emails.

The products would also feature in Anyware's annual catalogue and in trade shows in each state. Training sessions and a training website were also underway.

"We expect many of our first orders to be taken up by the dealers themselves as they familiarise themselves at home with this new addition to their offering," Huang said.

W Home products included X-10's 'do it yourself' automated lighting, entertainment, surveillance, irrigation and air conditioning controllers. Controllers could be wall-mounted, handheld, computer or voice-activated.

"The exciting aspect of the X-10 range in particular is its ability to grow with the user. We're starting with a standard selection of starter packs and add-on modules," Huang said.

Anyware has warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and the New Zealand city of Auckland.


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