Johnson Controls Inc.
1997 - PACE Award Winner
Johnson Controls Prince Division Automotive Systems Group
Creative market research by Prince suggested that consumers may feel secure in their homes and in their cars, but may be somewhat less satisfied with the security, and convenience, of the transition between car and home. Prince’s innovative HomeLink permits a seamless transition between car and home, and more.
HomeLink is a radio transceiver connected to the car’s electrical bus, and integrated into the visor or overhead console. Only the buttons needed to activate garage doors, security systems, locks, or lighting, are visible. The device can “learn” 99+% of all garage door opening signal codes produced over the last 30 years, as well as handle newer “rolling code” algorithms. HomeLink is protected by 19 patents developed at Prince. Patent-protected technologies endow the product with the ability to send and receive a broad range of radio signals that can have numerous applications beyond opening doors and turning on lights.
Thus, Prince is not being recognized simply for a new device for opening garage doors, but rather, for the innovative potential to expand the ways consumers and commercial providers will be able to interact with the car and between car and home. HomeLink has the potential to assist in delivering valuable information or “instructions” between car, home, and other locations, and spawn new products created outside the automotive industry that will move us toward a seamless connection between the car and its driver, and home or other locations.
In developing HomeLink, Prince has impressively grown its abilities to partner with other companies in home access and security, as well as in other industries; to administer direct consumer service; and to work with and through car dealers as well as manufacturers. At the same time, Homelink is recognized, by name, at the consumer level, and by a growing list of manufacturers, as adding value to the car in which it is installed. Prince's HomeLink merits a 1997 PACE Award as an innovation whose ultimate effects on new products and lifestyle enhancements are just beginning.