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Honeywell touts new tech-enabled smart thermostat

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Honeywell has released the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control, an innovative thermostat that is voice-activated and cloud-connected.

Using advanced far-field voice technology that breaks through the ambient noise in the home, users can switch on the thermostat from across the room simply by saying "Hello, thermostat." Further action can be taken through commands, such as "make it four degrees warmer" or "make it much cooler."

“Most homeowners know the feeling of coming through the front door while juggling bags of groceries, a stack of mail and keys to a less-than-comfortable temperature,” said Tony Uttley, general manager of Home Comfort and Energy Systems at Honeywell. “With this hands-free advancement, homeowners can simply speak to their thermostat, and it responds by adjusting the environment to their preferences. We believe the next generation of advancements in connected home technology means people don’t have to be tied to their devices. Instead, Honeywell devices are truly an extension of their lifestyle.”

The thermostat is programmed to recognize the homeowner’s voice upon installation and can recognize more commands over time based on previous interactions. It can be designed to match or accent existing decor schemes, and provides users with the opportunity to regulate and monitor their energy usage through their smartphones.

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Equator launches sixth-generation washer/dryer-in-one

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Equator Advanced Appliances has announced plans to create a new single-unit washer and dryer with dual venting options. 

"The Equator Super Combo is our sixth-generation single-unit washer/dryer — but with a unique new venting feature that allows consumers the option to make a choice," said Equator president Atul Vir. "With the touch of a button, the user can now decide whether to vent heat externally or to capture condensation internally and purge it through a drain hose."

The dual venting option makes the unit more portable for use on boats, RVs and campers, as well as in apartments where traditional venting is not available.

The unit is 24 ins. wide, making it compatible with small spaces. It also eliminates the need to move clothes between the washer and the dryer. The Super Combo has a spin speed of 1,000 RPMs and can hold 13 pounds of laundry.

Other features include a VFD-lit panel that displays status and remaining time, delayed start option, child safety lock, coin trap, add-a-sock option and a wrinkle guard setting.

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USG hires new COO and SVP/international president

BY HBSDEALER Staff

USG Corporation has made a couple of executive appointments in line with its overall growth strategy of diversifying the company’s earnings. Effective Oct. 1, Christopher R. Griffin will leave his post as executive VP operations for the role of executive VP and COO. Additionally, Jennifer F. Scanlon will transition from VP and president, international to senior VP and president, international.

Totaling 28 years of experience in the building materials industry, Griffin has been with the company since 1997 and has held roles in sales, product management, marketing and international operations.

“Chris is an exceptionally strong leader with a deep knowledge of our industry and excellent relationships with our customers,” said James S. Metcalf, chairman, president and CEO. “He has been instrumental in successfully implementing USG’s strategy and positioning the company to take advantage of the anticipated recovery in North American housing and construction markets."

Scanlon joined the company as director of supply chain management and customer relationship management strategy in 2003. She eventually assumed responsibility for USG’s IT strategy and operations and became VP international.

“Jenny has done an outstanding job identifying international growth opportunities that will facilitate our goal of diversifying USG’s earnings,” Metcalf continued. “I am confident that our new operations in India and Oman, our joint venture in China, and our other international operations will continue to thrive under Jenny’s leadership.”

Both Griffin and Scanlon will report to Metcalf.

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