Leaders in the Integrated Home: An Exclusive Security Dealer Roundtable

Panelist discuss:

Susan Brady: Targeting the high-end client involves highly tailored and customized electronic systems solutions to residential customers with more complex security needs than the average customer. What do these customers require most and what types of equipment and services fill their needs the best? How big a market would you estimate high end residential to be?

Darrel Hauk, President and CEO of Channel Vision Technology: These customers require a one-stop shop for all “technology” in the home, including security. Higher end customers don't want to think about products… nuts and bolts, they just want the end result. DVRs in the home have increased in demand along with their use in vacation homes utilizing the networking and remote access functions. Basic intercom technology is in much higher demand as well. Enabling homeowners to communicate with visitors at the front door before opening it along with a camera/modulator allows them to see the person before they even decide to talk to the person.

Greg Burge, President, GE Security, Americas Commercial: High-end consumers tell us they want more than security. They want 24/7 connectivity and to have more control over how they interface with their homes. We see the advent of cameras both outside and inside the home as not only a much-needed security solution to the false alarm issue but also a lifestyle enhancement feature that will result in increased usage of the entire system. The cameras, for example, can also act as a portal for parents to stay connected to their family or to see if FedEx delivered the Christmas package. They are also able to tell what time the kids arrived home from school.

Jay McLellan, President/CEO, HAI (Home Automation Inc): As far as what consumers require most, a recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association showed that 61% of consumers expressed interest or strong interest in a vacation setting that gives the home a lived-in look while out of town; 59% of consumers expressed interest or strong interest in lights that automatically turn on or off when someone enters or leaves a room; and 50% of consumers expressed interest or strong interest in the capability to turn off lights and other items when arming the security system as you're leaving.

Bob Gartland, President of AVAD: High end clients require an integrator who is “listening” to their needs and supplying a turnkey solution based on those needs. Their time is worth more than their money. They want their project designed and installed properly right from the start. Service is most important. From an entertainment client perspective, high end residential “is” the market.

David Yu, Product Marketing Specialist, ICC: In residential electronic systems, video distribution and telephone systems are usually the first things that come to mind. The key to developing a good system is to have one that can enhance a person's lifestyle. It should be able to run by itself with minimal programming, yet fully automated that can detect when a person is home to set the desired lighting, music, and temperature. The demand is there, and the technology for home automation is out there. However, it has yet to reach its product maturity.

Bart Manguno, AuroRa Sales Team Supervisor, Lutron Electronics: Assuming that high end in an average market is $2 million and above, video surveillance, multiple keypads, driveway alerts, gated access with perimeter defense, 24/7 monitoring, whole-home audio systems, and home theatres with media servers would often be associated with this demographic. From a lighting control perspective, “integration” and flexibility is paramount. The typical high end home is likely to have multiple lighting scenarios, with multiple zones and multiple types of lights. In addition to lighting that responds to security systems (e.g. motion-sensor triggered, exterior flashing lights, remotely controlled lights, etc.) high end homes are also likely to have other types of lighting such as landscape lighting, automated window shades, special task and/or artwork lighting, and much more. There is also likely to be multiple types of residential systems beyond lighting controls and security systems, such as life safety, automated HVAC, and back-up power systems which would generally be controlled from a centralized location (wall-mounted and/or tabletop GUI).

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