"We're starting to see more attention paid to adding value and services to the core offering so integrators can differentiate their services and become more valuable to the customer," said Jay Kenny, vice president of Marketing for Alarm.com, Vienna, Va. "There's keen interest and demand by consumers in apps and interactive services and energy management. We see a distinct trend toward interactive services in the home and that will continue to accelerate. Phone lines are going away and there will be more integration of services with GSM. Dealers who recognize these trends early and begin to install services now will be in a much better position to prepare for the future," Kenny said.
Kenny added that consumers are recognizing the savings in energy management and there is more focus on green living."There is a level of education that has to happen," he said. "The way our technology is you can install a traditional alarm signal with GSM and sell additional interactive services later; just turn those on when the customer is ready and upgrade them over time when they recognize the value of that service." Alarm.com's home automation and energy management solution is called emPower(tm) and it allows interactive management of lighting, locks and thermostat settings.
Through its Affiliates, Security Networks, West Palm Beach, Fla., is offering services such as identity theft protection, weather solutions and other value-adds, according to Gary Franklyn, vice president of Business Development. Security Networks was the first dealer network to offer the Alarm.com Web-enabled video monitoring platform. Available through Security Networks' iNet (Stay Connected) video monitoring services suite for cellular customers. Franklyn said affiliates and their customers were looking for remote connectivity through smartphones and other devices.
Apples and Oranges and More, Oh My!
Everyone wants control from their mobile phone
Residential systems and the security marketplace will see a big boost once the economy recovers-thanks to the ability to connect to systems and services from practically anywhere across the globe.
David Rosow, Palm Beach, Fla., is currently president of the local town council. He's using the MobileCamViewer from MobiDEOS, Milpitas, Calif., to look at his cameras at either of his homes when he is on his computers. However, he's not at his computers at all times. He was looking for months to find a device to allow him to connect to his cameras without being on the computer but over his iPhone. "This is absolutely perfect for me," he said of the MobileCamViewer. He installed it on his iPhone and his wife's and his iPad.
He has been using the MobileCamViewer regularly ever since. "For example, I decided to check if the person that cuts my lawn was working. So I checked, I had my iPad, and sure enough there he was," Rosow said.
Looking at his cameras is just few clicks away. "I look through all the cameras of both homes just to see that everything is ok and I feel good. For my home in Connecticut, when I'm not there it's nice to know if one of our sons is at the house and I can see his car parked in the driveway. I can control the cameras and zoom in and out easily. That's fantastic because I can see much more of what's going on."
Rosow also said with the viewer he doesn't have to have another person come to the home. "For example, we had a wind storm and I could see that we had a lot of branches down so I called someone to come and help with the clean up. That saves everybody a lot of time, because I can accurately assess the situation."
Rosow added that the apps have been phenomenal. "It's helped my quality of life and I'm more confident about what's going on at my homes. I don't need games on my phones. I use it for applications that give me the ability to manage my life better. This has helped me enormously."
In addition to the MobiDEOS software/MobileCamViewer Rosow uses his iPhone and iPads with the 3G network from AT&T. At his Florida home he uses a Dedicated Micros Sprite 2 DVR as well as nine cameras, two with PTZ. In his Connecticut summer home he has deployed the same Dedicated Micros DVR as well as six cameras, two with PTZ control.
CO and Environmental Sensor Round Up
There are many products that make good add-ons in the residential market. Here are some we found that focus on carbon monoxide detection and monitoring environmental conditions.