Connected homes driving innovation in residential security

Alarm technology providers talk tech trends at ISC West 2013

“Right now, it’s all about apps and the simplicity it takes to make the system work,” Ralph Maniscalco, director of marketing communications, security products Americas, for Honeywell said of the alarm technology market.   

Honeywell launched its new LYNX Touch 5100 wireless alarm panel this week at the show along with its Tuxedo Touch touchscreen controller with Total Connect remote services.  The LYNX Touch 5100 is scheduled to be released later in Q2 and features Z-Wave integration and Wi-Fi communications. The panel also offers sensor technology for garage door control, as well as severe weather alerts. The Tuxedo Touch, which is expected to be available in late spring, integrates the company’s touchscreen controller with its remote services, enabling users to tie security together with other technology devices in the home, such as Z-Wave-enabled lights, thermostats, locks and shades.

Maniscalco believes that security dealers are in a “very unique position,” indicating that while they believe that security will remain the cornerstone of the business, the push to home automation  and interactive services will enable them to lead with other things if they so choose to.

 “It makes sense. If you know life safety, adding lifestyle shouldn’t be that hard,” Maniscalco said.

Leon Langlais, senior director of product management for intrusion at Tyco Security Products, believes that the “stickiness” of these interactive services and their ability to increase recurring monthly revenue for dealers, as well as potentially help decrease attrition is why they’ve gained such widespread prominence and adoption within the industry. As such, being a dealer involved strictly in the installation of security systems may be out of the question.

“It’s going to be tough on companies that just do security,” he said. “All of our homes will be connected in the not so distant future.”

DSC, a business unit of Tyco Security Products, released its new PowerSeries Neo hybrid intrusion detection solution at ISC West this week. The system combines the flexibility of a modular, hardwired system with the simplicity of a wide range of wireless devices, thus offering customers a fully customizable solution.

Perhaps a bigger question for the industry moving forward, according to Langlais, is not how companies will adapt to the shift towards automation, but what their plan of attack is with regards to the changing communications infrastructure. Langlais said that there are about five to six million alarm systems in the U.S. running on 2G, which will be going away in 2016. As dealers switch these customers over, Langlais said it will be interesting to see how many people opt for interactive services or simply choose to get rid of their system altogether.