Paul Rothman is Editor in Chief of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine. Connect with him on Linkedin at http://bit.ly/PaulRothmanSDI.
Every month I look for top news and trends in the security industry to write about here, and I keep on getting steered into the residential market. Indeed, things are happening and changing at a breakneck pace. The smart home is the honey attracting the flies — and these days, those flies are really big. It could mean that major competition is coming for the largest providers of security services, but it definitely means that security dealers and integrators must be willing to make an on-the-fly adjustment.
This month’s big news comes from Apple, which announced at its June Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that it is launching a smart home offering — HomeKit — as part of its iOS 8 software development kit (SDK). HomeKit sets itself apart for the obvious reason: guaranteed iPhone or iPad compatibility, giving users with ability to control connected devices in their home — with the bonus of being able to tell Siri to do things for you “Tell Siri you are ‘going to bed’ and it could dim the lights, lock your doors, close the garage and set the thermostat,” Apple said in a statement.
Unlike Google, which acquired Nest to stake a claim in the hardware side of the connected home market, Apple won’t be releasing any branded smart home products. Of course, the question for home security companies is what impact the entry of these large players will ultimately have on technology providers and installers.
“I think traditional suppliers are starting to feel the pressure of what we thought would happen two or three years down the road,” IHS market research analyst Adi Pavlovic told SecurityInfoWatch. “They have a huge install base and brand loyalty, which is big with the installers and integrators, but it’s going to be a mad dash to see who can partner with the (new players) and work with them.”
“A lot of these news stories just validate that the connected home is really a key consumer product that a lot people continue to have interest in and there’s a great opportunity in that space,” Alarm.com VP of Marketing Jay Kenny said in the article.
We already have giants like Comcast, AT&T, Google and now Apple in the residential security market — who’s next? Innovations like the smart home lead me to think it’s safe to assume that just about every major technology and service provider is conducting high-level meetings to assess the viability of the North American home security market. As people who have been neck-deep in it for years know, it’s a profitable and rewarding one.
“There are dozens and dozens of smaller companies offering remote video and DIY home automation systems,” said another IHS analyst, Blake Kozak, who specializes in security and building technologies. “People don’t know these brands, but people know Google and Apple, so I think it could potentially jumpstart the market. I think it’s just going to help the industry overall.”
Will it help you? Savvy security dealers — no matter the size — will seize on this activity and make adjustments. Whether you move to partner with one of these large providers, develop competing technology choices, step up your marketing, or just keep your monitoring prices affordable and competitive, it is imperative that you stay ahead of the curve now, or be left in the wake of change.
Note: To read the full article by SecurityInfoWatch.com Editor Joel Griffin referenced in this column, visit www.SecurityInfoWatch.com/11501788.