Broadband service providers changing home security landscape

iControl Networks home management software platform to power Comcast's Xfinity Home Security service


A number of home security providers are changing the game and suffice to say, it's not only those that reside as providers in the electronic security industry. Comcast, who first offered their XFINITY Home Security service to Houston residents in mid 2010 is now rolling out the service to six additional U.S. market areas including Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., Jacksonville, Fla., Sarasota/Naples, Fla., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn. Additional markets will be introduced on a rolling basis. Now, the nationwide provider most known for their Internet and home entertainment services has the backing of broadband home management software-provider iControl Networks, whose OpenHome software platform now powers Comcast's XFINITY Home Security package.

"Home security is going to be the basis for the broadband home," explained Jim Johnson, co-chief executive officer of iControl Networks. "It is about to change. We get a lot of inquiries about applications not only related to energy management but home healthcare. There are many home monitoring and elderly home healthcare device manufacturers that are approaching us to enter our partner program and become authorized manufacturers. And this resonates with consumers. They are the ones who should start looking for those types of capabilities in a home security platform."

And while Johnson was not specifically referring to Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) he confirmed that the technology is a large part of this application development. "It might be somebody proactively saying 'I need help' but it might a device monitoring the quality of your sleep or your weight or measuring your blood pressure or glucose," Johnson continued. "Software in the back-end analyzing this data from those types of devices and passively monitoring that and alerting you when there is something you should be aware of."

The XFINITY Home Security platform offers consumers the ability to create personalized settings that provide users with real-time e-mail or text alerts when doors open or close; or when motion detectors report activity occurring inside or outside of the home. The touchscreen security panel is UL-certified for dual-mode broadband and cellular connectivity to the central monitoring station.In addition to Comcast, iControl also works with ADT in helping them to provide their Pulse home management solution.

A number of partnerships among home security providers drives this market right now. This was evident when iControl and uControl joined forces in late 2010 and continues to be present as the company strengthens its platform, partnering with such technology providers as Visonic and Technicolor in recent months.

"Visonic has a proven, long history in the security space," Johnson said. "Zigbee enabled their existing family of home security sensors and that enables them to talk with the touch screens-the media tablets-that are deployed with any of our partners. We also have a number of partners that manufacture the media tablets that go in the home which coupled with the Visonic sensors, creates a nice partnership for Visonic and our customers. It's a win-win for everyone."

ZigBee technology offers numerous benefits for security devices designed to operate as part of a complete home management solution, including long battery life and long range. The first Visonic iControl-certified security sensors and peripherals will be available later this year.

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