POTS continues to fade

Goodbye, POTS.

A product announcement from LaserShield a week ago is another sign that the alarm system of the future is going to communicate over a Web-ready connection, not the "plain old telephone system" (POTS).

The company announced its Sparrow device, which is an alarm-system-to-broadband adapter with a suggested MSRP of $129.99. The Sparrow is designed around the LaserShield system, a portable, easy-to-set-up alarm system, and allows for 24x7 alarm monitoring. In addition to the $129 equipment cost, the Sparrow broadband monitoring adapater adds a $10/month RMR charge to customers' bills, bring the monitoring plan up from $19.95/month to $29.95/month.

It's an interesting RMR model; grabbing both equipment price and a $10 upcharge to use broadband access for the monitoring. LaserShield had taken a similar model when it offered its Cyclone GSM (cellular) communicator for alarm signals; that device MSRP'ed for almost $230 and the RMR upcharge for monitoring using the Cyclone GSM module was also $10 per month. Unlike the Cyclone system, which basically adds a GSM channel to the alarmed home/office, the Sparrow uses a broadband connection that the subscriber has alread paid for (and is presumably using for email, web surfing, etc.).

Monitoring is outsourced by LaserShield to Rapid Response Monitoring for professional, around-the-clock monitoring services.