Qolsys makes industry debut at ISC West

April 10, 2013
Company launches fully self-contained panel for the home security and automation market

Qolsys Inc. made its official industry debut this week at ISC West with the launch of its 7-inch touchscreen home security and control platform. The Silicon Valley-based company believes that its “all-in-one” panel, which uses Google’s Android operating system, will be truly revolutionary for the industry.

“We attacked this from a very fresh approach with the singular purpose of bringing real innovation to the space,” said Qolsys CEO David Pulling. “We see an opportunity to really shake things up and create value and bring innovation to a space that has had some innovation, but relative to other industries, it’s is still a little bit stagnant.”

First and foremost, Pulling said that the company focused on security first in the panel, followed by home automation and energy management.  

According to Pulling, the company was founded two years ago and has operations in three locations around the globe – its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a software team in India and a small hardware team in China. In addition to Google’s Android OS, Qolsys also boasts Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group, Verizon and Alarm.com among its technology partners.

“If you step back, we’ve got this fantastic team in Silicon Valley coupled with the best-of-breed backend web services in Alarm.com, the world’s number one manufacturer with the highest quality in Foxconn and the best cellular connectivity in Verizon, so it’s the best of the best of the best,” Pulling said.

According to Pulling, the most “fundamental architectural decision” the company made was at the platform level in deciding to use Android OS, which he said provides a host of services that could be “game changers,” such as support for multiple languages enabling Qolsys to have a true global panel. Other features include self-help videos on the panels to assist home owners with frequently asked questions, as well as a built-in camera that takes full-motion video and captures an image each time the system is armed or disarmed.

“There are a lot of features that come out because of the underlying Android operating system,” he explained. “If you want to sum it up, it’s about future-proofing. With Android, we have this extraordinary ability to upgrade the panel. Everything runs on both cellular and broadband and we have some really sophisticated algorithms based on payload size and criticality of the information as we choose the broadband path or the cellular path.”

In addition to the features supported by the panel or the technology contained inside it, Pulling said there are also a number of other innovations that they feel would be compelling value propositions for dealers, even its aesthetic. Despite the fact that it has six radios (Wi-Fi, cellular, Z-Wave, Security RF, the company’s communications protocol for door and window sensors, Alarm.com Image Sensor, and Bluetooth) there are no external antennas on the self-contained panel, which features a “floating” LCD display. 

 “Our message as we go out to market is taking that self-contained paradigm and really redefining what self-contained means into more of what we would call an all-in-one,” said Mike Hackett, vice president of sales and marketing for Qolsys. “We are really taking a more end-to-end solution and an all-in-one point of view and really stuffing the kitchen sink in this single device.”

Though they consider the panel to be a home control device, Hackett said their “most relevant” feature set is built around residential security and they plan to go to market through alarm dealers and distributors, as well as some direct sales.

“Our challenge was to really improve the platform, to make the homeowner love the system” said Pulling. “We love our ability to do upgrades. Imagine, in the future, we have a million panels out there; we want to be able to know the status of all of those panels and exactly what software base is on there as we layer new services to be able to push those updates.”

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief, SecurityInfoWatch.com

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of SecurityInfoWatch.com, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.