Las Vegas – The installation and monitoring of security systems has always been a relatively straightforward proposition: a control panel along with a variety of sensors are installed at a home or business and should one of those sensors be triggered, a central monitoring station is alerted and the customer is subsequently notified to make sure they are aware of the problem, be it a suspected break-in, fire, etc. The alarm industry thrived on this business model for decades, but in more recent times, the advent of connected technology has created an entirely new set of expectations among consumers, such as the ability to remotely arm or disarm a security system and control a variety of other sensors and appliances within their residences.
Security is the still the biggest driver for the adoption of systems, but despite technology advances, the process for alerting a home or business owner still remains largely the same – they either receive a direct message from their alarm system or they are contacted by their monitoring company which typically takes place after an event has occurred. A company looking to change this paradigm is OneEvent Technologies, which has developed a platform that consists of a patented algorithm and cloud-based learning and analytics engines with a goal of notifying users of a problem before it occurs.
I sat down with Kurt Wedig, OneEvent’s co-founder, and president, to discuss the company’s technology and how they plan to bring it to market at ISC West.
Griffin: What was it that motivated you to start OneEvent?
Wedig: My wife and I were watching a show many years ago, there had been a hotel fire in Las Vegas, and they were doing a story about how to get people out of hotel fires. The fire expert was telling people that on the third-floor they had to count seven doors to one exit and 10 doors to another, so they blindfolded the reporter and had her crawl on her hands and knees to find the exit door and my wife and I thought this was crazy and that there had to be better technology.
I did a little research months later and I contacted my partner, who is my best friend and who I knew was a brilliant engineer, and that’s how we got started down this road. Through the years we started applying for patent applications and we’ve built an amazing engineering team and we believe we’ve solved one of the industry’s biggest problems, going from reaction to prevention.
Griffin: How does your solution work and what makes it unique in the marketplace?
Wedig: What OneEvent is doing is, obviously, disruptive and it is a paradigm shift. In a research experiment conducted by UL, the OneEvent system was proven to predict a fire 20 minutes before the smoke alarms went off. We’re able to do this because we noticed a change in the environment and that there was the potential for a smoke alarm to go off. With the analytics that we have, we learn what normally is in a building and we can tell you when it’s not and through the algorithms, we use for smoke, temperature, motion, humidity, gasses/CO, we’re able to get this great predictive analytics out of ordinary sensors.
We gather sensor data and over a period time, after a month, we’re able to establish a baseline and tell you when things deviate from the norm. Today, an alarm system tells you when an event has occurred, but they do nothing to alert you to a potential problem or alert you to something that has gone differently within your environment. We can look at events that are going on within a residence or a business, understand what the signatures look like of those events and then make predictive analysis and decisions based on what we’re seeing.
We’ve done hundreds and hundreds of tests of all kinds of water and fire crises and we’ve learned from each one of those tests to understand exactly what is going on within the environment. We took all of that learning, applied it to our machine learning and predictive analytics and now we know the difference between burning toast and a burning Christmas tree, for instance.
Griffin: How many different kinds of sensors can your software pull data from to be able to predict these types of events?
Wedig: Today’s we can use water, heat, temperature, light, smoke, CO and all kinds of things. The system is designed as a cloud-based software so if somebody else came up with a different kind of sensor, we can integrate it very easily into our system. The OnePrevent system that we are announcing here at the show is just the first example of how the OneEvent software can be used in the real world. There are going to be many, many uses for it.
Griffin: What will a dealer need to get a customer up and running with the OneEvent system?
Wedig: There are going to get a hub. The hub has a communications gateway built into it – cellular, radio, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and a specialized radio to connect to our sensors. They just plug that in, turn it on and it automatically connects to the network. They are also going to get a series of sensors. Those sensors are, obviously, going to depend on the package they’re dealing with, but can range from anywhere from smoke, CO, water, and heat and those are all mounted wirelessly. There’s also a mobile app that goes along with it – one for the dealer and one for the homeowner.
Griffin: Why did you decide to exhibit at ISC West for the first time this year and what are some of your goals for the show?
Wedig: It’s about connecting with dealers and installers. Our go-to-market strategy is through dealers and installers; however, we are also looking to take a non-conventional route, not just through fire and security, but we also want to go to market through electricians, plumbers, renovation companies, and A&Es.
We see a lot of opportunity in IT, senior living, commercial spaces, and those areas that are heavily at risk. At the end of the day, if we can prevent any type of catastrophe – whether it is fire or water damage, mold, or anything like that –both insurance companies and property owners are the winners because you don’t have to deal with the headaches that come with a fire or flood.
About the Author:
Joel Griffin is the Editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected]