A Conversation with Todd Santiago

After a missed appointment amid the hubbub of ISC West earlier this month, we finally got a chance to sit down with Todd Santiago, president of 2GIG Technologies, to talk about home automation and what’s ahead for the sector.

Q. What’s been your impression of this year’s ISC West?

A. This year was our first time exhibiting. Previously, we’ve had a room off the show floor where we invited prospective customers to come see us. We have expanded so much, though, that we realized that if we don’t exhibit, people are going to wonder where we are. It felt like we had to have a presence on the floor. And the response was fantastic. This turned out to be a great show for us.

Q. Tell me about 2GIG’s all-in-one home automation product. How is it different from other home automation systems?

A. The biggest difference is that we have an all-in-one system. Historically, security panels have not had home automation built in. Ours has a GSM and an RF radio built in, but it also has a Z-wave radio. The system is both a security control device and a home automation control device. It’s a built-in automation system for energy, lighting, cameras, door locks and appliances. Customers buy the box, and it comes with everything.

Q. What kind of future do you see shaping up for the home automation market?

A. Our company was founded based on our belief that the security industry, which is where we come from, would evolve into home automation. And it would become a requirement that viable security companies have a home automation capabilities built-in. We believe that home automation – the ability to control a thermostat, lights and door locks – will become the standard for all security systems, rather than just for the upper end or the wealthy.

Home automation will become more and more affordable and more available to the masses. That’s one of our key strategies to enable that to happen. Everything we develop and engineer is aimed at bringing more feature-rich abilities to everyone. We believe that that’s what the masses want: affordable, easy-to-use home automation. We believe home automation will become more readily available to the mass market, not just more of a novelty item for the wealthy.

Q. Your company joined the Z-Wave alliance last year. Why that standard?

A. Z-Wave has been a fantastic partner. In the product development phase, we had to decide which home automation platform we were going to work with. Z-Wave had a wide variety of commercially available products that we could use for home automation, and the alliance has proven to be really good to work with and flexible. Additionally, the price point was right. We also wanted to make sure that we’d choose a standard that would continue to work with us closely, that would allow us to innovate and would continue to support our development needs.

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