TV Show Features Home Automation System from Vivint

The holidays and charitable giving often go hand in hand. Just this week, employees from Vivint, a home automation company, provided holiday gifts for about 665 elementary school students in Utah, through their Sub for Santa program.

The company was also recently featured on an episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as it helped make a family’s home more secure through the installation of a full home automation system. The episode, which aired Dec. 9, featured Johnson-Goslee family of Maryland. Sixteen-year-old Wyzhir Johnson-Goslee lost his hand in a construction accident while helping refurbish his family’s home, which suffered from massive plumbing, structural and other problems.

It was pure happenstance that led to Vivint’s participation in the episode.

“One of our sales guys was out selling, and he knocked on the door of a builder who does green homes. He pitched our system, the guy loved the system…became a customer,” said Josh Houser, president of the company’s Vivint Gives Back charitable division. “When ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ picked him to build this family’s home, he was like ‘Man, we’ve got to get them a Vivint system.’ He reached back out to his sales rep and said ‘Hey, would you guys be interested in coming in with us as part of this build?’ We were absolutely thrilled.”

The show sent Vivint a floor plan of the home so they could customize the system to the family’s needs. Vivint sent a couple of local technicians who were shown on camera installing the system during the episode.

“They loved being a part of doing something that gives back,” said Megan Herrick, public relations director. “They were grateful to be able to know they were making a difference.”

The home automation system is controlled by a central panel and can be accessed remotely through a computer, smartphone or other smart devices like the iPad. Part of the system was highlighted toward the end of the episode when a monitor in the bedroom of 13-year-old Renee (who aspires to be a police officer) arose from the middle of her desk. Described as a “secret command center,” the monitor was explained to work as part of the security system that allows Renee to protect and serve her family by monitoring everything in the home from her bedroom.

“They liked having the cameras and being able to see everything that is going on inside of the home,” Houser said.

The entire system features:

  • Wireless smoke and CO2 detectors
  • Motion detectors, door, window and glass-break sensors
  • Automatic door locks: Each family member, friend or home worker can receive a customized code, and lock and unlock their doors from any remote location.
  • Video surveillance: The Johnson-Goslees can watch live video from a computer or phone to check in on family members, or to make sure their home is safe while they’re away.
  • Appliance and lighting controls: They can set off and on times, or make adjustments via their smartphones to increase security and reduce the amount of energy used.
  • Smart thermostat: The family can use EnergyStar templates or program their own settings to ensure their home is both energy efficient and comfortable.
  • 24/7/365 live monitoring: Vivint operators will immediately contact the family through the in-home panel and can dispatch local law enforcement if needed.

Vivint’s participation in the episode is one of the many charitable ventures the company has pursued this year. The company also hosted the Gives Back Project, an online charitable campaign that awarded $1.25 million to 86 non-profit organizations throughout the United States and Canada in 2011.

About the Author

Cindy Horbrook is content development editor for Security Products magazine.


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