The Smart Devices

Identifying security systems, devices that will play in future applications

A study commissioned by Intel found that roughly 16 percent of Americans now own at least one smart home device, but nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believe smart homes will be as commonplace as smartphones in the next 10 years. Additionally, according to a report issued by iControl Networks, the No. 1 driver for adopting smart home devices is security.

For this reason, it is important for the home security industry to take steps to engage with manufacturers of smart home devices to ensure a smart home is also a safe home. Consumers are demanding the modern conveniences afforded by smart home devices integrate with their security systems to provide a common user interface that will control all aspects of their home. As an industry, we need to be incorporating 24/7 professional monitoring into many of these devices. By combining human and technology capabilities, we can help ensure these products work effectively, helping to keep people, loved ones, homes and businesses safe.

For example, we recently announced several partnerships with leaders in consumer technology, including LG, Samsung and Amazon, to showcase how professional monitoring can enhance some of the most innovative technology devices on the market today.

ADT recently introduced ADT Pulse security and home automation service nearly seven years ago. Adding Amazon Echo and Echo Dot products to the Pulse ecosystem is a natural extension for consumers. These customers can now integrate home automation skills with Amazon Alexa to arm and disarm their home security systems through simple voice commands and a secure PIN. It will become increasingly important for security providers to expand their API strategies to continue to add best-in-class smart home devices to their core technology platforms.

As consumers become more mobile, it is important to extend security applications to fit their lifestyle. Everyone deserves to feel safe, no matter where they are. Today, only 20 percent of residential homes are protected by a professionally monitored home security system. The question then becomes: how does the industry serve the remaining 80 percent of consumers who are interested in smart home products and services, but are not interested in a professionally installed security system and long-term contracts?

For many consumers, a simple month-to-month agreement offering professional monitoring for certain smart devices may be the answer, whether those devices were purchased from a third party or already owned by the consumer.

Supported products could range from wearables to connected hubs to connected cameras or other smart devices. When a consumer adds professional monitoring to these products, they can have access to services such as emergency panic response, intrusion detection and response, and life safety services such as smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection and response, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long.

Other devices on the market that are clearly a fit for inclusion in the “new age of personal security” would include LG Smart Security (LGSS), an all-in-one security and home automation device with full HD video capabilities. LGSS could serve as the smart home integration device allowing consumers to add other connected products and control them through a dedicated LG Smart Security mobile app. Customers could also choose to add intrusion detection and security video storage solutions based on their lifestyle and what they need to protect. Many consumers may take both.

Wearables such as the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 3 smart watches can now support panic response features, enabling users to signal for help by quickly tapping on the panic button app directly from the smart watch interface. This app provides key location information to third-party monitoring companies and emergency responders.

Looking beyond traditional brick and mortar security, we also recognize that safety and security doesn’t stop at the consumers’ front door. It is important to extend the basics of home-based security services to customers and their families so they feel safe and secure no matter where they are. Technology today consists of a robust collection of services allowing the user to know at a glance where family members are with detailed mapping and private location tools. They also provide local crime alert information, and driving analysis tools to protect against texting and driving and other distracted driving behaviors—a feature especially useful for parents with teen drivers in the house. Finally, and most importantly, they have the ability to offer roadside assistance, automatic crash detection, and emergency response. Now if you layer professional monitoring on top of these services, you can provide an end-to-end security solution for those that are on-the-go.

By engaging with leading consumer electronics manufacturers, we strive to enhance our traditional offerings while extending our reach beyond the home. As one of the industry’s largest security provider, we will continue to seek out new technology partners to expand our reach further into the new connected world and hopefully contribute to the changing face of security to encompass a new class of consumer.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Security Today.

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