Home Automation Based on Home Security, for True Peace of Mind

Posted by , , at 12:30 pm

With all the excitement around the burgeoning field of home automation, it’s perhaps easy to overlook an important aspect of what people really care about in the home. A number of surveys taken over the past year indicate strong consumer sentiment about what underlies the current explosion in systems for the home: peace of mind, and that means home security.

Here’s some context: electronic home security has been around for a hundred years, in one form or another, and it’s evolved a lot more slowly than many other technologies. A great example of that concept is the statistic on cell phone replacement vs. a home security system upgrade.

How Long Do You Keep a Cell Phone?

Try this test: ask a group of people how many of them use a cell phone they have had for three years or more. Pretty much everyone will give you a funny look! Then ask a group of people with home security systems how long it has been since they upgraded that system, and you will get a very different response – because many homeowners still use the antiquated technology they purchased ten or even fifteen years ago. And the reason is, the system still makes them feel safe.

Home Security Does a Lot More Today

Yes, there have been many enhancements and improvements in home security, most of them in just the last decade or so:

  • Safer cellular communication vulnerable phone or Internet connection to the monitoring center
  • Wireless sensors that are easier to install, move, replace, and troubleshoot
  • Pre-programmed fully functional security systems that are easily installed by the homeowner
  • Apps for remote arm/disarm, and text or email notifications of alarm and other events
  • Video features, for remote viewing into the home, and capturing alarm events

With all these developments, many of them relatively recent, it’s no wonder that more people are choosing peace of mind/home security for the basis for their purchase, and that home automation is an add-on service – the “icing on the cake,” if you will.

More industry gurus are talking about this concept, including at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). I found this great article describing a session at last year’s CES that speaks volumes about the primacy of home security over home automation for most homeowners. The panel of experts was focused on Do-It-Yourself systems (DIY) – particularly relevant for Frontpoint’s “Easy Setup” business model – but the concepts do carry over to traditional security installations as well. Here are some telling excerpts from the panel discussion:

The first concept all panelists agreed upon was the primary human need that initially attracts consumers to DIY smart home, regardless of the confusion they will face at retail: security. “What would make people happy is to never enter a dark home,” opined Lutron’s Pessina. “The idea is, if you can be secure in your home because you home is lit up before you go into it, that’s a very good application. Consumers understand that.” “That first initial experience typically does start with a security mode,” agreed Iris’ Bowring. “Security is a known entity.”

Security is the Universal Pain Point for Consumers

According to Pessina, security, entertainment, energy and health make up the four pillars of DIY smart-home solutions, another point of agreement among the panelists. While security seems a universal pain point that DIY smart home can alleviate, Bosch’s Kallenbach pointed out that energy management was a close second in Europe, although not necessarily in the U.S. or other markets.

Integration: Another Important Point

How smart-home systems are assembled is a concern, but figuring out what products work together and which don’t is a more pressing consumer pain point. “It’s just not a matter of ease of use; it’s how can systems interoperate,” Bosch’s Kallenbach countered, citing his own company’s recently-announced open Home Connect appliance platform co-developed with ABB and Cisco.

This last point references a common complaint with most of today’s smart home applications: it’s hard to find one that performs more than two or three functions, to say nothing of integrating home security and home automation. And when you add in the requirement for monitored home security – the only way to get real peace of mind – the list of options for the consumer gets even smaller.

Get the Best System for Your Needs

The home automation marketplace will continue to grow and evolve, although we expect to see plenty of the current providers merge with other companies, or fall by the wayside: there’s just too much competition. But one thing we don’t expect to change is the fact that it all starts with home security. And when it comes to home security, you certainly want the safest, simplest, and most reliable solution you can find, from a company you can trust. Have fun shopping for your system, and be sure to read all the reviews you can find!

Comments (18)

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  1. Jason

    I know you have your Z-Wave Light control unit, but do you support Z-Wave light switches made by GE?

    • Katie Rynex

      Jason, we do support certain GE light switches! Thanks for reaching out!

  2. Daivid Wong

    “Lack of thoughts in design on newer versions windows/door sensors” I have ordered two additional windows/doors sensor to add to my system. Granted it’s a been quite a few years (around 5 years)since and my windows are only 10 years old (Andersens Windows), the new sensors are too thick to fit between the window panes. I have called and complaint and specifically requested the older versions, it took three returns to get the right ones. When installing it, one of the two failed and have to be returned for a replacement. The replacement came in and I received the new versions “AGAIN” that are too thick to fit. Frontpoint should really think about these design of sensors. I even went to the local home depot prior to see other newer windows they sell to check the clearance and they still don’t fit so it’s not just me. I don’t know how else to get to Frontpoint Security’s management or their engineering team so here I am. Please look into this. I am calling in the morning to request the older versions the 4th time. Yes, if you look at the picture you would think why didn’t I mount it side ways on the inside edge on the frame instead of the glass,. Well, it’s slightly slanted so it will come out in an angle still hitting the opposing windows pane. Thank you! David, (5 plus year customer of FrontPoint Security)

  3. Jeff

    I agree that the garage door interoperability is a must. I’d also like to see it play nice with smart doorbells, such as Ring or Skybell.

  4. ed

    IFTTT support please!

  5. Dan

    Very disappointed that Frontpoint does not support IFTTT. They have no real automation for garage doors either. Their sensor is pathetic. After working with support many times, support finally suggested disabling it as an alarm. So now I have a camera in my garage so I can see if the door is really open when the sensor says it is. Frontpoint should take a piece of their own advice, ie the cell phone reference, and start updating their equipment and services….

    • Jeff

      I had the same experience with the garage door sensor. I eneded up swapping mine out with a long range sensor. I was finally able to find a good spot to install it and it’s been working fine since then. FrontPoint did this at no cost to me which was cool, but the garage door sensor continually gave me false alarms. not fun…

  6. Rob

    I would love to use Front Point as my home automation hub. The extra monthly fee though could really add up over time. There are outside products that use an existing WiFi network to operate and have no attached monthly cost.

  7. Cliff

    PLEASE get the garage door opener functionality incorporated. The MyQ system already works with alarm.com. You’ve been saying you’ll do it for over 2 years now! Come on FrontPoint!

  8. Michele Divoky

    I am interested in knowing if my current system is compatible with Amazon Echo. Please advise.

    • Steve Scott

      I have the Amazon Fire Stick on my HDTV. It has the voice remote and iPhone app. I can speak “Alexa, use Alarrm.com turn on Living Room Light.” It does work. I also can say, “Alexa use Alarm.com to turn off the Landscape Lights.” I haven’t tried other features like alarming the house.

  9. tim

    I have an idea for front point that will set it apart from all other alarm systems bar none. if you’e interested email me back or as much as I like front point i’m headed to a d t > this idea is or has never been used in alarm service to date.
    thank you tim

  10. Jason B

    Like the other posters have said we truly need FrontPoint to be able to work with other home automation platforms. The alarm system in itself works great and has many benefits over the competition. However, the fact that there is no integration with IFTTT unfortunately has me looking for other solutions for home security. Home automation is just too big of a market to find a one fits all solution. Most customers already have other products that would be great to integrate.

  11. William

    I agree with George. In addition to IFTTT support, better home automation interoperability is needed.

  12. Heng

    The only thing that missing the liftmaster garage door opener. Alarm and liftmaster partner but frontpoint security won’t add that feature for their customer. I’m no longer want to wait from frontpoint. As soon as my contract end I find someone else

  13. Mark

    Would like to use phone to arm, but exclude some zones.

  14. George

    More interoperability would be wonderful. Would really like to see IFTTT support.

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