Very few alarm companies make their own equipment. Even ADT, who invested a significant amount toward that end years ago, buys its alarm equipment from large manufacturers who are tasked with staying ahead of (or least even with!) the latest trends in home security and home automation. The same is true for interactive alarm services as well – the technology companies who develop and market these advanced features like mobile apps and remote controls though alarm dealers like FrontPoint are focused on enhancements in a way that no alarm company could be.
The statements above hold true for FrontPoint as well: we obtain our wireless alarm equipment from GE Security, and our interactive services from Alarm.com – and we have worked very closely with both providers since our inception. So imagine how happy we were to see both of these FrontPoint partners included in a recent industry article on the current state of the US alarm and home automation market. Here are some excerpts that make the point.
What once was considered a luxury only the wealthy could afford, home automation and interactive services have now become a common offering among providers of residential security systems. Not only have they it had a tremendous impact on the business model of alarm dealers, they’re also helping to shape the face of the technology itself. It’s evident that consumer technology trends are starting to bleed over into the alarm space.
Details from GE Security
No longer are generic keypads and key fobs adequate for the home security user, as touchscreens and icon-based interfaces have come to dominant the panel landscape. According to Brian Leland, Americas product management leader for intrusion at Interlogix [GE Security], interactive services are more affordable now than at any point in the past and offer the industry a potential opportunity to increase the penetration of residential security systems in the U.S. from what has been a stagnant 18 to 20 percent over the last decade. “Home automation has become much more mainstream in the security channel,” Leland said. “Consumers are looking for something that takes care of their home. For (manufacturers) as we talk about product development, it’s part of our core.”
Well said, Brian! And no alarm company has been a stronger proponent of affordable interactive services than FrontPoint. We’ve specialized in these features since our inception in 2007 – years before ADT followed suit with its own (weaker) version. And for ADT, only about 6% of their customers use these services. For FrontPoint, it’s almost 90%.
Power of Mobile Apps
In addition, it’s also not enough simply to be able to offer this wide range of interactive services – energy management, temperature control, weather alerts and the locking and unlocking of doors – consumers also want to be able to tap into these features remotely via their cell phone. One company that has been on the leading edge of this trend towards more interactive services is Alarm.com. According to Jay Kenny, the company’s vice president of marketing, two key product innovations that Alarm.com is beginning to roll out to customers are the concepts of geo-location and energy management.
FrontPoint knows all about Alarm.com: we work very closely with them, and after all, we have used their industry-leading technology in every system we have ever sold.
Cool New Features
Geo-location, which involves tying a consumer’s mobile device to their home security panel, allows a system to send an alert to a customer if they travel outside a predetermined boundary to remind them, for example, if they forgot to arm their system. Kenny said that rules can also be set using geo-location that would automatically arm or disarm a system based on the proximity of a customer to the residence.
And while much has been made about the advent of energy management and the control of home lighting and other energy consuming devices through security systems, Kenny said that Alarm.com has developed an energy monitoring feature, which provides customers with information about how they are actually consuming energy. “We have a role to play in the connected home,” Kenny said. “People want to add more and more things and we are investing in the infrastructure to make that safer and easier.”
It’s no surprise that the new entrants to the industry (Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, AT&T, and others) are focusing on these kinds of interactive services as they try to break into the home security and home automation markets. But the cable and telco providers are requiring more time than expected to launch their offerings, and the “take rate” for their alarm services is below forecast. Of course, that could have a lot to do with their reputation for poor service: a lot of homeowners just don’t trust the new entrants to protect their homes and families – and in this business, it’s all about peace of mind.
Which Companies Will Win?
The alarm companies who are best positioned for success offer the most advanced interactive home security and home automation services. Those companies – and FrontPoint is definitely one of them -will take full advantage of the increase in overall market penetration that is to come.
As always, FrontPoint is glad to share information on topics ranging from home alarm technology to industry trends. For years we’ve been developing the best methods to protect homes and families, while building the trust of our customers all across the US and Canada – and it shows in our reviews. That’s just one more reason that FrontPoint is the recognized leader in wireless home security: we have proven solutions for all your home protection and automation needs, with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. That’s why FrontPoint is the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.