ADT teams with Life|ware

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BOCA RATON, Fla.--The trend toward the "convergence of the subsystems of the home" was the impetus behind ADT's new partnership with home automation giant Life|ware, announced Sept. 5.
The partnership will enable ADT security systems to integrate into the Life|Ware digital home platform. That means customers will be able to control home entertainment, lighting, temperature and their ADT security systems at home using a simple menu on a video or television monitor. When they're away from home, they can control all of these systems via a secure Web-enabled connection.
Custom Home Services, an ADT program catering to affluent homeowners, will be the ADT group working with Life|Ware. Custom Home Services director Tim McKinney called Life|Ware a "technical software leader and a dynamic group that recognizes the convergence that is happening residentially, as we do."
Life|Ware and ADT will jointly market each others' services and products to new and existing customers. Life|ware has its own dealer organization "that calls on the same type of clients in the Custom Home space," McKinney noted.
However, McKinney emphasized that ADT is not getting into the home automation business itself. "We're staying true to our core, which is security and video," he said. ADT will continue to install the security and video portion of the system and Life|ware will install its own systems.
ADT, which is a unit of Tyco, does have some loose ties to Life|ware. DSC, another Tyco company, began last year collaborating with Exceptional Innovation, the manufacturer of Life|Ware software (search "Is it time for home automation?" at ADT uses DSC panels and "Lifeware works with the DSC security panel ... but that's not the key driver behind the partnership," McKinney said. McKinney said he first started "kicking around the idea" of a partnership with Life|ware at the 2006 CEDIA show. He said he sees Life|ware as a leader in that space and likes the "simplicity of their platform." Their software is agnostic to the TV and has open architecture.
On the other hand, this partnership is not exclusive and ADT is not closing off the possibility of working with other partners and products, he noted.