Alarm.com puts its own spin on PERS

The offering, called Wellness, leverages sensors, panic buttons and mobile notifications
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, an interactive services provider based here, unveiled an offering at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that blends traditional PERS elements with the sensors and home automation features the company has built its brand around.  

The Wellness solution, which combines sensors, mobile notifications and home automation, is the latest extension of Alarm.com’s connected home platform. While the solution features many established technologies of the Alarm.com suite, it’s powered by some of the company’s latest technical advancements, Alison Slavin, vice president of product management at Alarm.com, told Security Systems News.

“We’re definitely leveraging things we’ve done before, but a lot of new stuff is around algorithms we’re using to decide what looks like normal behavior and what is an anomaly or aberration,” she said. “Some people would call it artificial intelligence, but there’s a lot of computing that goes on behind the scenes.”

Slavin said now is the right time to make the leap into PERS. And, by virtue of the company’s longstanding emphasis on data collection, she believes it’s well equipped to do so. “For a long time Alarm.com was the only company in the security space that was capturing the activity data coming off the security sensors,” Slavin said. “And because we’ve had the ability to collect that kind of information over time, I think we’re in a good position to be able to deliver a service like this.”

While Alarm.com has supported panic buttons in the past on their platform, the company has introduced a newly designed panic button with this solution, Slavin said. But one of the chief merits of the system is that it doesn’t lean too heavily on the panic button, as other components of the solution can fill in to identify anomalies when needed. “If somebody were to fall and they weren’t near a panic button, the system would still be able to detect changes in activity patterns and alert loved ones or caregivers that there’s been an absence of activity,” she said.

Alarm.com has been developing the Wellness offering for some time, continuously honing the system once they realized they had the data to produce an application in the PERS space, a product category the company has looking to pursue for awhile.

Slavin said PERS would be an “ongoing product development effort” for Alarm.com. Since the solution’s sensor technology is algorithm-based, the company will aim to continue refining what the offering can detect inside the home so that the “right level of information can be directed to the family, and anything urgent rises above the fray.”

The company may also explore ways to enhance its presence in the PERS arena, Slavin said, by developing mobile applications that can “ensure somebody’s safe when they’re not at home.”