puts consumer in charge

Thursday, January 10, 2008

LAS VEGAS— is a UK-based self-installed, self-monitored “intelligent home security system” that made its debut at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show here, billing itself as an “innovative way to give people complete ownership of their own security.”
“You know your home better than any call center operative,” said Natasha Rice, PR manager for A call center, or central monitoring station doesn’t know the circumstances of a home, she said, asserting that the homeowner is the best person to receive an alert and determine whether it may be a pet cat, for example, causing a nuisance alarm.
At this point, the system does not include video. On Jan. 3, the company announced that it partnered with Ember Corporation, developer of ZigBee wireless technology to bring its product to market. uses ZigBee technology, the Internet and mobile phone networks to send text or email alerts to the homeowner (family and neighbors can also receive alerts) when there are “problems at home.”
The kit includes a “compact hub that serves as a gateway to the Internet and a selection of sensors for windows, doors, motion sensors, and alarm detectors” that listen for existing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and forward on alerts, according to a prepared statement. The hub has a battery backup and GPRS modem in case of a power failure.
Rice said the product is well suited to parents who want to know when their children arrive home and renters who want to avoid the cost and messy installation of a traditional security system.
The official launch of the product in the UK is scheduled to take place at the end of January. Rice said the company hopes to enter the U.S. market via a partnership with a mobile network operator or Internet service provider later this year. Intamac in the UK and Eaton in the United States are other players in this space, Rice said.