Black & Decker new player in residential alarm market

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla.--Black & Decker is making its first foray into the residential security market with the launch at ISC West of a new wireless lock that integrates with home alarm and home automation systems.

With keyless locks it's introduced over the past few years, "we've been migrating into access control in the residential space," said Dave Albert, vice president brand marketing and business development, Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement. When Black & Decker began exploring how its locks could interact with other home systems, "the first system that clearly comes to mind is the security system and when we began to research residential alarms, we learned that [an alarm system can typically] tell whether a door is closed, but not whether it's locked or unlocked."

At its ISC West booth, Black & Decker will demonstrate how the lock integrates with GE Security, DSC, iControl and hopefully HAI, Albert said. Other partners include Control4, Creston and AMX.

"Our strategy is to work with anyone that wants to integrate with us," he said. While the lock does not integrate with directly with Honeywell systems at this time, it can integrate with Honeywell or any other security system "by using a home control system [such as Control4] as a hub that integrates the lock with the security system."

The lock can "communicate the status of the door, whether it's locked or unlocked," to the homeowner, Albert explained. When a homeowner enters a code to unlock the lock's motorized deadbolt, it can also disarm the alarm system at the same time. This feature also works in reverse: When the alarm system is armed doors can simultaneously be locked. The doors can be locked via remote control in the home, Web-enabled mobile phone, security system touch panel or a secure Internet connection. The lock can also be configured to control home automation systems, such as music, home lighting and climate controls. In addition, the lock can be re-keyed by the homeowner, without being removed from the door. The locks operate on four AA batteries and Black & Decker will use both the ZigBee and Z-Wave RF protocols.

The lock, which will be marketed under Black & Decker's Baldwin (a higher-end product) and Kwikset (a mass-market product) brands, will be available in June.

Details of the "commercial distribution element and how we will roll this out to the market are in the works," Albert said.