DICE continues to transform

Increases video/audio capability, readies partnerships with smart home solution providers
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

BAY CITY, Mich.—Central station automation platform provider DICE Corporation says it's working to stay ahead in the areas of inline video, phone switch software and home automation integration.

"Everyone's moving away from using video viewers from the manufacturer to wanting the video integrated right in the monitoring platform so you don't have to use other peoples' products," said DICE president and CEO Cliff Dice.

"Another thing is that in the alarm industry, we're transitioning away from having separate phone switches. In the past, you had a PBX and the call came into it, it rang the phones and the operator would pick it up, whereas the automation software took the signals off the receiver and delivered those. So you had two separate systems working."

A PBX (private branch exchange) is a telephone exchange—traditionally a physical piece of hardware—that serves a particular business or office, as opposed to one that a telephone company operates for the general public.

DICE said integrating phone switch software along with the automation platform, just like DICE was doing with video, cut call volume and saved time and money.

"So you've got video coming into the automation software without a receiver, it's direct. And you've got your audio coming into the phone switch software and it all goes to the operator. It's really the new alarm industry," Dice continued. "The alarm industry doesn’t realize it yet, but this is really disruptive technology … Old-style alarm companies aren't going to be able to deploy this very easily unless they redo their whole infrastructure."

Dice said the company also was in discussions with numerous connected- and "smart-home" solutions providers to plug into the DICE platform, utilizing it as a backbone.

"There's a big revolution going on right now with smart-home technology; integrating the alarm system with all your smart-home devices," Dice said. "What we've developed for our customers is a backend development environment that's built for embedded smart-home controls that allows manufacturers to use our automation system as their processing backbone. Manufacturers of smart-home devices can literally tie onto the DICE automation platform and use its database, use its alarm-processing capability, use everything so that we're the backend for these devices that sit in the home and are on the new smart-home network. Right now we've got two or three companies developing all their smart-home technology around our platform and building it in so it appears on your iPhone, on your TV." Dice said he was restricted from sharing the names of smart home partners by non-disclosure agreements.

DICE recently announced that it is moving away from branding itself strictly as a central station automation platform provider to a technology-infrastructure back-up provider.