Pinnacle and GE introduce new interactive touch screen

 - 
Thursday, January 14, 2010

PROVO, Utah—Summer-model company Pinnacle Security announced this week that it collaborated with GE Security and will be the first customer to launch a new interactive touch screen in 2010.

“In 2009 we worked closely with GE to not only strengthen the security offering, but to add additional features that we believe will provide our customers with value,” said Kelly Walker, Pinnacle Security president. 

The new touch screen—which works with the standard GE Security Simon system and incorporates features supplied by alarm.com—can be attached to a Simon panel, attached to a wall, or it can sit on a kitchen counter. Customers would likely put the Simon panel in a closet, and have three or more touch screens in different locations around the house, Walker said.

Walker estimates that 65 percent of Pinnacle’s new customers will want to take advantage of this new system. Pinnacle sold roughly 100,000 systems in 2009.

What kinds of features are included? The touch screen has an intuitive interface with simple icons so homeowners can easily navigate the security and home automation features, Kelly said. There’s a thermostat control feature and customers can get weather reports from the touch screen. The panel can send homeowners text or email notification of power outages, floods, fires, unlocked doors, windows or intruder entries. There’s also a feature where customers click an icon to reach Pinnacle’s customer service department. Pinnacle then calls back the customer. This will save the customer and Pinnacle time on hold and help Pinnacle streamline its customer service staffing, Walker said. There’s also a message marquee for messages from Pinnacle.

Dave Nark, product marketing manager GE Security intrusion Americas, said the product, called the “two-way talking touch screen,” was developed for the overall market, with input from Pinnacle. It “will bring together all the things a homeowner wants easy control over into one device,” he said. “Lighting, thermostat control, all the things homeowners interact with on a daily basis that were previously independent are brought together in one sleek, well designed user interface.”

The touchscreen can also be “white labeled with the channel partner’s name and logo,” he said. “Pinnacle’s name will appear on the screen, that’s something that’s customizable … in this case by making a changing a code in the software.”

Walker believes this new touch screen will help decrease attrition: “The more we can drive customers to the panel, give them a reason to arm and disarm the system, that will have a large impact on attrition.”