UControl hopes to succeed with self-install

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

SAN DIEGO--Here at DEMOfall '06, a show designed to showcase innovative technologies, nascent company uControl announced a new home-security service that provides redundant connectivity by enhancing existing security systems through a self-installed "box," using a model similar to that of Vonage or digital cable providers who simply mail equipment to customers.
Using keypads, controllers and sensors, uControl's product communicates to its UL-listed monitoring station via broadband, cellular and phone lines, and allows homeowners to operate their systems remotely. Users can arm and disarm, receive alerts, and manage other features through a web browser interface or with a cell phone.
The service, which will be available to roughly 50 percent of American homes in November, will be priced at $24.95 a month for broadband-only, or at $32.95 for broadband and cellular connectivity. Homeowners that switch from their current monitoring provider to uControl will be asked to sign either three-month or month-to-month contracts.
"We're in an age where you see caller ID on your TV screen," said uControl co-founder, president and chief executive officer Jim Johnson, based with the rest of the company's executive staff in Austin, Texas. "It's a time when you get voicemails over email. People are wondering, 'Why can't I do things like that with my security system?' This segment wants virtual connectivity, being able to do simple things like arm and disarm remotely, or just being able to go online and see if there's activity in the house right now ... If you can provide that with the same cost as current monitoring, they will switch."
UControl hopes to serve the entire United States by early 2007.