US Monitoring enters personal protection

App brings station into new market
 - 
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY—US Monitoring, a wholesale central station based here, in the next two weeks is officially releasing its Alert For Me app, bringing the company into the personal protection space.

The app expands the company’s monitoring abilities, Robert Forsythe, US Monitoring’s president, told Security Systems News. “This app is designed for [when] you’re in an area where you don’t know where you are, because 911 currently can’t tell you where you are—we can,” he said.

Users could be “in a situation where you have to be quiet, or … maybe you don’t necessarily need 911 but you’re concerned about your safety, and you want that little extra protection—that’s our position in this,” Forsythe said.

The app, once activated, allows US Monitoring’s central station to track users through their smartphones. “You can open this app up, and place your finger on it, and you hold it in your hand,” Forsythe said. “When you release it, you have five seconds to cancel the event or it will actually set an alarm off, giving us your GPS location.”

After the alarm’s activation, users can use the app to communicate with the central station through voice or text message, Forsythe said.

Color-coded indications make the app unique, Forsythe said. “It gives you a red indication when you’ve connected to our server. … Then we have a yellow indication when our operators have acknowledged the alarm and are working it. And then, in the event that we dispatch the police, you’ll get a green indication.”

Three of US Monitoring’s dealers will start offering this app in the next three months, Forsythe said. After this period, the company will review its reception and plan further. It could lead to more presence in personal monitoring, Forsythe said.

Forsythe listed Realtors, lone workers and off-duty law enforcement as potential users of the app. The app has four versions, Forsythe said, differentiated by their market, offered by different dealers. These versions would be released at different times, Forsythe said.

One version, called Realty Keep Safe, activates a timer in both the app and the central station. After the time designated by the app user, it sends US Monitoring an alarm signal with GPS location.

Alert For Me is US Monitoring’s second app. The company released its first app two years ago; USM Access is a technician app to put accounts on and off test and view account history.

“We already had the infrastructure, we already had the people, it made for an easier transition,” he said.

US Monitoring was established in April of 2002. It has 32,000 accounts and 28 employees.