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DIY

Don’t run from DIY, pros say at ESX 2015

Learn from it and leverage it
 - 
07/06/2015

BALTIMORE—DIY is everywhere, the consumer-driven products are polished and are connected to powerful mobile apps, and it’s up to traditional security companies to decide whether they’re going to embrace it or dismiss it, according to panelists at ESX 2015.

It’s all about the Millennials

 - 
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It’s the Millennials who are the biggest DIY buyers, according to ESX 2015 panelists at a “DIY Security—Competition or Opportunity” discussion. 

Icontrol’s 2015 State of the Smart Home Report, a nationwide survey which Security System News conducted and has reported on earlier, also found that the Millennial generation, loosely defined as those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s, are big consumers of home automation. You can read more about the survey at the above link, but here a few new tidbits from it from its recent official release.

The report said, “U.S. consumers aged 25-34 express a higher level of excitement around the following benefits of the smart home:

  • Greater productivity and ability to manage work-life balance, 40 percent vs. 23 percent of consumers overall.
  • Making it easier to enjoy music, movies and web surfing anywhere in the house, 26 percent vs. 18 percent.
  • Helping anticipate the needs, such as shopping lists and minor repairs, 24 percent vs. 18 percent.
  • More interactive features that help me connect with the people in my life, 21 percent vs. 13 percent.”

Entertainment has emerged as a smart home driver, icontrol found. Interest in the entertainment link has grown to 55 percent since last year’s report. Consumers want their entertainment rooms connected to their smart home, followed by their kitchens and bedrooms. 

A challenge is getting that younger generation to move from DIY to traditional security providers, according to Brian Leland of Interlogix and Sterling Barnes of Melaleuca Security, the panelists at the ESX discussion. You'll be able to read more about the ESX DIY panel later, so stay tuned, please. 

The icontrol report had some other great factoids as well, so stay tuned for more info on that as well. 

Consumers ‘ho-hum’ about home automation?

Study says demand is down, products must become easier to use
 - 
06/22/2015

LOS GATOS, Calif.—Advances in connected home technology were all the buzz at ISC West 2015, and recent studies point to a boom, too, but an alternative report from Argus Insights suggests that the big buzz is overrated. The market is stalling and may even be shrinking, it says.

Ex-ADT exec kick-starts Abode

Home security company exceeds fundraising goal
 - 
05/20/2015

PALO ALTO, Calif.—A former ADT executive’s Kickstarter campaign to help finance a new DIY home security company exceeded its $100,000 goal, and the company, Abode, is up and running.

Industry divided on Google’s effect on security industry

News Poll: Few believe Google will seek professional monitoring
 - 
05/19/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Google, in March of this year, acquired patents relating to residential security. Twelve months earlier, Google acquired the smart home thermostat Nest. Is Google planning a big move into the security space? Should the industry be nervous? Security Systems News readers were evenly divided among those who are worried, those who are not worried, and those who plan to worry about Google if and when it gets seriously involved in the industry.

Elite, Evolve move in together

Security, solar partners share new facility, resources
 - 
04/01/2015

LEHI, Utah—Elite Home Security and Evolve Solar have moved into a new, 20,000-square-foot facility here to optimize their year-old partnership.

Former ADT finance director wants to kick-start home security company

 - 
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Christopher Carney, a former director of finance M&A and director of finance, sales and marketing for ADT, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new company, Abode Systems.

The 45-day campaign aims to raise $100,000 by May 7 to bring the “new kind of home security and automation solution to market,” Carney said in a prepared statement. The solution “will put big security companies on notice,” he said.

Carney co-founded Abode, based in Palo Alto, Calif., with Brent Franks, previously an account executive with salesforce.com and EVP and co-founder of TerraSmart, a turnkey solar ground mount provider.

The DIY Abode system puts the customer in charge by allowing them to customize, he said.

"My last decade in home security showed me that big security companies have serious flaws and don't consider the changing lifestyles of today's consumers or accommodate new technologies and devices coming to market," CEO Carney said.  “When developing Abode, we had a vision for a self-installable security system that grows with you and your evolving needs, while also remaining capable of utilizing new technologies next month, next year, or further down the road."

Carney said the system offers portability in that it can be transferred to a new home with no reinstallation costs; it eliminates false alarms by sending real-time visual verification and, through its built-in body analysis technology, by being able to tell the difference between people and animals; has a built-in backup power and a 3G radio for use when Internet connections are lost; provides home automation capabilities at no extra cost; can be controlled through a web portal and mobile app; and has an optional 24-hour monitoring available.

The system includes the Abode gateway, motion camera, streaming camera, door and window sensors and key fob.

Monitronics acquires LiveWatch Security for $67m

DIY provider LiveWatch diversifies Montronics' offerings
 - 
03/03/2015

DALLAS—Monitronics has acquired LiveWatch Security, a provider of professionally monitored DIY home security systems, for $67 million.

U.S. Cellular gets into security

Telecom has rolled out its DIY security system; Iowa and Tulsa, Okla., are first test markets
 - 
01/26/2015

CHICAGO—U.S. Cellular, the newest telecom player to enter the security space, has launched OnLook Digital System, a self-installed security and home automation system.

U.S. Cellular launches DIY security system

 - 
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

U.S. Cellular’s OnLook Digital System, a self-installed security and home automation system, is now available in Iowa and in the Tulsa, Okla., market in U.S. Cellular retail stores, online and over the phone.  The system can be managed over a smartphone, tablet or computer, according to the company.

The OnLook Digital System is powered by Alarm.com's cloud-based software platform. It has three DIY package options available starting at $99.99 with a two-year contract. The options include Essential Security, Advanced Security and Advanced Security + Energy.

U.S. Cellular says that every package includes 24/7 professional monitoring and standard components such as a control panel, two door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one key fob, security signs and decals and 24/7 monitoring.

Customers will receive real-time notifications via their mobile phones if something is happening, the company says. Customers are also offered several security and automation accessories and add-on packages that allow customers to customize the solution to best fit their specific needs.

Industry analyst Jeff Kagan of Wireless told a number of news sources that “U.S. Cellular has not seen the kind of growth in wireless that larger competitors have seen in the last several years. So moving into this new market segment sounds like a good idea if it can help U.S. Cellular show solid growth again.”

U.S. Cellular is not alone seeing this as a growth opportunity in home automation and security services. Other companies, such as AT&T Mobility and Comcast Xfinity, see the same opportunity, Kagan said.

I have scheduled an interview to speak with U.S. Cellular to follow up on what this means for its future. So stayed tuned.

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