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Residential Security

Pokemon—NO!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security dealers have a new security threat to warn homeowners about: Teenagers and adults (yes, grown men and women) taking to the streets, on foot and in their cars, to capture Pokemon creatures with their phones, in and around your neighborhoods, your mailboxes (more on this later), your garages, your backyards—you name it.

If for some reason you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Pokemon is making a comeback in a big way, in the form of a location-based augmented reality mobile game, which means players can use the GPS and the camera on their phones to capture, battle and train virtual Pokemon who appear—superimposed—throughout the real world.

And while the smartphone app has become the most downloaded in the United States within three days of its release, stories are flooding in about the many security and privacy concerns the game raises.

Which brings me back to the story of the mailbox. A friend of mine posted on Facebook last night that a car full of teenagers driving around her neighborhood with their smart phones hanging out the car windows managed to crash into her mailbox while playing the game. The teenagers apologized saying, “Sorry, we were trying to catch Pokemon,” as if that was a defendable reason for smashing into her mailbox.

That one Facebook thread alone defines the new security concerns created by this game craze now taking hold. One person posted on that same Facebook thread how she found teenagers in her garage looking in and around her car for Pokemon, while another said he had already found some kids in his backyard hunting for the cute little creatures, and yet another said a teenager, glued to his phone and playing the game, stepped in front of her car.

And security concerns don’t just stop in your neighborhoods and homes, they extend to commercial and private properties. The game is taking people into some dangerous areas. One girl was led by the game into the woods, where she actually found a dead body, while others, lacking proper judgment—obviously—are playing the game in places such as the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, Arlington Cemetery, businesses, and in and around police departments and private properties.

And this doesn’t even include the stories about thieves using the game to lure players to unsafe places where they can rob them and possibly do them harm, as well as the privacy concerns for people who play the game, in terms of their information being shared.

So if your false-alarm rates have been unusually high the past few days, and you’re getting complaints from customers about the high number of notifications they are getting from their security systems, just blame it on Pokemon.

Comcast and Alarm.com reportedly in talks to acquire Icontrol

Alarm.com could win ADT business if deal goes through
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06/15/2016

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Interactive services platform provider Alarm.com and cable giant Comcast are in talks to acquire platform provider Icontrol Networks, according to several sources who spoke to Security Systems News, and published reports.

Redwire creates a resi division

Doug Smith said resi account acquisition possible in 2016
 - 
01/13/2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Redwire, a commercially focused security company based here, is getting into residential security.

Vivint goes jazzy

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY—The downtown venue that is home here to the Utah Jazz NBA team and is the region’s premier concert and entertainment spot will now be called the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The renaming comes along with a partnership between Vivint and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. Financial terms of the 10-year agreement were not disclosed, according to a prepared statement.

The 19,911-seat facility, formerly known as EnergySolutions Arena, hosts about 1.8 million guests and more than 100 sports and entertainment events each year, the companies said.

“The Utah Jazz and the arena are proud to have Vivint as our new naming rights partner,” LHMSE president Steve Starks said in the statement. “Vivint is a long-time supporter of the Jazz, is a Utah-based company, and has a deep commitment to the community and our fans. These were all qualities we looked for when we began this process.”

Headquartered in Provo, Vivint says it has more than 1 million smart home and security product customers and 8,000 employees in the United States and Canada.

“The Utah Jazz and the arena have been an incredible economic engine for this region, and have created a tremendous sense of pride among Utahns,” Todd Pedersen, CEO of Vivint, said in the statement. “This agreement extends far beyond a typical ‘logo-on-the-building’ arrangement —it’s a true partnership built around innovation, community impact and the drive to elevate the prominence of Utah.”

LHMSE and Vivint say they have formed a multi-faceted strategic marketing partnership that will include an interactive “Vivint Smart Home Experience” on the arena concourse, expertise in products and services to improve the game night fan experience along with upgraded security and automation technology at the basketball facilities.

The two companies say they will also be collaborating on an autism awareness campaign as part of their joint community outreach. 

A mainstream view: What’s hot in home security?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

If you’re too focused on industry news these days, as many of us tend to be—present company included—here’s a look at what at least one mainstream media outlet has to say about the latest in home protection.

“What was previously only possible in sci-fi movies is now becoming reality,” the Huffington Post said.

Sometimes it’s helpful to get a look at what the “real” people out there are hearing—and to learn from that. Some of these are big “duhs!” from you industry folks, but I do think it’s important to hear.

So here goes—the following is taking off in the form of home security, according to the Huffington report:

·      Remote monitoring.

·      Smart door locks

·      Home sensors

·      Smart garage systems

·      Fingerprint scanners, including fingerprint door locks

·      Smart cameras

·      Complete home automation system

The report goes on to say that “the digital revolution has made its way into our homes.” For you readers, I hope it makes an even bigger dent in the near future.

Per Mar gains resi clients

Acquisition of Minn. firm brings in thousands of accounts
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10/07/2015

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Super-regional Per Mar Security Services has acquired 2,000 accounts with its purchase of Northern Safety and Security of Bemidji, Minn.

Matlins' new gig includes e-commerce

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Think Protection, the mass market home alarm company launched by industry veteran Joel Matlin in June, is preparing for another launch next month: an e-commerce store.

“The launch is incredibly exciting as potential customers can order an alarm system through the store 24/7 from anywhere in the world," Matlin's son, Adam Matlin, Think Protection's COO, told me.

"With us operating throughout the U.S. and Canada, we believe the e-commerce store will present a fantastic opportunity to dramatically expand our brand and our high value/low cost value proposition,” he said.  

Joel Matlin is CEO of the company, based and Toronto and Florida. He previously founded AlarmForce and Frisco Bay Industries.

 

 

 

ADS expands farther into South Carolina

Deal lands over 1,000 accounts
 - 
07/29/2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ADS Security, the regional electronic security and automation company headquartered here, has made its second acquisition since June with the purchase of more than 1,000 customer accounts from ProTec Plus Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Will DIY, MIY impact you?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What’s the future normal for home security? According to an article from Business Insider, it’s DIY and MIY, all from Silicon Valley giants Google and Apple along with telecom big names.

What do you think?

I speak to resi dealers five days a week. They tell me that DIY is often a selling point for them and that it works very well for some of their customers—especially in helping homeowners understand their systems better—but that MIY, on the other hand, is not beneficial. What happens if you’re an MIYer and you’re 1,000 miles away from home on vacation or a business trip?

Traditional home security systems are still the mainstay, but not for long, according to the report from Citi, the primary source in the Business Insider article. Even though traditional systems/companies currently make up 93 percent of the home security market and DIY/yet professionally monitored make up 4.7 percent, Citi says in the article, that’s all going to change.

Google’s Nest and Dropcam and Apple’s HomeKit control 2.3 percent of the market.

That 2.3 percent market share will grow to 34 percent in the next five years, Citi says, with the traditional professional systems dropping to 61.6 percent.

How will this play out? Do you agree with the Citi study? I’m interested in your opinions for future articles in Security Systems News. Please let me know. Comment, email me at acanfield@securitysystemsnews.com or call me at 207-846-0600. Thanks!

 

 

 

Ex-ADT exec kick-starts Abode

Home security company exceeds fundraising goal
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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.

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