ADT Pulse Eying DIY Market with New Security, Home Automation Panel?
ADT will showcase a new, proprietary all-in-one security/home automation system at CES 2015, along with IFTTT integration and perhaps a new deal with Nest.
It looks like ADT could have some interesting security and home automation news at CES 2015, potentially in the DIY department with a new easy-install panel and IFTTT integration. Let’s start with the brand new proprietary panel called Total Security.
To power its ADT Pulse security and home automation service, ADT has been using a three-part system comprising a traditional Honeywell security control panel coupled with an external iHub gateway with all the smarts, and a special Honeywell bridge (HSPIM) for keypads.
ADT’s new Total Security system, however, combines all the necessary parts – security bus, Z-Wave, IP gateway, keypad – into a single panel that includes a speaker for a siren and one-way audio (for now).
CE Pro discovered the new product in an excellent blog by independent ADT dealer Zion Security, headquartered in Salt Lake City with 12 locations in Utah and California.
Zion blogger Jacob Menke notes that in addition to the new product, ADT is changing the way its smart panels communicate with a central station: through the Internet rather than cellular. To be sure, a cell radio is built into the panel for back-up in case the network goes down.
For interactive services, ADT Pulse has always used Icontrol for interactive services; however, the Zion piece says nothing about the SHaaS (smart home as a service) provider for the new TS product.
And ADT itself isn’t talking until CES.
In addition to the new self-contained nature of the new TS panel, the system has way more capacity than the current ADT Pulse, according to Menke. Today’s Pulse supports 40-64 security devices (or “zones” in security parlance). The new TS supports 250, which is a lot for the residential market.
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The current iHub supports 10 cameras; the new system supports 16.
With this product, ADT seems to have its eyes on the DIY market, notes Menke:
“It is so easy to install now that you could literally ship it to customers and let them put the door sensors and motion detectors up if they wanted,” he says. “All programming is done from a browser anyway and it can be shipped pre-programmed.”
Like many other dealers who sell pre-configured systems to their monitored customers, Zion sees dollar signs with this product: “I am very excited to be able to offer this to my customers in the next few months as the training and inventory become available.
IFTTT and Maybe Nest
It would not be surprising if ADT tapped the DIY market with Total Security (and we say DIY, we mean DIY install with professional monitoring). After all, the service provider announced last year that it would support IFTTT, the increasingly popular rules engine for do-it-yourselfers.
ADT says it will have a Pulse “channel” on IFTTT soon, so users can integrate with products and services not already supported by Pulse.
For example, “If ADT security panel is armed to away, then set Nest thermostat back five degrees.”
“I see where people will really see the benefit of integrating ADT Pulse with what they already have, especially where there are limitations like audio,” says Taniqua Johnson-Pino, a blogger and customer care representative for California Security Pro, an independent ADT dealer.
When she learned of ADT’s intentions with IFTTT, Johnson-Pino set up an IFTTT account and began learning the platform.
Customers, she says, “can get IoT devices from Best Buy and have that work with their ADT system.”
She anticipates the ADT/IFTTT integration “will feed into a lot of niches, like exercise gurus who use Fitbit.”
In the spirit of engaging the consumer in their tech products – a Top 5 CE Pro Trend to Watch in 2015 – Johnson-Pino says, “It’s just fun. Home automation is a utility but it’s also fun.”
ADT says it will be demonstrating both IFTTT and Total Security at CES.
The Nest Question
In late December, Forbes reported that Nest was in talks with ADT to partner on future products.
According to the report, Nest thermostats and smoke alarms would integrate with the Pulse platform, and ultimately ADT’s call center.
The world went gaga over the news, but really it is no big technical feat to pull off. ADT Pulse uses Icontrol on the back end and Nest is an Icontrol partner. Any Icontrol partner device can quite easily be integrated in the cloud.
“What they love is ADT’s seven million customers, 4,000 sales representatives and the relationships we have with fire departments and other emergency services, so that when there is an alarm we can dispatch the right people,” ADT’s CEO Naren Gursahaney told Forbes.
ADT Total Security images courtesy of Zion Security
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Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at email@example.com
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