DSC Taps iControl for Cloud-based Security, Home Automation
New Connect24 service offers remote monitoring/control of DSC security, surveillance, lighting, energy management, other Z-Wave home automation devices; will DSC become backbone of ADT Pulse?
For a few years, DSC has offered cloud-based security services through its partner Connect24.
But the existing service is fairly basic, with remote access to a home’s alarm system and surveillance cameras. It does not support home automation devices such as lighting controls and thermostats.
That will change this fall when Connect24 rolls out a new offering powered by iControl’s OpenHome platform, the same technology behind ADT Pulse.
The new service, introduced during the recent International Security Conference (ISC West) is fairly similar to ADT Pulse (view architecture), but instead of using GE and Honeywell for security, Connect24 uses DSC.
The DSC alarm panel, melded with iControl technology, communicates via IP or cellular networks to Connect24. With iControl running in the background, the Connect24 servers aggregate information from the home’s alarm system, surveillance cameras, and Z-Wave-enabled home automation devices including door locks, lights and thermostats.
Connect24 portal, powered by iControl, enables users to monitor and manage security/automation systems from a remote location. This demo during ISC West 2011 features a prototype interface. C24’s Michael DeMille says the final product will have a “richer interface.” Click to enlarge.
From there, consumers can monitor and manage their home systems via smart phones or any Web browser. They also can receive text alerts as specified, for example, when their kids disarm the security system after school (which might trigger the front-door camera to shoot a 10-second clip and email it to Mom and Dad).
A professional security dealer installs the system, but after it is set up, the consumer can easily create their own schedules, email and text alerts, and scenes (HOME, AWAY, GOODNIGHT, VACATION, MOVIE TIME, etc.).
Connect24 is not a professional security monitoring service; it is only the portal for home monitoring and control. Dealers bring their own central station to the mix, and tack on an extra fee for the Connect24 service.
Connect24 has not set pricing for its service, which will launch this fall, says Michael DeMille, director of product management.
But, he says, “It will be competitive” with similar services, such as those currently offered by ADT (Pulse), Alarm.com, and eventually Honeywell and others.
DeMille also notes that the iControl technology – including IP and/or GSM communications modules – will be integrated into select DSC alarm panels, so a separate hub will not be required.
Currently, an “iHub” is required in the ADT Pulse ecosystem, but a more integrated solution is expected in the future.
The big question is: Will ADT continue to use GE and Honeywell for the Pulse system?
ADT, DSC and Connect24 are all owned by Tyco, which has invested millions in iControl. But then, so has GE, before sold its security division to UTC.
ADT already uses DSC alarm panels for its standard security installations.
Meanwhile, Honeywell is coming out with its own competitive security/automation service via Total Connect 2.0. And GE Security (now Interlogix under UTC) continues to partner with Alarm.com, which competes with iControl.
News Flash! Xanboo, an iControl competitor recently acquired by AT&T, just dumped all of its dealers. DSC was one of the security panels supported by Xanboo; now dealers can replace the offering with Connect24.
Control24/iControl ecosystem includes DSC security panel, Z-Wave devices, wireless cameras, Web portal
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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