Security

Telguard’s HomeControl Flex Offers IFTTT Integration for Security, Home Automation

Professional security and home automation panels can integrate with 170+ smart home products via IFTTT. Telguard HomeControl Flex to be demo’d at ISC West 2015.


Telguard's HomeControl Flex, debuting at ISC West 2015, gives IFTTT integration to traditional security systems.
Julie Jacobson · April 14, 2015

Telular, maker of cellular radios for security systems, is introducing Telguard HomeControl Flex at ISC West 2015 this week in Las Vegas. Flex enables alarm and home automation systems to integrate with more than 170 smart home devices via IFTTT, an online if/then engine for cloud-enabled products and services.

If the new service launches in May, as Telguard indicates, then it may be the first time that leading alarm systems integrate with the increasingly popular IFTTT.

At launch, the service will be available via Telguard’s 3G/4G and CDMA universal cellular communicators, meaning that dealers who install the communicators with any security panel can offer Flex.

But Telguard hopes to incorporate Flex more integrally into popular security panels, starting with current partners 2Gig and DSC, marketing VP Shawn Welsh tells CE Pro.

Telguard already serves 2Gig and DSC with its radios and Telguard HomeControl SHaaS (smart home as a service) platform, so it would not be a difficult next-step to incorporate Flex into these systems.

IFTTT started life as a simple way to link online services such as Twitter, weather and texting. Users set their own rules (“recipes” in IFTTT parlance) such as IF @juliejacobson is mentioned on Twitter, THEN send a text message to Julie Jacobson.

Now IFTTT boasts scores of devices that work with the service, including Nest thermostats and Protect smoke detectors, Belkin Wemo sensors and switches, Philips Hue smart bulbs, Lutron Caseta lighting and motorized shade control, Rachio irrigation systems, Wink devices, SmartThings home automation hubs and more.

What it doesn’t have – yet – is any of the major alarm panels, although ADT has said its iControl-powered security and home control panels would have a “channel” on IFTTT.

Initially, the Flex service will provide limited access to the compatible alarm panels (with the dealer’s permission), enabling remote access to top-line functions like arming and disarming.

So, for example, since IFTTT supports Google Calendar, a user might create a recipe to disarm the security system on the days that the housekeeper cleans.

So, for example, since IFTTT supports Google Calendar, a user might create a recipe to disarm the security system on the days that the housekeeper cleans.

“End users utilize a new set of mobile apps for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone to remotely arm their system with prebuilt automation rules from IFTTT to connect to the ever expanding list of consumer products and services they use every day,” according to Telguard.

Deeper access is expected in the future, most likely with 2Gig and DSC panels, Welsh says.

It might be possible, for example, for users to access devices (Z-Wave thermostats, 345-Mhz security sensors, etc.) that are attached to the alarm panel.

In that case, we might see how a motion sensor attached to a 2Gig system could trigger a Lutron Caseta light to turn on or off. Or an alarm from a Nest thermostat could trigger a 2Gig-connected Z-Wave deadbolt to unlock.

Users also would be able to install their own IoT sensors like Belkin’s Wemo, and integrate them with their security panels, without having to call a dealer to enroll more proprietary motion sensors into the alarm system.

The Opportunity for Dealers

While a large number of security dealers have embraced home control, an even larger number have not, suggests Welsh.

With IFTTT integration, he says, “Security dealers can focus on doing security soup-to-nuts and being very good at it.”

And if the customer wants to tinker with integrated home control, “By the way, this system can also plug into all of the other things in the house,” the dealer might suggest.

READ MORE ISC 2015 NEWS HERE

IFTTT integration could attract do-it-yourselfers who do want a professionally installed and monitored security system but also want the freedom to tinker. Those are the types of would-be customers that might otherwise turn to end-to-end DIY systems, bypassing professional security products and services.

In the end, Welsh tells CE Pro, the new solution, “lets security dealers focus on security, and makes the alarm panel one of many Internet of Things out there.”

Flex Implementation

Offered with all of Telguard’s 3G/4G and CDMA universal cellular alarm communicators, HomeControl Flex is available to dealers as a low-cost, basic remote arming add on. End users utilize a new set of mobile apps for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone to remotely arm their system with prebuilt automation rules for IFTTT.

For dealers who want to highlight their brand, HomeControl Flex features a customizable portal where dealers can upload their logo and select a color theme that dominates the UI.

Existing Telguard Interactive accounts can be upgraded to HomeControl Flex without any additional fees and they will immediately have access to all of the new features and flexibility available with HomeControl Flex: IFTTT connectivity, the portal and mobile apps.

Those mobile apps include the new Telguard Installer Tools app for iOS and Android. The app helps Telguard security dealers more quickly and efficiently install Telguard products and solutions, according to the company:

By using the same credentials as the Telguard dealer portal, the Telguard Installer Tools app enables technicians to quickly and efficiently service customers. The free app allows a technician to register or replace Telguard devices, check signal strengths, access diagnostic tools, leverage a barcode scanner reader, and more, all while eliminating desk time.

Read more about Telguard Installer Tools here.

As for HomeControl Flex, it is currently in friends-and-family testing and will be fully available to security dealers in May, according to Telguard.
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JULIE JACOBSON
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  About the Author

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 jjacobson@ehpub.com

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  Article Topics


Security · News · 2gig · DSC · IFTTT · Telguard · All Topics
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