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Unboxing Abode’s Security and Home Automation System for DIYs and Pros

My favorite little security and home automation start-up Abode is in production mode with a solution suitable for both DIYs and security dealers who require UL-certified products.

Unboxing Abode security and home automation starter kit.

Photos & Slideshow

Julie Jacobson · October 23, 2015

Abode, the security and home automation company founded by former ADT and Salesforce.com execs, is now shipping its first batch of products - featuring ZigBee, Z-Wave and 433 Mhz communications - to about 500 Kickstarter backers.

During CEDIA Expo 2015, I visited with CEO and co-founder Chris Carney, a former finance exec for ADT, who stopped by to show me the first kit off the production line -- shrink-wrapped and everything.

I had the privilege of sharing the unboxing experience with him -- maybe not a big deal for anyone who has never manufactured a product, but a crazy-cool moment for someone who has sunk a whole lot of money, energy and risk into a new enterprise.

The start-up kit includes the Abode Gateway (hub), two door/window sensors, one motion camera and a keyfob, plus power brick, Ethernet cord and a window sticker.

What I like so much about Abode is not just the beautiful app -- it makes device enrollment and configuration so simple for DIYs and Pros -- but also the potential business model around this product.

It is the only DIY-friendly solution I've seen so far that will be UL rated for security (ETL 1023), meaning it has a 12- to 16-hour back-up battery and meets other safety standards set out by UL for this type of product. VIDEO: Abode unboxing: look at CEO Chris Carney smile

The importance of this certification (coming in "a few weeks," according to Carney) is that professional security dealers often demand it for their customers. Many wouldn't dare install a system that is not UL-listed. It also makes sense for the increasingly popular business model of configuring a system in the dealer's office and shipping it off to customers for self-installation, ready to collect recurring revenue.

There's pay-as-you-go professional monitoring service available and plenty other features that makes this a unique proposition for both dealers and consumers. Cellular and Ethernet communications are used for interaction with the monitoring station.

Please read the full story on Abode here.

Carney says that 500 boxes are shipping from Taiwan this week.

The average price of all kits sold on Kickstarter was $550, according to Carney. The earliest backers paid $199. The regular retail price will be $399.

For the next lot, Abode is taking preorders ($329) until the end of October, and will be live on Amazon Launch Pad beginning November 1.

RELATED: Abode is Most Promising Security, Home Automation Solution in a Long Time - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JULIE JACOBSON image image image image

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  About the Author

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 julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Security · News · Media · Slideshow · Abode · All Topics
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