ADT recognizes the need to maintain the “relevance” of security systems in today’s smart home world. The company hasn’t been able to stay in business for 143 years without being nimble. Today is no different.
“Just as consumers are demanding new ways to engage traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, the same may hold true with how they interact with their home security providers,” says Jay Darfler, senior vice president, emerging technologies for ADT. “The connected consumer expects to have multiple paths to purchase – whether that be online, in-store or a combination of both – they want a seamless experience. The same change in dynamics could extend to how, what and where they choose to protect the things that matter most to them – with smart homes or home automation and a mobile lifestyle driving the change.”
So, ADT, which is the No. 3 company in the 2017 CE Pro 100 list of the highest revenue residential custom installation companies, aims to continue to push the envelope technology-wise in its smart home solutions, led by ADT Pulse.
Since its introduction seven years ago, there have been more than 2 million ADT Pulse systems sold and installed. Darfler notes if ADT Pulse was a standalone company, it would be the second largest security provider in the U.S., only trailing ADT itself.
That technology push from Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT includes the incorporation of voice activation from Amazon Echo and Echo Dot for Pulse that enable homeowners to use simple voice commands (and a security PIN) to arm and disarm their security system. ADT Pulse is also supporting wearables, IP cameras and other smart devices.
“Other devices on the market are also fit for inclusion in the ‘new age of personal security,’ including the LG Smart Security (LGSS), an all-in-one security and home automation device with full HD video capabilities,” explains Darfler. “LGSS can serve as the smart home integration device allowing consumers to add other connected products and control them through a dedicated mobile app on their smart device. Customers can also choose to add 24/7 professional security monitoring and secure video storage solutions based on their lifestyle and what they need to protect.”
Changing Market Needs Around Smart Home Devices
Darfler cites data from a study funded by Intel that says roughly 16 percent of Americans now own at least one smart home device, but nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believe smart homes will be as commonplace as smartphones in the next 10 years.
As a reference point, Pew Research’s November 2016 pegs smart phone ownership among consumers at 77 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011. Another study from Scripps Networks Interactive found that safety (75 percent) and energy efficiency (68 percent) are two of the top reasons for smart home device purchases.
“So how do these emerging trends translate to what home security providers need to understand?” Darfler asks rhetorically. “At ADT, we believe they signal a subtle but important change in what consumers are looking for as it relates to their personal safety and the safety of their friends and family. They want a smart home that is also a safe home. They want to be able to control certain functions including their security systems from their smart devices, not just from the home but from anywhere at any time. And we know that they want to extend that security beyond the front door to their on-the-go lives to gain the peace of mind that only 24/7 professional monitoring can provide. For the past 140 plus years, ADT has been combining human and technology capabilities to help keep people, homes and businesses safe – and we will continue down that path with smart home devices.”
All of these initiatives are aimed a responding to the changing lifestyles of consumers.
“Security providers will need to continue to leverage the latest technology to create solutions that provide customers the peace of mind, wherever life takes them,” says Darfler, specifically citing uses such as private family mapping on smart phones, localized crime alert information, roadside assistance, one-touch panic buttons and distracted driving alerts for parents of teen drivers.
“We strongly feel it will become increasingly important for security providers to expand their compatible device eco-systems and supporting API structure to allow customers to take advantage of best-in-class smart home devices as we have done with companies like Samsung, Amazon, LG, and others. We will continue to seek out new technology partners and define solutions that expand our relevance to new classes of consumers in the connected tech and IoT markets, hopefully leading the evolution of the definition of security along the way,” he concludes.