As I do every December, I was writing about this year’s mergers, acquisitions, IPOs and other equity events in the home-technology channel – you know, just a quick paragraph on each (coming soon). When I got to Resideo, though, the little blurb I intended to write turned out to be more like a novel.
So here it is in a longer form, starting with the conclusion: Resideo could have the first viable business for comprehensive remote monitoring and home services – basically doing for all home systems what it’s done for security. Who could have fathomed this proposition even a year ago?
“We envision a future where our home anticipates problems, takes appropriate action and connects to a qualified professional to correct the issue,” said Alice DeBiasio, Resideo VP and GM of Global Pros Security, in an August 2019 interview with the Electronic Security Association.
Resideo (REZI) is the security, home automation, HVAC and building-controls group that spun off from Honeywell in late 2018, forming a new $5 billion (revenues) public company. Free at last from its $40 billion parent company, Resideo quickly acquired three niche businesses that Honeywell probably wouldn’t make time to sneeze at, much less acquire in rapid succession.
The three acquisitions were LifeWhere, Whisker Labs (one division) and Buoy Labs – three relative startups with technology to monitor and react to various conditions in the home. LifeWhere measures the performance of home appliances and warns of potential breakdowns. The unit acquired from Whisker Labs learns the heating and cooling patterns of a home, mashes it up with outdoor weather data, and auto-adjusts the indoor temperature for energy management and comfort. Buoy Labs tracks the flow of water in a home, issuing alerts and/or cutting off the water supply if anomalies are detected.
Each solution comes with a recurring fee, which is easily justified: Just imagine the expense and heartbreak of doing without the protection! Non-subscribers could face mold and flooding (from slow and fast water leaks, respectively), inefficient heating and cooling, and the premature demise of unchecked appliances.
In theory, Resideo could prevent all these calamities or at least mitigate damages, just as the company does today for other threats to people and property – fire, gas leaks, water leaks, break-ins, vandalism, personal emergencies, and more.
Resideo could wrap the new protections in a bundle that includes existing security and home-automation services. Ultimately, the company could own the home-monitoring and -services category like no one else can, at least not anytime soon. Traditional providers of insurance, home warranties, energy, security, and smart-home services will be playing catch-up. They’re not even close.
Resideo Has Infrastructure for Whole-Home Protection
Unlike other would-be home-protection companies, Resideo already has the infrastructure to monitor consumers, their homes, and their things … and to respond accordingly:
- Plentiful security and home-automation products for the premises, including alarm systems, access controls, smoke/CO detectors, thermostats, IP cameras, lots of niche sensors, and hubs and gateways for integration.
- IP/cellular devices and networks for communications among and between devices, homeowners, dealers, central stations, emergency service providers, other emergency contacts, and additional designees.
- 24/7 professional alarm monitoring (including video verification) through redundant central monitoring stations.
- Total Connect, a SHaaS (smart home as a service) platform that integrates monitored security and home automation functions in the cloud for remote access and two-way communications. The platform supports a wide range of products, services and parties (users, central stations, emergency services, dealers, designated friends and family …).
- User-friendly Total Connect app that enables consumers to configure their systems and services, and to monitor and manage their homes remotely.
- An army of authorized Honeywell Home dealers who sell, install, and support Resideo solutions, plus a powerful dealer program that includes training, marketing, incentives, business software and partner portal, special events and more; a recurring revenue model that encourages dealers to acquire more customers and sell additional products and services.
- A big, big brand … Honeywell.
Looking at the capabilities and strengths above, we can imagine Resideo incorporating LifeWhere, Whisker and Buoy pretty quickly into their technological platforms and business models – at least much more easily than perhaps any other operator.
- New products from the acquired companies fit right in to the product mix already offered by Resideo and purchased/installed by its dealers.
- New solutions from the acquired companies could utilize the same communications networks already employed by Resideo.
- Could Resideo’s existing central stations and personnel also monitor and respond to alerts from the new products? Probably so. They already monitor things like leak detection.
- Resideo should be able to integrate the three new solutions into the Total Connect platform and app pretty easily – just as it did recently with the Honeywell Total Connect Tracking Service.
- See #4 above. Piece of cake.
- Honeywell Home dealers should be perfectly capable of selling and installing the new solutions … not to mention eager to add the associated fees to their service plans, while improving customer retention. A new app, Resideo Pro, will help dealers better service their clients through account management and service calls.
- The Honeywell brand makes perfect sense for this new suite of products. Honeywell Home dealers would be natural providers of the services, and their existing customers likely would listen to the latest pitch.
As for #6 above: “We believe there are added monitoring opportunities for our dealers who are interested in these added elements of home protection, beyond just break-ins or fires,” said Alice DeBiasio, Resideo VP and GM of Global Pros Security, in an August 2019 interview with the Electronic Security Association.
She adds, “[A]ll these acquisitions are going to position Resideo and our thousands of professionals as the experts in home protection.”
New App to Integrate All Services, Plus Indoor Air Quality
Resideo is in the process of revamping its user app, as well as its dealer portal, to incorporate all the new devices and conditions the company can monitor.
For now, the new Resideo Home app exposes the Buoy Whole Home Water Controller and Buoy Water Leak Detectors. From there, users can access Buoy’s “free features, or upgrade to premium services like advanced automatic water shutoff and leak alerts,” Resideo explains.
We should expect the same fremium model to apply to other Resideo offerings — all of which eventually will be part of the new app. The company doesn’t expect to add its legacy security capability to the app until the end of 2020.
Resideo introduced the new app at a Dec. 4, 2019, event in its home town of Austin, Texas, explaining how it will “make whole-home monitoring possible for the four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security.”
Resideo CEO Mike Nefkens said, “We do not believe that the critical systems of the home should be a do-it-yourself adventure. Through the new Resideo Home app, we’re going to bring the world of proactive, professional monitoring to the entire home, helping better protect the people inside and mitigating problems before they arise.”
The “proactive” element is the new thing for Resideo. Its current security and home-automation systems are pretty smart today, but don’t provide much in the way of AI and predictive analytics. Resideo service providers tend to react to emergencies after the fact, rather than anticipate them through smart devices on the premises and analytics in the cloud.
All three recent acquisitions — Whisker, Buoy and LifeWhere — bring predictive analytics to the Resideo ecosystem, exposing some amount of information for self-monitoring and reserving some of the smarts for fee-based services.
Resideo also (re)introduced an indoor air quality monitor to its smart ecosystem that “will pair with the app to let homeowners and their home pros see real-time carbon dioxide levels, particles, chemicals and humidity to understand the air inside and do something about it.”
Meanwhile, Resideo is working on its “next-generation smart thermostat” that will integrate with the Resideo Home app, and serve as a dashboard for all the new and legacy things Resideo monitors.
AAA for the Home?
For several years, the insurance companies have been eyeing IoT as a way to glean more data from the home and its occupants, and provide more services to the insured. They’re struggling.
The Holy Grail would be something like a Triple-A for the home, much like we have for cars. Everyone has AAA, because it’s silly not to. The auto “insurance” costs just $100 or $200 per year, and they’re everywhere and anywhere in case of an emergency or inconvenience. Towing, changing a tire, jumping a car, adding gas … these and similar services are free. If you need anything more, you pay extra.
It’s relatively simple to apply this kind of service to automobiles because independent car-towing trucks and mechanics are everywhere — the original Ubers of our times.
The home is harder because there are so many specialized systems to master; however, with a growing roster of smart devices to monitor these systems, a cloud service to make sense of the data, apps and dashboards for self- and pro-monitoring, and thousands of feet on the street for service and support (about 110,000), Resideo just might be able to pull it off.
How much would you pay for AAA in the home? Put me down for about $400 per year.
PRESS RELEASE – DEC. 4, 2019
New Resideo Home App Enables Whole-Home Pro Monitoring of Critical Air, Water, Energy, Security Networks
- Resideo’s upcoming products and subscription services will seamlessly connect homeowners with professionals to help make homes safer, more efficient and smarter.
- Company’s existing portfolio of smart products and services will upgrade to Resideo Home app through 2020.
- App pairs homeowners with residential professionals to provide analytics and insights to help protect homes and identify trouble before it becomes catastrophic.
- Subscription water services available today in the app; new Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Monitor expands indoor air subscription services for Pros.
AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 4, 2019 – Resideo Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: REZI), today announced the launch of the Resideo Home app, which will make whole-home monitoring possible for the four critical networks of the home – water, air, energy and security. At an event for industry professionals and partners at the historic Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre in Austin, the company showcased its vision for the future of the smart home and upcoming subscription services made possible by the new app. Through these services, homeowners will easily connect with professionals who can help ensure home networks are operating efficiently and can intervene to help prevent costly damages, like water leaks and major appliance failures.
“At Resideo, we’re committed to helping homeowners make sense of their homes, and in the process, help professionals modernize and expand their businesses while giving a better experience to customers,” said Mike Nefkens, president and CEO of Resideo. “We do not believe that the critical systems of the home should be a do-it-yourself adventure. Through the new Resideo Home app, we’re going to bring the world of proactive, professional monitoring to the entire home, helping better protect the people inside and mitigating problems before they arise.”
Resideo Home and Resideo Pro Apps
Designed to provide homeowners with a simple, unified platform that connects and manages the home, Resideo will enable the migration of the company’s 6.5 million connected customers, currently spread out among its existing apps, into the Resideo Home app throughout 2020. Starting today, users of Resideo’s recently launched Buoy Whole Home Water Controller and Buoy Water Leak Detectors can begin using the new app and access its free features, or upgrade to premium services like advanced automatic water shutoff and leak alerts. In the coming months, Resideo will integrate air products, such as the T Series line of smart thermostats, into the app. By the end of 2020, the app will support Resideo whole-home security systems as well.
Unlike other smart-home apps that merely control gadgets, the Resideo Home app looks at the entire home by offering a glimpse into how the air, water, security and energy systems are performing. The bright and visually rich user experience offers insights through analytics that will help the homeowner identify energy savings, water usage and other tips over time.
A professional version of the app, Resideo Pro, will provide professionals with installation tools, help them better service customers through account management and service calls, and provide access to new business opportunities.
New Whole-Home Services
Resideo also unveiled its new portfolio of connected, whole-home monitoring solutions that will be accessible through the app. Approximately 25% of homes in the United States have professionally monitored security. In a first for the industry, the new subscription services from Resideo extend professional monitoring to the other critical networks of the home. Resideo’s new subscription services will help pros and homeowners use the data already being produced by the critical systems of the home in ways that make the home work better and more efficiently.
“We’re giving the entire home a pulse to help both homeowners and the trade professionals save time and resources,” said Niccolo de Masi, chief innovation officer and president of Products & Solutions, Resideo. “For most people, their home is their largest financial investment – where they live with their loved ones and keep their most precious possessions. We are proud to bring this much-needed enhanced protection to the home.”
- Smart Water Management is now available on the Resideo app and integrates with the Buoy Whole Home Water Controller and the Buoy Water Leak Detector. Through the new $9.99 subscription service, homeowners can start to make informed choices about their water use. Using data from the water controller, the Resideo Home app categorizes water usage, measures flow rate, applies advanced machine-learning algorithms and analyzes insights in real-time to help homeowners better conserve water while protecting their home.
- Energy Services will launch on existing T Series Smart Thermostats in the Resideo app in 2020. The software service understands how the home’s HVAC system reacts and recovers to changing weather conditions. With that data, the smart thermostat knows how to adjust the schedule while using the least amount of energy possible.
- Indoor Air Quality Services will provide real-time monitoring of factors affecting indoor air quality (IAQ) and provide tips that help the homeowner take action. Resideo today announced its new Indoor Air Quality Monitor, which will pair with the app to let homeowners and their home pros see real-time carbon dioxide levels, particles, chemicals and humidity to understand the air inside and do something about it.
- Critical Appliance Monitoring Services will help homeowners stay ahead of equipment maintenance issues and breakdowns. Before aging or failing appliances quit altogether, they tend to draw more energy as their efficiency decreases. Pros and homeowners using the Resideo app and upcoming monitoring equipment will have access to data that can help diagnose a problem before it gets more serious and prevent premature failure in costly appliances like water heaters and furnaces.
- Security Services integration in the app will allow homeowners to control Resideo’s ProSeries Home Security and Smart Home Platform coming to market in 2020. This revolutionary platform delivers entry-level security protection with the ability to scale to a fully integrated smart home security solution. It features new self-contained wireless and hybrid panels, an expanded line of advanced encrypted sensors and life safety devices, technology expansion modules interchangeable across the entire platform to help reduce inventory and training costs, and end-user replaceable parts creating operational cost efficiencies for dealers with increased account longevity. Coupled with the new app, this platform brings security, life safety and connected technology to homes, with a host of features and benefits in one scalable, flexible, end-to-end platform.
New Tools and Services for Professionals
Resideo also announced a new digital experience that can help its network of 110,000 trade professionals – and their 1 million technicians – build business for the future, simplify operations and strengthen relationships with homeowners. The Resideo Pro Portal offers a single destination for product information, product support, access to services and tools to promote and drive leads. A new training and loyalty program called Resideo Pro PERKS launches in January 2020.
Through the Pro PERKS program, pros and distributors will be able to access a tiered system of benefits, including strategic partnerships with other pros in Resideo’s network to take advantage of new business opportunities across the homes’ critical networks, new marketing tools to sell smart home solutions, and new video courses to become experts on the latest technologies.
“Resideo’s value proposition is firmly grounded in the belief that DIY companies are simply not equipped to address the installation and integration challenges due to the vast number of smart-home devices on the market, as well as lacking the know-how that local contractors have,” said Mark Vena, senior smart home analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. “In addition, to manage critical systems in the home like air conditioning, heating, water management and energy utilization, advanced technical training and professional-grade equipment is required – two things the average consumer or the DIY companies don’t possess.”
Next Generation Comfort Platform
Resideo also unveiled concepts for its next-generation smart thermostat it will develop in partnership with professional contractors. Much more than a thermostat, the device will fully integrate with the Resideo Home app, providing insight into the four critical networks and access to subscription services through on-the-wall control with a modern user interface.
The company plans to launch alpha and beta test programs with professionals in 2020.
“We have an enormous advantage to deliver whole-home monitoring because of our presence in 150 million homes and decades of experience,” Nefkens said. “Our professional network of suppliers, dealers, contractors and installers ensures the job is done right, that dedicated support is always within reach, and will lay the groundwork to bring the next era of the connected home to life.”
Resideo is a leading global provider of critical comfort and security solutions primarily in residential environments and distributor of low-voltage electronic and security products. Building on a 130-year heritage, Resideo has a presence in more than 150 million homes, with 15 million systems installed in homes each year. We continue to serve more than 110,000 contractors through leading distributors, including our ADI Global Distribution business, which exports to more than 100 countries from more than 200 stocking locations around the world. Resideo is a $4.8 billion company with approximately 13,000 global employees.