Security Systems News

MAR 2018

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Head briefs My Alarm Center partners with ROAR for Good By Spencer Ives LAS VEGAS—At CES 2018 Vivint unveiled Streety, a free app that can help protect a neighborhood through connec- tivity to shared cameras, which will be launching March 1 in the U.S. and Canada, Clint Gor- don-Carroll, vice president and general manager of cameras at Vivint Smart Home, told Security Systems News. Gordon-Carroll commented on the influx of IP cameras in the consumer space as a starting point for the planning behind Streety. "The consumer shelves are filling up with these IP cam- eras, and consumers want to buy them," he said. "From that insight and watching this prolif- eration, Vivint started looking at: How does the smart home expand outside of the home, into the smart neighborhood, and how do we network these things together?" Through Streety, consumers can look through neighbor's out- door cameras or video doorbells—with their permission—to keep an eye on the neigh- borhood. They can share footage with this neighborhood network to look for a lost pet, track a deliv- ery truck or check in on children playing in the area. Connected consumers can use the app to request footage of a certain time or incident, and users can also provide writ- ten input through the platform if they don't have a camera. Streety users do not need to be Vivint customers, they only need to uti- lize a camera that works with the app. Vivint estimates that one out of every 10 Streety users will be a Vivint customer, Gordon- Carroll said. "We want to be able to network the cam- eras together because we want to be able to create more intel- ligent neighborhoods, just like [how] Vivint is focused on creating an intelligent home," Gordon-Carroll said. Shortly after the launch of the app, Vivint will be rolling out a "Works with Streety" program, Gordon-Carroll said. The com- pany is already working with a couple of camera manufacturers, he noted. Camera partners can have branding inside the app to help users know which camera feed they are viewing. Vivint started developing Streety about 12 months ago, according to Gordon-Car- roll. Part of the development involved testing in "beta-neigh- borhoods" in Las Vegas, Dallas, Baton Rouge, La., Tampa, Fla., and in Utah over about four months. "It really only takes two people, two neighbors that care about each other, to make it a viable experience," Gordon- Carroll said, adding that Vivint customers are often in close proximity to each other. "We're building this out … neighbor- hood by neighborhood." SSN Vivint unveils neighborhood-focused app Research shows that all is not golden in the connected smart home ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—More than one in three U.S. adults experience issues setting up or operating a connected device, according to data released from the Customer and Product Experience 360 (CPX 360 ) Survey by iQor, a global managed services provider based in St. Petersburg, Fla. According to the CPX 360 survey, con- sumers report having to take more than eight steps to resolve a technical problem or issue with a smart device. Further, con- sumers are spending, on average, close to 1.5 hours of their own time resolving these issues and one hour working with customer service. Nearly one in four con- sumers (22 percent) couldn't resolve the issue, and returned the product. Throughout the customer and prod- uct service journey, the CPX 360 survey reports consumers dealt with an average of 2.1 companies, over 2.7 sessions and with 3.1 different people as they attempt- ed to install and engage with new con- nected technology in their home. For 17 percent of respondents, the challenge was even greater and involved dealing with five or more people for help. According to the data, the inability to provide a seamless, frictionless experi- ence across all support channels creates frustration and confusion for the consum- er as they interact with multiple people and companies in the resolution process. "Adoption of connected devices is on the verge of transitioning from early adopters to the mainstream as popu- larity and integration of IoT expands and homes become smarter," Autumn Braswell, COO, LinQ Integrated Solutions at iQor, said in the study. "It is crucial that organizations streamline and improve the support process now to reduce the number of steps, people and brands required to unlock the intended value of the connected device and ensure that the customer service challenges are addressed before mass adoption." Study: Homeowners want more home-living options DALLAS—New research from Parks Associates finds 40 percent of consum- ers would pay for at least one home-living service for themselves, including one- third who are interested in a service that alerts family during an emergency. "Interest in home-living services will increase as the U.S. population ages," Kristen Hanich, research analyst, Parks Associates, said in the announcement. "Nearly 50 percent of consumers 65 and older see these services as useful, but only 27 percent would pay for them for themselves. Younger people show more interest in using technology to support their quality of life and so are more inter- ested in paying for home-living services for themselves." By Spencer Ives NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.— My Alarm Center recently announced a new partner- ship with personal safety device manufacturer ROAR f o r G o o d ; t h e c o m p a n y 's Athena device can sound an alarm and alert contacts if a user feels unsafe. "Both organizations are extremely passionate about keeping people safe, both in their homes and outside their homes, and that makes for a really good partner- ship," Megan MacDonald, vice president of marketing at My Alarm Center, told Secu- rity Systems News. The Athena device con- nects with the user's phone, can clip onto a bag or cloth- ing and is rechargeable. As part of the partnership, My Alarm Center gave about 24 Athena devices to its sales staff operating in the field. M y A l a r m C e n t e r a l s o sponsored a gift of Athena d e v i c e s t o t h e C o v e n a n t House Pennsylvania, a char- i t y f o c u s e d o n h o m e l e s s youth. The Covenant House P e n n s y l v a n i a i n t e n d s t o use the Athena devices for their staff, according to the announcement. "We are delighted with our partnership with My Alarm Center. They place tremen- dous value on making our communities safer and that is at the core of what we do and strive for everyday," Yas- mine Mustafa, CEO and co- founder of ROAR for Good, said in a prepared statement. M y A l a r m C e n t e r w a s familiar with ROAR for Good before meeting with them, MacDonald noted, as both companies are based in the Philadelphia area. "When we had the oppor- tunity to meet with them we were very, very excited to do so," she said. This partnership will also expand in the future, accord- ing to MacDonald, potentially with ROAR for Good and My Alarm Center each promoting their partner's products and services. "We are working on fur- thering the partnership by making devices available at a discounted rate to some of our existing customers, so they have a solution for not only protecting their home and family … but they also have solutions for themselves or their family members to take with them on-the-go, to be safe wherever they are." M a c D o n a l d c o n t i n u e d , " A d d i t i o n a l l y, w e ' re a l s o working on making our ser- vices and products available to Athena users." SSN By SSN Staff TEL AVIV, Israel and MOUN- TAIN VIEW, Calif.—Essence, a provider of connected living solutions, recently announces that its WeR@Home technol- ogy has been integrated with the Google Assistant, allow- ing WeR@Home customers to use the Google Assistant on their phone; voice-activated speaker, like Google Home; and more to operate their Essence-based IoT solutions. "The integration of the Essence WeR@Home plat- form with the Google Assis- tant gives users even more choice when looking to cre- ate a connected smart home experience," Mark Spates, product lead for Smart Home at Google, said in the announcement. "We're looking forward to work- ing together and bringing Essence technology to even more homes via the Google Assistant." E s s e n c e We R @ H o m e Smart Living enables con- sumers to enjoy IoT's pos- sibilities through seamlessly and remotely managing their connected homes. The com- prehensive security, safety and smart home solution is easy-to-install and simple to use and leverages IoT and M2M communication tech- nologies to deliver a complete connected-home experience. Essence is one of the first Israeli OEM's to integrate a smart home solution with the Google Assistant. Essence has been a home security platform provider for more than 20 years—IoT before the term existed—delivering highly secure, easy to control and manage, and beautifully designed safety, security, and home management systems. "Working with Essence gives Google Assistant cus- tomers the ability to use voice commands to control many aspects of their homes' security, safety, and automa- tion," Ronnie Nir, Essence VP sales & marketing, said in a prepared statement. "This is the first step in reducing our reliance on apps, with voice control ultimately being the main way we manage the multitude of IoT devices within our environments." He continued, "Ultimately, the business of connected living is to offer technolo- gies that let service providers deliver exceptional customer experience," said Nir. "The combination of the Google Assistant with Essence gives our integrators and distribu- tors an advantage in the mar- ket." SSN Essence working with Google Home Assistant Gordon-Carroll www.securitysystemsnews.com march 2018 SE c U r ITY SYSTE m S NEWS Residential s ystems 20 residential s ystems

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