State of the Market: Alarm Systems 2012
This year the alarm industry is increasingly unshackled from landlines and high costs, buoyed by end user demand for remote/interactive services, and up against more competition.
There is a continuous contention of simplicity expected by the homeowner with the complexity of the ever-evolving connected home and its converging systems and devices, according to Tricia Parks, CEO at Parks Associates.
Dwight Sears, president of Silent Guard, Somerset, Ky., agrees. “The biggest homeowner need going into 2012 is simplicity. With all of the advancing technology options, it has to be made easy to operate. Customers want to do more with less; a one button does all, so to speak.”
It is a charge many manufacturers like Honeywell are taking seriously.
“The ‘next normal’ is being able to make sure that whatever you are offering can be controlled with a world-class interface and that it does anything end users want seamlessly. More importantly, any upgrade is simple or even invisible to them. As we developed Total Connect 2.0, security, usability and simplicity were key focuses for us. To us, it is important that two things be understood about this security offering. We didn’t approach it from the sizzle side first and then figure out how to back into security. It is built on good data encryption and security. That’s what people don’t see. On the other hand, the simplicity we strive for is something they experience every day,” says Gordan Hope of Honeywell.
That is why the downloading/upgrading concept of the app is a wonderful option for the industry.
“I have about 70 apps on my desktop and they are fighting for their portion of dominance on my display. How well you can put functionality together inside an app matters. That is what we are trying to do with the Total Connect 2.0 system. People’s expectations are growing and changing over time and we always need to respond to that. However, when we add capability with the Total Connect 2.0 app, our end users still just have one app. They still click the one icon. Today you click it and it does security. Tomorrow you click the app and it allows a new service like GPS tracking, but, more importantly, it still is only one simple icon,” Hope describes.
“The better job we do with these systems, the easier we make them, the more people will naturally gravitate to them,” Hope says.
Honeywell’s Total Connect 2.0 upgrade was designed to simplify operation, but also simplify the installer’s operational burden and is pre-configured to work with Honeywell’s LYNX and VISTA alarm controls. Highlights include an interactive dashboard with Flash-based graphics, enhanced navigation, a simplified set-up process and new capabilities.