ADT Announces Strategic Shift; Offers Products and Services Beyond the Traditional
ADT announced several new and innovative product features, partnerships, and industry firsts at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that continue to push the company beyond the bounds of traditional alarm systems. One of those industry firsts is ADT’s partnership with Ford Motor Co., which will allow ADT Pulse users to control aspects of their home using voice commands through the Ford SYNC AppLink.
This year, the two apps will become compatible, enabling drivers of an equipped Ford vehicle to have hands-free control using voice commands. Customers that have both SYNC AppLink and the ADT Pulse application will be able to use this functionality without an additional cost on either side. Ford’s SYNC AppLink is available on more than 1.5 million vehicles.
“We’ve been fans of the Ford SYNC platform for some time and it was a natural fit to partner up,” Ryan Petty, vice president of product development and innovation told SDM. “We’re all very excited about giving Ford and ADT customers the ability to control their Pulse systems without ever taking their hands off the road.”
Drivers press the SYNC voice button on their steering wheels to launch the ADT Pulse app. From there, using voice commands, users can check their system status, arm and disarm their system, open doors, and adjust heating and lighting settings.
“The ADT Pulse app shows that everything in our lives is becoming increasingly interconnected,” Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink said in a statement. “Now, working with other technology companies, we are able to see what a truly connected world is starting to look like.”
That connected world extends beyond just the Ford/ADT partnership. ADT announced other partnerships, more products and services in its self-named “strategic shift” where the company aims to no longer protect just homes or businesses, but to protect people and their digital assets as well, even outside of the home.
The company announced a partnership with digital security company McAfee, for which it will “develop a cohesive platform where users will be able to easily protect their digital and physical domains from one centralized, easy to use portal,” according to a press release.
The initial phase of the partnership will include a service made available to all ADT customers on a subscription basis called McAfee LiveSafe. The software, which will be available for download through www.adt.comin the Spring of 2014, allows customers to secure devices in their home from viruses, malware and more.
“The broader vision here is that it integrates with the Pulse platform, so all of a customer’s devices can be protected with a single application,” Petty explained.
End users will be able to track their electronic devices if stolen, and if they can’t be recovered, they can be securely wiped of all personal information, according to Petty. “Personal data is becoming one of the most valuable assets that we have, so we felt it very important to extend ADT protection to that data,” Petty explained.
In addition, ADT introduced a hands-free voice application that allows end users to control their security system and home automation functions, including garage doors and appliances, remotely via the ADT smartphone app. The added capability, which includes voice authentication, will be available for all Pulse users to download free of charge.
Another application announced by ADT at CES, was Canopy. This mobile application allows users to identify and locate designated friends and family members. An integrated, subscription-based feature called ADT Chaperone, provides a direct line to ADT monitoring centers in the case of an emergency, or even for peace of mind such as walking through a parking garage at night. ADT plans to make the application available to anyone, not just ADT customers, this Spring.
Petty of ADT, added that introducing an application such as Canopy and its integrated Chaperone feature, allows ADT to make its brand available to anyone with a smart device interested in protecting themselves or their loved ones.
“I use it with my kids. If you have a teenager, you can make sure you know where they are and where they are going,” Petty said. “If you get in a situation where you are uncomfortable, an ADT operator is always available. If you run out of gas or are at the mall late and don’t want to walk alone, we can dispatch the correct response.” In the event of an emergency, the location services automatically let dispatchers know where the end user is located.
Not to be overshadowed by its other announcements and, perhaps the biggest news for ADT channel dealers in terms of cost-savings: ADT also unveiled a wireless platform for the ADT Pulse. The completely wireless control panel allows for installations of ADT’s Pulse system with all its capabilities and no in-wall wiring. The product release will open ADT up to a range of new market possibilities, according to Petty.
“We see this allowing us to serve markets that we haven’t been able to traditionally, such as apartment renters that want a security system but can’t put wires in their walls. There are a lot of opportunities for this,” Petty shared.
The theme behind all of the company’s announcements at CES this year is protection in every way possible, anytime, anywhere. ADT plans to continue seeking innovative partnerships and introducing new products and features that offer protection for every facet of their customers’ lives in the future, including those that leverage its McAfee partnership. “The larger vision behind all of this is that we want to be the company to protect the home, the physical things people care about, as well as the people our customers care about, even on the go,” Petty said.