Virtually all industries thrive on technological advances. The smart home market is no exception as homeowners look to security dealers for the latest devices and services they see on TV or online. Dealers and integrators need their manufacturing partners to keep pace — even to lead the technology charge.
Successful manufacturers constantly strive for more and better technology to help their dealer partners gain and retain customers while creating new and better sources of recurring revenue.
Let’s look at some of the market advancements and offer a hint of additional services coming soon. Manufacturer-developed smartphone apps are at the heart of many advances. These apps provide homeowners with total and convenient control of their smart home system.
AI-based object detection is relatively new to the smart home market. Equipped with artificial intelligence-based software, today’s outdoor cameras differentiate between a cat running across the driveway and activity by a human or the movement of a vehicle. Homeowners see more of what they want on their apps, like a child returning home from school, while capturing less “motion noise.” Limiting unwanted video events provides a better user experience when interacting with videos and allows clip allocation to span a greater time range without increasing costs.
Video verification is another market must-have. Homeowners can use their apps to call off nuisance alarms, like an elderly family member forgetting to disarm the system after returning from a walk. Another exciting app-based option involves including a homeowner’s friends and family. The system owner invites a trusted group to download the app and to receive notifications and the ability to interact and possibly cancel non-threatening events.
Video verification provides another potential financial and safety benefit. Many municipalities charge up to $500 for false alarms and may stop responding to calls after numerous nuisance alerts.
Today’s apps also provide a messaging feature to allow interactions within the account community. Here’s a scenario showing how this feature may benefit homeowners.
While at work, a woman receives an app notification with a camera clip showing an open garage door. She contacts her husband from within the app, who admits he forgot to shut the door as he left home. A button push within the app remotely closes the door: one problem, one app, one solution.
Years ago, security system apps offered little more than the arming and disarming of a system. Today’s multi-use apps can also include video and automation in addition to security and can provide one place to view and control a smart home. They can also be branded to display a dealer’s name, logo and colors, enhancing customer stickiness and satisfaction. A full-featured app vastly increases the touchpoints between dealers and their customers. Also, dealers have recurring revenue opportunities should they choose to charge customers for object detection, alarm verification and other interactive services provided through the app.
Service providers are constantly working on more interactive services for alarm dealers to offer their customers. One possibility is a home-connected Wi-Fi hub visible to dealers, enabling them to manage customer networks, including software and firmware updates, and ensure outsiders aren’t hacking in to steal data.
The recent industry advances are changing the way manufacturers, dealers and end-users view their smart home systems. Greater use of AI and other processing methods will produce more win-win-win opportunities for manufacturers, alarm dealers and consumers.