The home security market has played an important role in introducing the concept of smart technology to new consumers. Protecting one’s home and family with a security system that can deter crime became an accepted and understood concept decades ago. But when well-known security brands like ADT began adding new smart capabilities, like a mobile app that allowed the customer to watch what was going on in their home while they were away, the market was introduced to a whole new way of keeping their homes safe.
Soon thereafter, smaller startup companies began implementing their own solutions that offered tech savvy homeowners the ability to protect their own space without relying on a monitoring service (and a hefty contract commitment). Companies like Ring, abode, Scout, SimpliSafe, and others began introducing new, affordable, out of the box solutions that easily allowed anyone who sought the comfort of home security without the huge price tag and contracts to dive in.
Meanwhile, Google and Amazon introduced the masses to “smart” capabilities with their voice control, which raised awareness and established value for a wide variety of smart devices. Google, under their Nest brand, launched their own DIY security system and Amazon, not to be left out, purchased Ring. With a solid base of voice and security, both brands have continued adding connectivity to their security gear, while the market began overcrowding and the DIY and DIFM (Do-It-For-Me) consumer models started to meld.
As a result, we’re seeing a convergence between the DIYers and the consumers who preferred the white glove experience of their entire security system being set up and monitored for them. That gap has created a major opportunity for anyone in home automation or home professional installation services to jump in and create new sales opportunities for integrators.
Smart home technology is meant to make life easier, not more complicated, and the home security market is the strongest place for integrators and others to capitalize on the growing popularity of DIY products. Attachment rates for security systems have traditionally been non-existent, as the drive for monitoring contracts focused security dealers on acquiring more customers with less focus on devices.
This is changing; and the transformation is well under way, as national security companies like ADT and Vivint promote themselves as smart home providers, with security as but one of the many smart devices they will sell and install for you. Door locks, thermostats, cameras – packages with add-ons are becoming more common; but the real opportunity is there for the integrators who have more personal relationships with their customers.
There is a lot of opportunity for installers to use their services to fill in the gaps for homeowners who want to continue adding compatible devices to their system. Plus, communicating benefits like cost savings on energy and insurance, in addition to entertainment and comfort, will help to drive awareness and increase adoption of these systems.
Beyond that, we are about to see a merge between the physical and digital worlds where the intelligence of our “things” surpasses anything we could have imagined a few decades ago. Artificial intelligence, deep learning, contextual awareness and connectivity in places like traffic lights, parking garages, office buildings, retail stores, hotels and much of the major infrastructure of modern life are going to rapidly shift how companies market to us, how we take care of our families and our world and give us access and information in a truly radical way.