The Security of the Future is Now

Did you know that before smart home technology and Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, your home’s security system was tied to your phone line? So if the lines were down or the wires were cut, bye-bye security and awareness. It was that notion that drove Steve Trundle to launch Alarm.com, the solution to many of the blind spots in home security. 

Steve and a team of engineers at MicroStrategy’s research and development unit came up with a security system that could communicate over a cellular network independent of phone lines and landlines. And they didn’t stop there. They created a notification system that recorded events and saved histories, and remote capability to arm and disarm your system. It was the very beginning of interactive security. 

During Livewire Connections Episode 2 we got to chat with Alarm.com’s Vinnie Catucci to learn more about its host of features, new products, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your service. Here’s a quick recap of some of the great nuggets shared during the episode. 

Why Alarm.com? 

First off, what makes Alarm.com a great solution for home security? We love them because they are innovators in their field. They’ve dreamed up solutions to help make home owners more aware of their home environment that go far beyond many of the solutions out there. 

As Vinny said, “A true smart home solution is when you have all of these IoT devices communicating together through one platform. So why not have a security system that can communicate within the same platform as the doorbell camera, the thermostat, the garage door. etc.” 

Alarm.com gives you access and control over your entire IoT environment so that you don’t have to switch from one app to the other inorder to control your home. Additionally, Alarm.com is a “Software as a Service” (SaaS). Their features are rolled out as software updates as opposed to hardware that needs to be replaced when you want to get the latest technology. 

 “When we roll out a new feature, you don’t have to get a new system, we push those updates over the air. So your solution grows with the industry,” Vinny says. 

Cool features

There’s so much you can do with this technology! Here are some of the cool features highlighted in the episode.

Geo-fence

Alarm.com has a geo-fence feature that uses cellular triangulation to areas you specify. Once you identify the geo-fence, you can tie it to actions or alerts when someone leaves or enters the area. This has a multitude of applications for making life easier! For example, when you leave for work in the morning, you can tell the app to alert you if the garage door is open or your front door is unlocked. You can also tie it to your thermostats so that when you exit the geo-fence it adjusts your thermostat so you’re not wasting energy. 

Setting Scenes

Scenes allow you to tie multiple commands into one button push. For example, you could create a goodnight scene that locks the front door, closes the garage, arms the security system, and adjusts the thermostat accordingly. All at the push of ONE button! Some people even tie scenes to appliances like their kid’s video games so you get a notification when they are turned on (and thus not doing homework).

Have an all-seeing eye with sensors

You can tie your system to sensors and then apply logic to alert you or “hit record” when that sensor is triggered. For example when the liquor cabinet is opened by sneaky teens. Or how about who’s going into the beer fridge at work? Who’s taking the last of the coffee and not starting a new pot? Oh the possibilities!

Smarter cameras for proactive defense

One ongoing problem you find with video surveillance is that the slightest pixelation change triggers a recording. You end up clogging up all your storage for shots of spiders and raindrops. Alarm.com cameras now have enhanced video analytics technology that enable you to specify when an event should be recorded. So you could tell it to only capture when a person, animal, or vehicle is in the vicinity. You can also integrate it with things like lights so if someone enters the camera area, it turns on a light that may spook a burglar and prevent a break in.

Emerging technology and features

We also covered some pretty innovative and award winning features Alarm.com has released in the last year. Here’s a look at a few of them. 

Two-way conversations

Alarm.com’s app and cameras now give users the ability to have a two way conversation with the person on the other end. Say you’re at work and you want to check-in on the kids, you can now talk to them through the app! 

Touch-free doorbell solution

In the age of Covid, we are a little hesitant to touch often used areas like doorbells. Alarm.com figured out a way to avoid touching the doorbell all together! You can now create a ground zone right in front of your door, lay out the Alarm.com doormat that says, “Step on the doormat to ring the doorbell”, and it will ring the doorbell. No touch needed! This new feature won an award at CES. 

Flex IO 

Flex IO is a sensor that provides monitoring and awareness outside of your security system. Let’s say you have a gate, shed, and/or detached garage you want to watch. You can now be alerted to areas outside of your home’s footprint so that you have greater awareness and piece of mind. 

Connected Car

Another CES award winner. Connected Car is compatible with any car produced since 1996. It plugs into your vehicle’s OBD-II port and can send you notifications of activity. For example when the car is turned on, when there’s sudden acceleration, hard braking, or excessive speeding, or when maintenance or attention is needed (low fuel, check engine light, low battery, etc). This feature is great for teenage drivers who like to speed! 

It’s not hard to see the benefits to having a system like Alarm.com. We had such a great time chatting with Vinnie and sharing why we love this innovative, integrated security platform. You can watch the entire episode on our YouTube channel below.

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