It’s a fact that home security is no longer the sole domain of dedicated security companies. Other industries want a piece of the security pie, and TV and broadband providers are expanding quickly to take over the home.
Comcast, www.comcast.com, unveiled a home monitoring service in 2010 that launched as Xfinity Home Security. The service has been rolling out to more markets across the U.S., and the latest spot is the San Francisco Bay Area. Comcast recently announced the launch of Xfinity Home to portions of the area.
The service provides homeowners with traditional security features, such as police and fire alarms connected to round-the-clock monitoring. However, Xfinity Home adds a smart home component to the mix, offering remote control of digital thermostats, lighting, and video cameras.
For instance, homeowners can remotely turn lights on and off if they will be away, and they have the option of doing so via a Web portal or an iPhone app. They can also watch streaming video of their home, or receive email or text alerts when doors open or close, or when motion detectors report activity inside or outside the home. Personalized settings allow users to decide when motion detectors report activity in the home.
Comcast says it’s offering the service as the Xfinity Home Preferred Package for a starting price of $39.95 per month.
Verizon Wireless, www.verizonwireless.com, is another company interested in providing home monitoring services, under the heading of Verizon Home Monitoring and Control. With the service installed, customers have the option to look doors remotely, see who’s at the front door, or turn off their lights, all via their phones. Other options consumers users to monitor home energy use.
Motorola Mobility’s, www.motorola.com, 4Home technology is the software platform powering the new services. Back in December 2010, Motorola Mobility announced its acquisition of 4Home, a home monitoring and control company.
It’s likely the market will see more cellular and broadband providers entering the home security and automation market. This could help to democratize the space, which has traditionally been viewed as the domain of wealthy homeowners. With familiar names becoming involved, more homeowners may elect to add monitoring and control options to their service packages.
Interested in learning more about the smart home of the future? Check out the Welcome Home panel at this year’s Connected World Conference, June -13.