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Simply SecureStopping burglars isn't enough. Today's home security systems should blend into buyers' lifestyles.
- By Brad Grimes
- Source: DIGITAL HOME MAGAZINE
- Publication date: 2007-05-01
Home security systems are pretty straightforward, and have been for many years. They work, home buyers value them, and there is a healthy community of professionals experienced in installing and monitoring them. But like the technology that enables it, nothing in the digital home sits still. Today's security systems integrate with computer-based software, cellular networks, and more.
In March, Digital Security Controls (www.dsc.com) rolled out a system bundle designed for Exceptional Innovation's Life-Ware platform. DSC Home adds security to LifeWare automation and entertainment, so that homeowners can control security in every zone of the house using LifeWare software and a TV remote control. Not only can they arm perimeter home security or specific zones, such as the garage, while sitting at home, they can also arm zones from outside using electronic key fobs.
“We think the operation of the home using the TV remote and our electronic key fobs is an unbeatable combination,” says DSC's Bryan Watts. “It's the kind of convenience that homeowners of tomorrow will seek.”
The $7,200 bundle also includes a real-time IP camera for keeping an eye on the front door, back deck, or a location inside the home where children, pets, or elderly relatives might be.
THEY SEE YOU: With DSC's LifeWare bundle, home buyers can monitor camera views of their homes, left, from a LifeWare control panel, above.
Should a security breach occur in the home, getting the word to homeowners quickly is important. Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) recently introduced its 7845i-GSM Internet and Digital Cellular Communicator. When an alarm is triggered, the 7845i-GSM relays alerts through the Internet and the Global System for Mobile network. If the system can't place a cell phone call using General Packet Radio Service, it sends a text message via short message service.
The messages go through Honeywell's AlarmNet Network Control Center, which also allows for Web-based programming. The 7845i-GSM works with most Honeywell control panels, but with six zone inputs, it also can work with other companies' panels.
Similarly, a new company called uControl this year debuted its uControl Link, an equipment box that plugs into a control panel and offers redundant communications. A $100 version connects via Ethernet and Wi-Fi; the $125 version adds cellular capability.
While uControl works with existing systems, it doesn't require them. Once installed, uControl becomes the homeowners' security company, with monitoring plans from $30 to $40 per month.
“Unlike traditional home security services, uControl provides redundant, back-up connections for always-on monitoring, even if your phone line is cut or you switch to [voice over IP] service,” says company CEO Jim Johnson. (www.ucontrol.com)
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