It offers the apps needed to manage lighting systems, audio and video,
HVAC controls, security, and even water pumps, which could be shut down
automatically if a leak was detected by the system’s sensors.
The apps can enable homeowners to receive a text or e-mail if any-
thing out of the ordinary happens, as programmed into the app, such as a
breach in the security system, a heating failure or the absence of a child
who should have come home from school but has not.
Residents expect this type of solution. A recent Better Homes and
Gardens survey found that people who were next-generation, first-time
home-buyers indicated, by a margin of 84 percent, that they would require
automation technology in their homes.
Developers are paying attention and, in many cases, responding with
automation built into their new products.
“Automation is one of those things that people can identify with,”
Some of the latest items included in automation are multiple-room music,
streaming services, and enhanced security systems with IP cameras. While
traditional burglar alarms send an alert to police, some of the newer sys-
tems, such as those provided by Control4, can emit warning sounds, turn
on all lights or flash outdoor lights if the system detects a security break.
The automation of these systems has changed the game.
“What’s really happening from a security point of view is that
homeowners have jumped with both feet into home automation
and control,” said Steve Shapiro, vice president of industry rela-
ADT Pulse enables users to create their own “personal command center” on a touchscreen or mobile device to view data
about the home, remotely lock or unlock doors, and make other
changes. The new system builds on the basics of security, monitoring perimeter doors and windows and also makes the home
intelligent. It automatically changes its own temperature, turns
on fans as needed, and adjusts the thermostat according to parameters input into the system. It can also lock and unlock doors,
change lighting and send alerts.
There has been a gradual increase in both the technological op-
tions and the demand for such solutions by homeowners, Shapiro said.
In general, the challenge for many homeowners and consumers
is the high volume of apps used for individual systems. ADT offers
Pulse as a single app to manage all the systems in the home. It is
designed to send alerts only if there is a problem rather than to assure homeowners repeatedly that all is well. For example, it only
sends alerts if an expected action doesn’t happen, such as a family
member returning or leaving the home at a specific time.
“As a parent and homeowner, I don’t need constant reassur-
The company also offers its ADT Canopy system to keep track of
ance,” Shapiro said. “I just need to know if something out of the
ADT has also released an app that prevents an individual from
using someone else’s phone to send commands, such as unlock-
ing that phone and the homeowner’s doors. The voice-activated app
authenticates a user by a predetermined phrase and the voice used to
speak that phrase.
family members and ADT Life 360 to enhance protection of people out-
side of the home.
“Consumers are not only accepting this technology,” Shapiro said.
“They’re expecting it.”
S WEDBERG is a freelance writer based in western Washington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For contractors, Leviton offers training programs
to help installers gain the knowledge they need for
residential automation installation, including one at
its home automation location in New Orleans as well
as around the country, as needed by contractors.