Alarm.com: New motion sensor/camera launched

Pinnacle Security beta test shows homeowners like the ‘simple, easy, affordable way’ to look into their homes
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

VIENNA, Va. and OREM, Utah—After a successful six-month beta test, Alarm.com this week announced the general availability of its Image Sensor—a wireless device that combines a motion detector with a built-in still camera, allowing homeowners to view “snapshots” of what’s happening in their homes from their smartphones or other devices.

Pinnacle Security recently completed a nationwide pilot program selling the battery-operated device, billed as a more affordable option to a video camera. Jay Kenny, Alarm.com VP of marketing, described the pilot partnership with Pinnacle as “dramatically more successful than we had hoped.”

Kenny told Security Systems News that Alarm.com, a Virginia-based provider of interactive security solutions, thought Pinnacle might sell about 2,000 Image Sensors. Instead, he said, “they were really successful and did over 10,000.”

Kevin Woodworth, VP of product development for Pinnacle, confirmed that customers liked the product so much the company sold more than 10,000 in the pilot program, which SSN reported on last spring, and it plans to keep selling more this year.

“It’s one of our key pieces of product in our product portfolio,” Woodworth said. “We have big plans for 2012. We hope to increase the attach rates dramatically.”

Kenny said the Image Sensor “is a simple, easy, affordable way to get a view into your home. … We think it has appeal to basically every customer who’s getting a security system installed.”

The Pinnacle pilot involved the GE Simon XT control panel, with which the Image Sensor is compatible, Kenny said. Later this year, it will be available with the Interlogix Concord and the 2Gig Go!Control panel, according to Alarm.com’s Jan. 23 news release.

Kenny described the sensor as a “combination of a traditional PIR motion sensor with an integrated still camera for image capture, and [it’s] then connected to interactive services so you get to view those images and get alerted when they happen.”

The Image Sensor camera has an infrared LED flash that allows it to take pictures night or day. It also can be used to track both alarm events and non-alarm activity, such as when a child comes through the front door after school.

It “takes a picture and emails it to the parent or text messages it to the parent, and now they can actually see their child coming home from school safe and sound,” Woodworth said.

Also, Kenny said, “I can set it up so next time there’s motion in my living room, I want to see that image.”

Woodworth said one customer was able to use Image Sensor snapshots to help police after her television was stolen from her home. Although her alarm system activated, the thieves were gone when police arrived. However, the woman was able to identify them as neighborhood teens with the aid of the images sent to her, Woodworth said.

Pinnacle sold the product as an add-on to a security system, with the cost about the same as that of a traditional motion detector.

Woodworth said that while it’s early to talk about attrition rates in a six-month pilot, accounts with Image Sensor are performing very well compared to accounts without it.

Kenny said being wireless is one of Image Sensor’s appeals. “You’re not connected to a broadband connection that could go down or be cut from the outside,” he said. Also, he said, installation is much simpler.