Taking security mobile with GPS

Company to delve into $8 billion in-vehicle market
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Monday, September 1, 2003

BOCA RATON, Fla. - To capture more of an increasingly mobile customer base, ADT has unveiled a new consumer offering that will monitor the location of a vehicle via GPS and provide in-vehicle access to emergency and concierge-type services.
The new GPS offering is a portable unit that is mounted to a vehicle’s dashboard and powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Called Mobile Safety, the product is the first in a series to be introduced by ADT that will take security from inside the home and continue it outside, company officials said. The product suite will be called Mobile Security Network.

“We believe this is a whole new marketplace in terms of personal protection products and services and ADT wants to take a leadership role,” said Jay Stuck, vice president of residential marketing and corporate communications for ADT. While Stuck declined to release any details or discuss a timeline for the rollout of ADT’s other Mobile Security Network products, the market “will see a number of different products, services and marketing weight behind this new line of home protection products,” he said.

In the event of an emergency, the driver can access two-way voice with an ADT dispatcher through a hands-free speaker by pressing the call button on the unit. Then, ADT can direct emergency services to the location of the vehicle or provide directions or other information to the driver.

The company is initially using a third-party monitoring company to provide the monitoring component but that will be “transparent to our customers,” Stuck said.

The unit functions much like General Motor’s OnStar system, which was once considered a luxury item but is moving toward standard issue on most of that automaker’s cars. ADT’s unit has two big advantages, said company officials - its portability and the ability to be able to self-track the location of the device through ADT Trak, a Web-based location option that users can access from www.adt.com.

Analyst Joe Freeman of J.P. Freeman Co. said it’s no surprise that ADT is rolling out a GPS product.

“GPS is becoming very popular,” he said, “and so are the security applications associated with it.”

Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimated that the GPS market, including in-vehicle navigation, will experience an annual compound growth rate of 20 percent. The total land market for consumer GPS usage is expected to top $8 billion by 2008.