Vivint gets into R&D

Security and home automation provider opens Innovation Center
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LEHI, Utah—With the goal of being “vertically integrated” and “in control of all components” of its offerings, security and home automation provider Vivint announced that it has opened the Vivint Innovation Center here.

“We want to make sure we continue to innovate around the products and services that we provide to customers,” Alex Dunn, Vivint president, told Security Systems News.

Vivint’s hardware had been provided by 2GIG Technologies. Last week, Nortek/Linear announced it had acquired 2GIG and said the deal included a five-year service agreement with Vivint. 

Dunn explained that Vivint will develop its own proprietary panel which Linear will manufacture for Vivint. The announcement was made on Feb. 15, but the 30,000-square-foot center is already up and running with 50 hardware, software and radio engineers, industrial designers and user-experience professionals.

Dunn said that some of the center’s engineers previously worked at 2GIG, which is also located here. Dunn said “lots of technology companies have a presence in Lehi,” including Adobe, which just opened a 280,000-square-foot office. It’s an ideal location to take advantage of the “engineering resources from Utah County and Salt Lake County,” he said.

The center will be led by Matt Eyring, Vivint’s new chief innovation officer; J.t. Hwang, chief technology officer; Jim Nye, VP of product development; and Jeremy Warren, VP of innovation. Warren was previously CTO for 2GIG.

The decision to open the center is “mainly driven by our strategy over the next five years to provide a whole suite of services into home security, home automation and energy management,” Dunn said.

“Our solar business is going very well and there are other things as well that we want to roll out. We believe it’s important to be vertically integrated and in control and to have all the components and services interact in an intelligent way. The only way to do that is to bring that R&D in-house,” Dunn said.

“We have big aspirations. … It’s important to do that to execute our strategy,” he added.  

The company plans to add 100 more employees to the center in the next two years.