Vivint unveils smart home assistant at CES

Company also announces a Flex Pay option, partnerships with Airbnb, Vivint Solar
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Smart Home, a smart home services provider based here, made several big announcements at CES 2017 last week, most notably Vivint Sky, the company’s new smart home assistant that uses artificial intelligence, or AI, to manage all of the devices in a connected home.

Vivint CMO Jeff Lyman told Security Systems News that at CES this year the company built a narrative around AI. “We launched our AI layer, which we call Sky, and its purpose is to enable the consumer to live their life while key pieces of the home—specifically around security and energy management—handle themselves through Sky.”

He pointed out that Vivint has built a robust occupancy model that has helped the company learn consumers’ patterns.

“We have put close to a dozen sensors in every home, and in between phone data and sensor data and video analytics, and even data from your Wi-Fi router—all of those things are inputs to help understand the many habits of the homeowner,” he explained. “When you build this type of high-fidelity occupancy model like we have, you are able to optimize the control of the home, which is where Sky comes in to provide progressive autonomy, so you are able to live more and spend less time managing the home.”

He continued, “When we are talking about the smart or connected home, we are finally getting to the point where we are achieving the promise of the category—delivering a home that is truly intelligent and able to work autonomously to the benefit of the consumer.”

Lyman said that the company is also excited to team up with Airbnb, a community marketplace that provides access to millions of unique accommodations and experiences in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. As the preferred smart home provider for Airbnb, Vivint allows Airbnb hosts to manage their homes remotely with automatic keyless access, energy management and home security.

Also at CES, Vivint Smart Home and Vivint Solar, Inc. announced a strategic partnership to offer a single, unified experience that will allow customers to intelligently manage both the generation and consumption of energy in the home.

“Before long, every home will be intelligent, and we believe solar energy is a key component of the smart home experience,” Alex Dunn, president of Vivint Smart Home, said in the announcement. “When Vivint entered the solar business in 2011, our ultimate goal was to bring together the benefits of smart home technology and solar power. We’re excited to begin making this vision a reality.”

Later this year, new Vivint Solar customers will be able to receive an integrated energy management system from Vivint Smart Home, including a Vivint SkyControl panel, Vivint Element thermostat and home sensors, at no additional cost.

Vivint Smart Home is also partnering with Citizens Bank to provide an innovative payment plan called Vivint Flex Pay, which allows customers to pay separately for products and services when creating a customized smart home, with qualifying customers able to access zero-percent interest financing through Citizens Bank.

“We feel this is a trend you will see take root in the industry but we are pioneering it here with this Vivint Flex Pay model,” said Lyman. “We feel it is a game changer within the industry.”

Dunn added, “By separating the purchase of products and services, we’re introducing a model similar to the one used in the cell phone industry to provide greater flexibility for consumers as their needs evolve. This new payment plan will also make it easier for Vivint customers to continue to add the latest innovations to their smart homes.”

In terms of new customers, Lyman said over the last 12 months Vivint has added more than 270,000 new smart home subscribers compared to the 224,000 new subscribers over the same period the year before, a 20 percent year over year gain. “Nearly 90 percent of new Vivint Smart Home subscribers are choosing smart home services, not just traditional security, so you are seeing all of this hard work and innovation pay off, and not just in subscriber gains. We also had record RMR at the end of Q3 in 2016, which is at $68.85 for every new subscriber, up from $60 in Q4 of 2015.”

Overall, Vivint has 1.2 million customers, and is seeing a growth rate of 15.6 percent year over year. The company finished 2015 at $653 million in revenue and through Q3 of 2016 was at $553 million in revenue.