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Tim Smokoff

Apple Watch SOS and mPERS: Apples and oranges?

PERS execs compare features, assess competition

YARMOUTH, Maine—On first inspection, the Apple Watch’s newly announced ‘SOS’ feature may seem similar to an mPERS device, but PERS experts who spoke to Security Systems News said comparing an Apple Watch with an mPERS device is like comparing apples and oranges.

Will Apple take bite out of the PERS market?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Apple recently announced a new ‘SOS’ feature coming to the Apple Watch—similar to a PERS device.

If an Apple Watch user holds down the device’s side button, emergency services local to that user’s location will be notified, as well as emergency contacts.

I spoke with former Numera CEO, current Group VP of the Nortek Innovations & Incubation Foundry, about how the Nortek offerings compare to the announced features of the Apple Watch SOS. He said one particular differentiator for Nortek is "the advanced fall detection capabilities. In order to have highly reliable fall detection, you need to have something around your torso."

Smokoff noted the difference in battery life. The Apple Watch lasts about 18 hours and the Libris mPERS device lasts “about 2-and-a-half days on average,” he said.

There is a gap in price between the Apple Watch, which needs an iPhone to work, and the Libris mPERS device which stands alone and costs less than the Apple Watch by itself.

While I’ve heard of new and emerging markets for personal emergency devices—such as hikers, lone workers or for college campus safety—many of the PERS and mPERS companies I’ve spoken with point to the aging-in-place market as the market’s main demographic.

It seems to me that there are several reasons why the Apple Watch SOS feature wouldn’t break into the aging-in-place market. Firstly, both the Apple Watch and the user’s iPhone need to be charged and both devices need to be near each other.

Second, older PERS or mPERS users may not be as comfortable with technology and, therefore, less likely to own and operate an iPhone in conjunction with an Apple Watch.

Should people take notice of Apple’s entrance in the market? Will Apple take customers away from dealers in the PERS and mPERS space? If you have any thoughts, feel free to email me:

Nortek unveils technology think tank

Incubation team led by former Numera CEO Tim Smokoff

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—In conjunction with the recent acquisition of Nuiku, a natural language processing platform for use with home automation and other applications, Nortek has launched a technology incubation think tank—the Nortek Innovations & Incubation Foundry.

Market Trends: The golden years of the PERS market

Not all PERS device users are in their golden years; however, a user could be a 68-year-old long distance runner

YARMOUTH, Maine—The users of personal emergency response systems (PERS) are getting younger. They are generally technologically savvy. The technology is getting more advanced. And so monitoring stations, manufacturers and dealers have reasons to believe the golden age of PERS market growth has begun.

Numera releases combination life safety-PERS hub

Tim Smokoff: Users’ activity levels are passive and active

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Nortek Security and Control on March 31 announced its new Numera Home Safety Hub, an expanded way to monitor the activity levels of PERS users.

Numera expands EverThere offering

Users can create health alerts with info from connected devices

LAS VEGAS—EverThere, the activity-tracking platform attached to Numera’s Libris mPERS, can now include data from a variety of medical devices, Nortek announced during CES this year.

Numera releases activity tracking platform EverThere

Company’s acquisition by Nortek Security & Control adds backing for Numera

SEATTLE—Numera is rolling out EverThere, a new proactive activity tracking platform attached to its Libris mPERS, allowing users or family members to track activity levels, note trends and set alerts.

Nortek Security & Control buys Numera for mPERS

With acquisition, company will be on forefront of ‘aging in place,’ president says

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Nortek Security & Control has purchased Numera Inc. for a reported $12 million.

Numera CEO sees mobile PERS, home security as 'natural' fit

Company is taking health monitoring out of the home in partnership with AT&T

SEATTLE—For Numera Corp. CEO Tim Smokoff, home security and mobile health monitoring are part of the same “natural conversation,” one that holds the promise of increased RMR for security companies as telehealth gains traction in the marketplace.