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Dynamark has two new offerings

Company emphasizes verification and fire safety
 - 
03/16/2015

HAGERSTOWN, Md.—Dynamark now offers its customers alarm verification through image sensors and fire alarm monitoring, the company announced in early March.

Alarm.com App for Apple watch

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03/15/2015

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com has an app for the newly released Apple watch.

Conservative approach builds RMR for Memphis provider

Frase Protection grows business with a primary focus on security
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03/04/2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—While telecoms and cablecos are making inroads into the home security industry by leading with automated home services, a decades-old family run business, Frase Protection, is taking the opposite route.

Hockey team names Alarm.com official Smart Home Security partner

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02/26/2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Alarm.com has been named the official Smart Home Security partner of the Washington Capitals NHL team.

CES and the smart home

Jay Kenny, VP of marketing for Alarm.com shares his observations of smart home trends at this year's show
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02/26/2015

Described as "the global stage for innovation," the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) draws more than 170,000 attendees and offers a unique opportunity to see big trends across consumer technology.

U.S. Cellular gets into security

Telecom has rolled out its DIY security system; Iowa and Tulsa, Okla., are first test markets
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01/26/2015

CHICAGO—U.S. Cellular, the newest telecom player to enter the security space, has launched OnLook Digital System, a self-installed security and home automation system.

Alarm.com goes after ‘next frontier—connected business’ with acquisition of Secure-i

Commercial video surveillance offering is first step, access control and other capabilities to follow
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12/16/2014

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, known for its connected home platform, is going after the commercial market with the acquisition, announced today, of commercial video surveillance provider Secure-i.

Video in the home goes mainstream

Checking in on kids, elderly parents and pets facilitated by residential video surveillance
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09/02/2014

In the second decade of the 21st century, home security is no longer just about catching bad guys.

Privacy and the connected home

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

One of the most visible illustrations of the Internet of Things movement, the connected home continues to open up an expanding world of RMR possibilities for the security industry. But according to a recent CNN Money report, it’s also opening up some new and murky legal terrain that, like many Internet-related matters, raises fundamental questions about privacy and information rights.

The headline is as blunt as it is Orwellian: “Cops can access your connected home.” While the article references smart home technology writ large, the piece mostly focuses on the video aspect of the connected home and the potential for cameras to generate footage that could someday be used in legal proceedings.

In the article, Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst from the American Civil Liberties Union, is quoted as saying, “We’re seeing law enforcement across a variety of areas arguing that they should be able to access information with lower standards than before the electronic age.”

The source also notes that information from the home can provide a “window into the things you’re doing in your private space.”

Still, authorities cannot get their hands on such footage without a warrant or subpoena, as the article notes. A judge authorizes a warrant when the prosecutors show “probable cause” that evidence exists that could be linked to criminal activity. Subpoenas, however, have a somewhat looser standard, requiring only that the data being sought is relevant to a given investigation.

Security companies offering interactive services are typically very sensitive to the notion that customers have lingering concerns about privacy. Andy Stadler, division manager, advanced services, at Security Partners, illustrated that awareness in our conversation a few weeks ago about the company’s recent adoption of Alarm.com’s new video verified alarm service. During the development phase, he said, Security Partners and Alarm.com took pains to erect privacy measures that would perform the dual task of giving central stations the information they need without infringing on the customer's privacy.

This left me wondering: With home automation offerings so widespread, could the implementation of more robust and consumer-friendly privacy measures emerge as a real differentiator? Are the more tech-savvy, privacy-conscious consumers going to start asking companies how long they store footage on their servers? Are they going to ask how and why authorities might access data generated in their homes? Are they going to ask about what cyber security measures are being put in place to thwart hacks?

This will be a fascinating industry topic to watch on several levels. At the business level, it could just be that the companies most attentive to privacy protections will view public skepticism as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.

Vivint launches own panel, own platform in new solution

Vivint Sky not the limit—Vivint’s goal is to ‘control anything and everything’ in the smart home; Vivint beta testing Internet service as well
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06/10/2014

PROVO, Utah—Vivint today launched Vivint Sky, a new cloud-based smart home solution featuring the company’s own control panel and software. The company anticipates a gradual migration of its more than 800,000 subscribers over to Vivint Sky from the 2GIG Go!Control panel and the Alarm.com software that they currently use.

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