September 20, 2010
Smarter Home Alarm Systems, Part #3 – Apps are Happening!
Today’s installment in the Smarter Home Alarm Systems series revisits a previous post to highlight a very cool aspect of Interactive, wireless home security that people really like – and that is the apps that allow you to access and control your alarm system remotely. This is a logical step in the evolution of interactive, wireless home security. The next-gen companies started with safer cellular monitoring, added remote arm/disarm, text & emails notifications, then came video and smart home features – and the apps to tie it all together. Here’s a link to that prior post.
What’s an app?
The word “app” is short for “application software” – meaning a program that allows you (the end-user) to get the most out of your computer. Traditional applications include email, spreadsheets, word processing – things we all use. The shorter “app” term is often applied to mobile applications, specifically written for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and other devices. And “mobile app” is the meaning we are using here, since the best of today’s alarm companies offer a free app with the interactive monitoring services. With 60 million Americans carrying a web-enabled phone, the growth in apps has been explosive, and new ones are released every day. Some come with you phone, and the others are easily downloaded. Many are free. Here’s a link to Apple’s “App Store” – where (through iTunes) you can find over 200,000 apps for the iPhone alone!
Home Security Apps
When it comes to alarm system apps, they are not only fun and easy to use; they also help to provide an additional layer of control and protection to your home security system. Mobile apps for home security really make accessing your home security easier and faster. For starters, the best ones enable you to: remotely arm and disarm, access a camera in your home, check the history on your account to see when a contractor arrived and left, or when the system was disarmed – and by whom. And all these interactive features are literally at your finger tips!
Unfortunately, most alarm companies lag in developing home security apps. Major alarm system providers (especially the traditional companies with land-line based alarm systems) don’t even offer advanced interactive features (like remote access), let alone a security app. But the good news for consumers is that it’s getting easier to find the smart alarm companies who do.
FrontPoint released the first alarm system mobile app over a year ago with Alarm.com, our interactive technology partner. Alarm.com also provides our cellular & interactive monitoring services – and we work closely with them to push the home security envelope, so you have the best features as soon as they are available. I use the BlackBerry app myself, and it makes managing our home alarm system much easier. It’s true - these apps are a snap!