Security Pros Increase Sophistication and Streamline Their Solutions at CEDIA Expo
Security, surveillance and access control manufacturers accelerate convergence with the smart home channel at CEDIA Expo 2023.
There are myriad reasons why the smart home and security industries have been converging in recent years, and CEDIA Expo 2023 certainly reflected this growing trend.
During the CEDIA Expo, which took place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver Sept. 7-9, manufacturers addressing categories such as smart locks, access control, video surveillance and alarm systems exhibited their latest solutions that enable integrators to join or further entrench their companies in residential security.
Just as home controls companies are making systems more end user-friendly to operate and manage, so too are security providers. Additionally, with the inaugural Commercial Integrator Expo co-located with CEDIA Expo 2023, manufacturers showcased greater benefits and applications to assist in commercial projects.
Here is a sampling of just some of the security offerings being demonstrated on the show floor:
The big Amazon-owned company Ring reiterated its commitment and investment into the custom integrator channel, as well as how its popular solutions, ecosystem and app can also assist dealers who dabble in the light commercial world.
It clearly illustrated that just by its massive booth, which was the largest on the Colorado Convention Center’s show floor this year.
Ring also continues to leverage its standing and resources as an Amazon brand, through which it natively integrates with any Alexa-based solution, such as Echo, Fire TV, Alexa Auto, etc., plus Amazon eero networking products.
Additionally, the Ring platform is becoming more seamless with more and more third-party company’s products, such as the new integration with popular control manufacturer URC, which was demonstrated in both companies’ booths at CEDIA Expo 2023.
“The narrative for this show is we really wanted to focus on [integration] – for example, we may not natively manufacture a smart lock, but we work with a host of very reliable smart home brands and smart locks and that’s all part of it,” says Abby Mendez, senior channel marketing manager for Ring Commercial Solutions.
She adds that the video doorbell for which Ring became synonymous has been a driver for consumers to purchase more Ring devices, such as alarm and video surveillance products.
“We want to highlight this ‘Better Together’ approach with eero, so when you install Ring it senses an eero network and says, ‘Hey do you want to connect to that,’ so it just makes it an easier step,” elaborates Todd Towey, National Sales Manager, Ring for Business.
He notes that the setup provides a better network for a home’s Ring devices, and that with the amount of high-level, CE Pro 100 type integrators already implementing Alexa for voice control, they’re in position to deliver a real-world application story to potential customers.
“They’re buying and they’re in the channel,” Towey stresses. “I think it’s our north star to say, ‘Look, there’s lots that you can do with Amazon and make the experiences really compelling with this enhanced integration.’”
Beyond leading smart lock companies such as Kwikset and Yale, Ring and URC recently announced their integration capabilities, which has Towey and URC VP of Product Development Lars Granoe were truly excited to discuss further with dealers as they did during CEDIA Expo.
“So now in their Total Control touchpanels, it’s elegant and that’s what we’re trying to strive for dealers,” Towey comments, adding that it’s all part of an elevated experience integrators can give homeowners, particularly in the DIFM (do it for me) environment. “That’s what we are apart of in this [Ring] app.”
Within URC’s user interface, the Ring app integration looks and functions the way customers have become familiarized with it. And then the URC platform enables dealers to program macros or other activations tied to Ring devices.
“It’s a native integration, so video as well as notifications, that a dealer can install – we do Savant integration, Lutron,” Towey says. “These are the things that when I started at Ring six years ago, it was, ‘What are you doing in this channel, you’re DIY, it’s available at Best Buy.’ Now, our messaging is around these are our doorbells and these are the benefits of it – we do that, but we now talk more about how Ring is a gateway and these experiences are compelling.
“Anyone can do a doorbell and anyone can do a camera, but it’s the software side,” he adds. “People will come up to me at the airport and see that I work for Ring and say, ‘Oh, I love your app, and let me tell you why.’ Because it’s easy to use… and that’s not a bad place for a dealer to be.”
The IP door station and intercom specialist conveyed its mantra of combining form and functionality as it showed its sleekly designed and highly customizable products in its booth at CEDIA Expo 2023. Building off of its homebuilder and security dealer discussions earlier this year at IBS and ISC West, DoorBird personnel spoke to integrators about its blend of aesthetics and application solving.
“That’s what the client – whether it’s a homeowner or a building owner – is interested in, the design. I’d say a significant portion of what an integrator is installing today is going to be analyzed by how it looks,” suggests Justin Clark, who Head of Sales for the Americas, Australia & New Zealand at DoorBird.
Clark notes that the company, which is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, with U.S. offices in San Francisco and Jacksonville, Fla., owes its industrial design DNA to its European roots.
“When I went to Berlin for the first time, of course because I work for DoorBird I look at every other intercom I pass by, and over there the immediate difference I saw was that that intercoms make a statement out there,” Clark says.
“One, they’re huge and they’re everywhere; and two, you can tell when that building was being constructed, they had in mind what intercom was going to be there. So there’s a deep part of our DNA that’s really focused on that European design element that’s all over that space.”
At CEDIA Expo, DoorBird was not only able to pitch its elegant wares to dealers who serve the luxury custom home market, but those who wish to expand into light commercial areas such as multidwelling/multifamily properties. Thanks to last year’s acquisition of DoorBird by security giant ASSA ABLOY, the company has even more R&D fuel to bring MDU expertise and solutions to integrators.
“What we have is that MDU solution, so if you’re trying to get into that space and are saying, ‘I’d like to capture some of this MDU business but all I’ve done is single family’ – we’re the solution for you,” Clark adds. “It’s so easy to administer one of our multitenant products, and because of the ASSA ABLOY acquisition and because they live in that multifamily world, that’s all we talk about.”
Clark says that’s informing the company on its integrations development roadmap. Earlier this year, the company even created a new position, Integration Development Manager, which was filled by Matt Fulford. He was also in the DoorBird booth sharing that story and its potential impact for dealers.
“A lot of what I’m doing here talking to the integrators is really listening to their feedback and seeing how strategic integrations with other companies can solve any type of issues and be able to help them win more projects,” Fulford says.
Snap One Luma
Snap One outlined how its popular Luma x20 video surveillance products now deliver even more capabilities for home and business end users by giving them control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video.
The company also highlighted its associated NVRs’ (network video recorders) expanded functionality for the light commercial/resimercial market, with 16 and 32 channels and higher storage capacities, catering to the co-located Commercial Integrator Expo crowd.
“The story for Luma at the show is we’ve overhauled it. We showed it last year and shipped it in January to great fanfare, Partners love it – brand new cameras, brand new NVRs, AI everything, brand new app – everything,” says Eric Harper, Snap One senior VP of product marketing. “And now we’re expanding it to larger capacity.
“We’re also introducing what we call Luma VMS – which is our video management system – and that allows you to bring up to 300 cameras into a single software dashboard,” says Harper. “So imagine you’ve got a restaurant with three or four locations, with a 16- or 32-channel NVR at each location.
“Through the dashboard if you wanted to watch the foyer in one to see the customers standing in line at one of them, we can do those sorts of things,” he says.
On the customer front, the company’s new “customer handoff” provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing owners to have complete privacy while also making it simple to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required.
When a Luma x20 installation is finished, integrators can send the customer a message via Snap One’s OvrC platform that the client can click through to gain control in just five minutes, according to the company. There is no assistance required, no passwords to remember and no port forwarding involved, Snap One emphasizes.
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