Alula BAT-Connect Turns Legacy Panels Into Interactive Alarm, Home Automation System

The BAT-Connect takeover module features three paths of communication and allows dealers to bring a unified video security and automation interface to customers with legacy systems.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Alula says its new BAT-Connect communicator is the perfect takeover product for existing installs where an alarm panel lacks Z-Wave home automation, interactive services, IP connectivity and/or cellular communications.

Take a legacy security panel. Hook it up to a new BAT-Connect Communicator from Alula. Like that, you have pretty much a full-fledged interactive alarm and home automation system with all the connectivity and back-end services you would expect from Alula’s own panel and Connect+ SHaaS (smart home as a service).

These types of takeover products are becoming increasingly popular now that the sun is setting on CDMA/3G cellular communications (by February 2022 latest). Millions of existing alarm subscribers who use these cellular networks as their sole pathway for alarm reporting will find themselves without service in a couple of years. And those accounts will be lost to the original security dealer.

Alula’s BAT-Connect features a 4G/LTE modem (CAT-M1 for seamless 5G migration), IP communications (hardwired and WiFi), and optional Z-Wave card.

Alula uses WiFi not just for Cloud communications but also for creating a local network for IP-connected devices like Alula’s 7-inch touchpad.

Integrated Security, Surveillance, Automation UI

Like other external communicators, the BAT-Connect sits on an alarm panel’s keypad bus, but unlike other communicators it “allows full access to a mobile suite and the full Connect+ back end with security, home automation and video,” says Alula CEO Brian McLaughlin in an interview with SSI sister publication CE Pro.

Alula VP product management Dave Mayne explains that all security functions and Alula services including video surveillance are exposed in a single, unified user interface.

“That unification and merging in a single dashboard is unique to Alula,” he says. “Others don’t really bridge services like that. There might be one icon for security, one for home automation and one for video.”

The company also claims the BAT-Connect is unique in its ability to auto-detect which panel it is connecting to, making the system virtually “self-programming,” according to Mayne.

All sensor data – anything with a contact ID – can be incorporated into the programming for alarm and home-automation events.

At launch, the product will “auto-link” to Honeywell Vista and DSC PowerSeries. Updates planned for 2019 include added support for Interlogix NX, Interlogix Concord, Simon and Napco Gemini panels.

Eventually BAT-Connect will replace Alula’s other universal alarm communicators, including the BAT-LTE (cellular and IP) and BAT WIFI models. The goal is for dealers to have a single SKU on the truck for whatever they encounter in the field.

“In addition, Alula is focused on eliminating truck rolls for our dealers,” Mayne says. “All devices are 100% remotely managed.”

For example, WiFi credentials can be remotely managed and changed over the cellular network, he explains, “so if a consumer replaces their router, the dealer can re-connect the BAT-Connect to the WiFi network without rolling a truck.”

BAT-Connect was demonstrated for the first time at ISC West earlier this month. Get a closer look in the video above.


This article was first published on SSI sister publication CEPro.com

About the Author

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Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration.

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