Wedging Into the ‘Homewatch Market’

As the world changes, more opportunities for new security ideas pop up. We see reports every day that show how volatile the political world has become. These growing international tensions will continue feeding the appetite for more and more security equipment since more neighborhoods will come under surveillance.

Beyond that, there’s the situation at home. It’s difficult to watch TV without seeing commercials from financial planners that address all the baby boomers getting ready to retire in the next 10 years. These boomers are busy putting money into investments for a comfortable retirement.

Lots of northern boomers plan to move south after they receive their gold watches. Florida has been a hotbed of speculation for those who want that condo, townhouse, lot or house before it becomes unaffordable.

This is how major trends start. Terrorism + boomers + second homes = new candidates for security systems.

Not just any security system will do. They’re looking for a video system that enables them to monitor one of their houses when they’re at the other one.

Boomers Turn to ‘Homewatch’
Families with two residences are increasingly aware of the need for monitoring but are not always sure what type of video system to use. The newest type is an IP system that provides visual monitoring of critical areas inside the house and “worrisome” areas outside, like the front entry — many burglaries occur at 3 o’clock in the afternoon right through the front door — as well as windows, swimming pools, garages with valuable cars, tool rooms and other targets.

More than 50 percent of households in America now have at least one PC. This, along with an IP address, makes residential video surveillance a strong growth market. We call it the emerging “Homewatch” market.

Potential ‘Wedge’ Among Installers
Who’s going to install the cameras, as well as the DVRs to record what the cameras are seeing? What kind of cameras should be included — day/nights, domes, weatherproofs, basic color units? If a DVR is required, how big should it be?

Nothing too difficult here … just the usual questions any security dealer can handle. The question then becomes, who’s enjoying this growth?

As shown in the chart on page 16 of the December issue, 8 percent of security dealer/integrator video sales went to the residential market in 2005. Two years ago, the percentage was 5 percent.

This represents a market share growth of 60 percent in just two years, and it is occurring in a video market that’s already expanding at 15 to 20 percent a year.

While security installers are seeing growth in home video sales, so are home systems integrators. While these integrators formerly specialized in audio/ video or other home systems, their security businesses are seeing strong growth. Even their automated lighting businesses have security overtones.

As this growth swells, it increases the exposure of home systems integrators to the security industry. That includes the potential for central station monitoring that automates the visual surveillance process for homeowners. This can help with whatever false alarm problem they may be experiencing.

This is the “wedge.” Are security dealers and integrators being wedged out of this growing homewatch market?


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