ADT Demos PC Security, Voice Control, FordSYNC App

By Julie Jacobson

ADT is showing at CES 2014 a major expansion in its security and Pulse home automation offerings.

First, the glamorous stuff: Voice control for your door locks, garage door controller (brand new from Linear), lights, thermostats, security and other devices in the home.

You don’t talk to the security keypads themselves, but your smart phone. Voice control shares the same dashboard as the ADT Pulse app. The user just has to press a few buttons to get there.

The particularly useful feature is that the voice control is that it authenticates the user’s voice so the bad guys can’t log on.

Now, take that control into the car and you can have a “completely hands free” transaction, says product manager Ryan Petty.

ADT is teaming up with Ford to include the ADT Pulse app, including voice recognition, in the FordSync ecosystem.

Ever been on the road and wonder if you left the garage door open? You can query the system via voice in a Ford car, and close the garage to boot.

The system provides voice feedback, for example, if you request a status report: “Front door open. Bedroom light on.” And so on.

On top of all that, ADT is teaming with McAfee to offer digital security for computers and other networked devices.

Like the voice control, the McAfee service also will reside in the ADT Pulse app.

Finally, ADT announced at CES a new service called Canopy – available to anyone, not just ADT customers – that helps folks keep in touch with their family, friends and employees.

Tracking the GPS on mobile phones, Canopy can tell you where all of your contacts are at any given time. You can request that they check in, or you can call them by simply touching their face on a map.

Another feature of Canopy, called Chaperone, is like your electronic bodyguard.

Say it’s late at night and you have to walk to your car in a parking garage. You call the Chaperone – a real person, actually – and they can be with you the whole way. If something bad happens, they can track you, hear you and send any emergency crews.

The Chaperone can call anyone in your circle as well.

ADT says the new services are intended to “bridge the gaps between our physical, digital and mobile lives.”

Julie Jacobson is Editor-at-large for CE Pro magazine. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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