ADT Canopy API Brings Pro Security Monitoring to Mass Market Devices Like Ring, Wink, LG

At CES 2016, ADT unveils two open APIs: One for ADT Pulse security and home automation, another called Canopy for third-party devices that benefit from professional security monitoring.

LAS VEGAS – Security and home automation giant ADT is opening up some key APIs: The one for ADT Pulse, its pro-installed smart-home product and service suite, and the one, now called Canopy, for its renowned emergency response services. At CES 2016, it announced multiple partners in these endeavors: Ring, Kidde, August, Wink, SmartThings, Roost and LG.

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The Canopy API is the one making the most buzz at CES. What it does is allow manufacturers of third-party devices to incorporate professional ADT alarm-response services into their offerings. For people who don’t need or want a complete security system with pro monitoring (typically $25-$35 per month), they still might want emergency response for a fire detector. So Kidde might want to implement the Canopy API for its smoke detector … which is exactly what it has done.

Life-safety is one of three tiers of service for Canopy. The other two are intrusion and panic. Ring employs the panic service for its doorbell cameras. Wink and SmartThings have adopted intrusion protection for their smart-home hubs.

“Doesn’t everyone have something in their lives – at any point in their lives – that they want to protect?” asks Arthur Orduna, chief innovation officer for ADT.

The trouble with ADT’s traditional security business is that it really only applies to about 20 percent of the market that wants a complete monitored alarm system. Historically, the alarm-monitoring sector has been stuck at that penetration rate.

“How do you get to 100 percent?” Orduna wonders. (By the way, that theme will be covered in the CES Smart Home Panel on Friday).

ADT’s response is a SaaS – security as a service – that brings monitored security to a much broader market.

ADT is uniquely positioned to bring that kind of service to the market, given the company’s vaunted brand and its reputation as a leading security provider.

“What we do incredibly well – monitoring and response – we turned it into a SaaS,” Orduna says. “We want literally everyone to say, ‘Yeah, I can be protected.”

In bringing ADT protection to third-party devices, Orduna says the first order of business was, especially for life-safety services such as fire response: “Can we provide the highest degree regulatory compliance if it’s not our product?”

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For intrusion, ADT grappled with the same thing, especially when you consider the potential for false alarms – an epidemic that that can strangle emergency services.

“Can we work with non-ADT platforms and devices to take new approaches to intrusion?” Orduna’s team wondered.

Of the three tiers of service, Orduna thinks the “most exciting” might be the panic response, which was demonstrated last year as a sort of trial balloon for the Canopy API. But we didn’t know that at the time.

Back then, Canopy was an app that tied into a new ADT service called Chaperone.

“At the press of a button [in the app], you would get an ADT operator, who can see exactly where you are,” Orduna says.

At the end of the day, “enabling these thee services in these three categories happens not just on other people’s platforms, but also embedded in others’ mobile apps, others’ user experiences,” Orduna says.

He continues: “Think about large CE companies like LG who have their own devices and their own user experiences and want customer loyalty. In their environment, they can imagine, ‘Gee, there’s ADT service.'”

To create the Canopy API, Orduna says ADT had to “build a new true SaaS platform” on top of its monitoring service.

That DIY LG Security/Automation System is Not an ADT Offering
Last year, ADT announced a new DIY security and home automation system packed into a surveillance-camera hub made by LG Electronics. The product was represented as an ADT product, and we wondered if it would be sold through ADT’s professional installation channel.

What was made clear at CES is that the product is all LG, with security monitoring from ADT. LG was one of the first partners to work with the Canopy API.

ADT still won’t comment on the back-end service provider for the LG product, but CE Pro is still rather confident that the provider (and the product designer) is Zonoff.

On another note, I was told at the CES booth that ADT currently is not working on a DIY-type product for its install channel.

The ADT open platforms don’t end with Canopy. ADT also has opened up the API to select partners for its flagship ADT Pulse security and home automation product and platform.

At CES 2016, is showing integrating with Nest and August Wi-Fi locks, but those integrations were implemented the old-fashioned way through cloud-to-cloud communications.

What’s new is Ring, the first company to work with the ADT Pulse API to integrate its doorbell camera into the complete Pulse ecosystem.

As my excellent booth tour guide, Rob Moore from ADT’s product platforms and services group, explained: Instead of ADT inserting the features and user experiences of Ring into the Pulse environment, Ring worked with the ADT API to insert itself in the ecosystem, and to insert the ADT services into its own app.

Now, users will be able to arm and disarm their ADT Pulse system through the Ring app. Pressing the doorbell, for example, might turn the lights on, lock the doors or arm the ADT security system. On the other side, Ring history can be viewed from within the ADT Pulse app, just like any other ADT partner product.

These developments are a pretty big deal, and will be incorporated into Friday’s Smart Home Panel at CES, featuring Orduna, Michael Pessina from Lutron, Mike Pope from SmartThings and Letha McClaren from Icontrol.

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About the Author


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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