Napco Releases First Control4-Certified Security Panel

By incorporating Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) into its Gemini security panel, Napco aims to strengthen its position in the security/home automation realm.

Introduced at CEDIA Expo 2014, Napco has created a driver to integrate its Gemini security panels with Control4 home automation. But the company also went the extra mile to incorporate Control4‘s Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) into the security panel. With that, Napco could well become a player for the first time in the security/home automation realm.

Introduced in 2012, SDDP enables automatic discovery of third-party devices. Drivers from SDDP-enabled partner products are automatically uploaded as soon as they’re plugged into the network. A dealer simply drags the product into a project and it’s ready to go.

Control4 has confirmed that Napco is the first company to offer a Control4-certified security panel with SDDP.

Napco’s Gemini is a popular panel for mainstream security dealers, but it hasn’t really been a go-to product for residential integration. All of that changed a year or two ago when the company went to work on a kinder, gentler solution for the home automation market. The result was the iBridge, a Z-Wave and IP hub with a homegrown cloud service that Napco formally launched this year.

The iBridge is required for Control4 integration, but users need not purchase the iBridge cloud service, which enables remote monitoring and control of security and home automation devices.

The especially cool thing about iBridge integration is that Control4 dealers can use it to add Z-Wave devices to their projects, according to Jorge Hevia, senior VP sales and marketing for Napco.

He tells SSI‘s sister publication CE Pro that this was Napco’s first CEDIA Expo in seven years, when the company was a part of the ill-fated IBM Home Director ecosystem.

Today, Napco is back in the home automation business for good, not just with product but with a “turnkey solution for dealers, including marketing, sales and installation support,” Hevia says.

For example, Napco’s new course, IP101 teaches traditional security and home automation dealers the basics of safely and reliably adding network connectivity to their systems.
Hevia tells me Napco pioneered the contractual side of video surveillance when it launched its iSeeVideo remote video monitoring service years ago. Free to dealers, the contract covers things like privacy, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s connected world. Hevia says Napco will be adding to its library of contracts to include more security- and home automation-related issues.

At CEDIA Expo, Napco introduced a new feature, iBridge Messenger, which delivers video clips via SMS text messages when an alarm event occurs.
Here are some details from the Napco press release:

Napco’s new system software allows Control4-supported devices to be managed based on activities detected by any NAPCO Gemini Security System Alarm Panel (GEM-P816 to GEM-X255) including 8 to 255 zone models, and supporting classic and contemporary Stay/Away Keypad functions. Control4 users can monitor, manage and control alarm panel activities such as arming while home or away with Contol4’s 4Sight service providing Anywhere Access to its end users; disarming a burglar alarm or a fire alarm; or creating other alerts such as a specific zone opening and/or closing and execute actions such as lighting scenes.

Check out the latest from Napco in this video from CEDIA 2014:


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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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