|loT will assist installers and integrators to position themselves as total solution providers and professional connectivity consultants to consumers |
The buzz over the Internet of Things (loT) isn’t likely to subside anytime soon, given recent developments over consumer adoption of network-connected technologies.
According to the 2014 State of the Internet of Things Study from Accenture Interactive, 69 percent of consumers plan to buy an in-home device in the next five years. The study also confirms that by the end of 2015 about 13 percent of consumers will have an loT device, such as an in-home security camera or automated thermostat. It also points out that as of fall 2014 only about four percent of survey participants owned these categories of devices.
Adding to the excitement is the January 27, 2015, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)-released report, “Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World,” which focuses on data and privacy concerns with the ongoing implementation of connected devices. According to the FTC, experts estimate that as of the end of this year there will be 25 billion connected devices, and by 2020, 50 billion. In the report the FTC defines IoT as “devices or sensors – other than computers, smartphones, or tablets – that connect, communicate or transmit information with or between each other through the Internet.”
The growing popularity of these types of products prompted the study, and came on the heels of an FTC-hosted workshop on November 19, 2013 similarly titled: “The Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World.” The new report summarises the workshop and offers a number of recommendations for IoT device makers – steps for enhancing data security, implementing data minimisation and giving consumers choices about how information collected by such devices will be used.
Connected solution provider
The loT is good news for installers and integrators who embrace new technologies and want to position themselves as total solution providers and professional connectivity consultants to consumers. It’s another way the industry can differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace and add value to their businesses. And according to the Electronic Security Association (ESA), the products and technologies are perfectly in line with the security industry.
“The IoT is here to stay, and our industry is already leveraging many of the applications such as interactive services that enable the monitoring and control of video, lighting, thermostats, water sensors and electronic locks to name a few,” says ESA Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau
“The IoT is here to stay, and our industry is already leveraging many of the applications such as interactive services that enable the monitoring and control of video, lighting, thermostats, water sensors and electronic locks to name a few,” says ESA Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau.
According to the 2014 ESA Member Profile Survey, 54 percent of the organization’s members are already offering interactive services and “enjoying the increased RMR opportunities surrounding these applications,” he says.
However, Guilbeau cautions that dealers must weigh which technologies might co-exist best with their current offerings. “With the rapid influx of products flooding the market, security companies need to consider carefully which products make sense to add to their businesses. Therefore, ESA recently released the ESA Product Selection Guide to help member companies walk through a methodical process to evaluate new products and services. Early adopters of these technologies will be poised for strong growth in the foreseeable future.”
ESA President Marshall Marinace, president of Marshall Alarm Systems Inc. in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., says increased demand for lifestyle features benefits consumers and security companies.
“This is a very exciting time for our industry as it evolves from installing and monitoring traditional security systems to integrating and monitoring complete technology solutions for residential consumers and commercial end users. Companies interested in diversifying their offering and boosting RMR have moved quickly to add additional IoT devices and services,” Marinace concludes.