Dierkes is seen in his kitchen on one of the
security cameras mounted in his home in Milford
Township, Mich., on Feb. 6, 2014. Dierkes' home is
a demonstration site for AT&T's new home
automation and security system that can be
controlled remotely by a smartphone.
a 3,200-square-foot home in Milford, Mich., Chris
Dierkes showed off one of AT&Tís latest service
offerings: home security and automation.
demonstrated how to turn down the thermostat using an
application on his iPad.
temperature is set to 72 degrees," the AT&T
sales manager said last week as he slid his finger
across the tablet screen. "If you want to dip this
down to 70, you can."
an effort to find new revenue streams, AT&T, Comcast
and other companies are taking on established home
security companies such as ADT, which dominates the $13
billion home security market. The players new to the
security business are hoping to leverage their data
networks and existing customer relationships.
in addition to home security, they are selling services
that just a few years ago were too expensive for many
people to afford, including the ability to remotely lock
and unlock doors, see whatís going on through
surveillance cameras, and even shut off the water.
technology ó and increased competition ó has
dramatically lowered the cost of installing equipment
and allowed homeowners to integrate more automation
features, said Chris Heaton, the vice president of
membership for the Texas-based Electronic Security
market for this has taken off," he added.
said he expects the new competition to continue to
increase and the number of homeowners nationally who
have home security systems to grow from 20 percent to 30
percent or more in the next decade.
charges an installation fee for its Digital Life system,
and then a monthly charge starting at about $30
depending on the services.
network allows us to overlay more products and services
and take the handheld devices and create new uses for
them," said Greg Clark, an AT&T regional vice
president of external affairs.
the same time, the slick marketing that the national
providers trying to get into this business is benefiting
independent home security firms.
industry is creating an awareness," said Ron Ross,
president of Vigilante Security in Troy, Mich., who
estimated the demand has boosted his companyís sales
by 20 to 25 percent. "The consumer is doing their
shopping as a result."
based in Philadelphia, offers security and automation
service through its Xfinity brand. The company said it
is a new revenue stream ó and a service customers are
about getting more value out of the technology,"
said Michelle Gilbert, Comcastís vice president of
public relations. "We are integrating all of your
technology together so no matter where you are, you are
much business they will take from companies like ADT,
which estimates it has about a 25 percent market share
of the security industry ó and whether other wireless
phone providers like Verizon will start offering home
security service ó is unclear.
Wells, chief marketing officer of ADT, said the Boca
Raton, Fla.-based company has been offering home
security much longer ó about 140 years. It also offers
home automation services, but considers its focus on
home security, as opposed to being an add-on service, to
be a competitive advantage.
view security not just about the home, but about your
personal security ó and digital security," Wells
said. "We believe itís core and central. Itís
the only thing we do."