Home security startup seeks broadband partnerships
A startup based in Berwyn, Pa. aims to apply broadband as the key to unlocking a home security sector currently led by companies such as ADT and Brink's Home Security.
While ADT and Brink's specialize in analog security systems delivered via traditional phone lines and have just recently started to embrace VoIP technology, InGrid believes the time is now right for its broadband-centric approach.
And cracking that market and competing might not be as difficult as it might seem, given its present makeup and segmentation. InGrid CEO Louis Stilp estimates that ADT and Brink's own just one-third of that $8 billion market, with the balance going to about 10,000 to 12,000 regional or local security dealers.
InGrid's system, which looks to provide wider coverage than analog systems, is all-digital and all-wireless, with data fed over high-speed broadband networks. To provide coverage to all areas of the home, InGrid uses a wireless mesh system based on DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications).
The network is supported by a portable handset (which doubles as a cordless phone) and a broadband-connected base station that communicates wirelessly with window and door sensors. Another element–a two-way keychain remote that can arm the home's security system after the owner leaves the house–can help to reduce false alarms, Stilp explained.
InGrid hopes to sweeten the pot with services and applications delivered to the system's keypad that extend beyond the traditional home security elements. Among them: weather information and text messaging (delivered by InGrid or the broadband service provider).
Stilp said InGrid is also exploring new sensors that can detect things such as smoke and carbon monoxide. It is also looking into a cellular version of the product that might come in handy for people with vacation homes that do not subscribe to a broadband service.
Presently, InGrid is in the pre-production phase, but has started discussions with service providers, though it will offer products via a Web site. "But the largest channel we expect to be the broadband providers," Stilp said.