Security giant ADT is ramping up its Pulse home security/remote connectivity home control packages it’s selling to mass market households, with the addition of a wireless outdoor camera, a low-light indoor camera, a Wi-Fi extender and a new 7-inch touchscreen with a smaller bezel.
ADT started selling Pulse systems about 15 months ago, with packages ranging from a basic Select system ($399 plus $47 monthly service) to Advantage ($699 for install and $49 to $50 per month) that features wireless lighting controls and a thermostat using Z-Wave technology, to the Premier option ($1,200 installation and $57 per month) that brings in cameras and touchscreens. Energy management of thermostats and lighting via smartphone, touchscreen or computer is available with the Advantage and Premier options.
ADT is competing to sell these connectivity services with other big service providers including Comcast, Verizon, Vivint, and Alarm.com. AT&T is expected to roll out a home control solution as well.
ADT has used wired outdoor cameras with the systems until now, and the present 7-inch touchscreen has a much wider bezel. The new capacitive touchscreen reduces the plastic in the bezel by about 80 percent, says Steve Shapiro, group director of product management at ADT North America. The new touchscreen also has a rubber bumper around it to protect it from drops and jars.
The wireless outdoor camera is waterproof and dustproof, with an IP rating of 65, and uses infrared (IR) illumination. Shapiro says ADT encourages the use of a good motion sensor with an outdoor camera such as this, but one that won’t pick up leaves blowing or pets or other harmless activity that can trigger the camera’s recording.
ADT’s indoor cameras save video when a door or window contact is broken. Shapiro says the system will then save video of five seconds prior to the door or window opening. The same can be done with an outdoor camera used with a good motion sensor.
Also coming for Pulse is a new Wi-Fi extender made by Netgear. “When you do 802.11 Wi-Fi with encryption, as we do, you have range limitations,” says Shapiro. “Indoors [a Wi-Fi device on ADT’s network] should be within 50 feet of the gateway. And now that we’re outside [with the new wireless camera] we didn’t want brick or concrete to handicap the camera.” The range extender will support encryption keys between the outdoor camera and the gateway.
New versions of ADT’s iPhone and iPad apps are available to connect with a Pulse system and arm and disarm remotely, and a newer version of the Android app will also be available soon, Shapiro says. In addition, an interactive text support forum on ADT’s web site will be available in 60 days, and the company will also be posting YouTube video pointers on using the Pulse system.
Shapiro says the outdoor camera and extender will be available in three to four weeks, while the new touchscreen is about six to eight weeks away. Both touchscreens will be available for a while, with a slight price difference, he says. Pricing on the new options are not yet available.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates