June 2021 Archives

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For anyone watching Samsung SmartThings it's impossible not to notice that the platform has experienced a substantial shift in identity. While the platform was once developed upon physical hardware, that is no longer the case, as SmartThings is now largely built around intangible software.

This change in focus can be seen in multiple facets of SmartThings. The legacy "Classic" SmartThings App has been left behind, and developers have instead put their resources into SmartThings Labs and the recently re-titled Matter initiative, which was previously known as Project CHIP. It's obvious that Samsung still sees value in the SmartThings platform, if only from a virtual aspect. This can be especially seen in Matter, as initial Matter-speaking devices are set to release later in 2021.

But while Samsung clearly has interest in the software side of SmartThings, the hardware side has been relatively quiet. The original 1st-gen SmartThings Hub stopped working nearly a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung has been attempting to pass the hardware development side to others, as Aeotec has released the first third-party SmartThings Hub. Stock for SmartThings hardware is down, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find basic equipment. What it all suggests is that Samsung wants its focus to be on their SmartThings ecosystem, not on the equipment itself.

To make this possible, Samsung is pushing the SmartThings platform to rely even more heavily on the wireless protocols that allow for connectivity and communication between the different equipment. These wireless protocols include WIFI, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and even more obscure wireless networks like Thread, and their own pet-project, Matter. Simply put, Samsung wants to focus on building the smart wireless ecosystem making automations possible, and not necessarily on the sensors and smart hubs that users physically set up and hold in their hands. Apparently its in the intangible aspects of a smart home where Samsung feels they can bring the most value.

SmartThing users often say that the platform is one of the easiest and most proficient ways to design and maintain a smart home. It's obvious that Samsung still views SmartThings as a crucial component of their brand. However, while the SmartThings division was once largely an endeavor of tangible hardware, that appears to no longer be the case. The future of SmartThings as developed by first-party Samsung appears to be that of a virtual focus, in which software development reins supreme. Elsewhere, the actual legwork of building the physical hardware components can apparently be left to whomever will step up in their place.

What do you think about this change of focus for Samsung? Do you think this is a good move for the company to primarily focus on the intangible software components of SmartThings? Do you believe that other third-party companies can properly step-up and handle the hardware development and manufacturing steps of the process in their place? Also are you a fan of SmartThings in general, or do you prefer other smart home automation platforms? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security and automation discussions coming soon!

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After much waiting and anticipation, Resideo has delivered the firmware update we have all been wanting for ProSeries Panels.ProSeries System Updates Version 3.591.92.0 for PROA7PLUS, PROA7PLUSC, PROA7, and PROA7C introduces local programming mode, and other system enhancements.

First, we want to cover how to receive the update. Only monitored ProSeries Systems can be updated. You must have your ProSeries System online and connected with the AlarmNet servers in order for the over-the-air (OTA) update to go through successfully. The system must be connected with a WIFI network, as the update cannot be sent across cellular. Remember that while the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC both come with integrated WIFI network cards, the PROA7 and PROA7C can only connect to WIFI if a PROWIFIZW or PROWIFI has been added separately.

As a one-time event Alarm Grid is planning to send down the new firmware update to all its monitored customers with ProSeries Panels sometime in the coming days. This OTA update is being done in one mass shot to try to update as many users as possible all at once. No special action should be required on your part. Just have your ProSeries Panel powered on and connected to WIFI. While this process isn't perfect, and there will inevitably be some users who miss out on the update for one reason or another, this is the best way for us to ensure that as many end-users as possible have their panels updated. Remember, we can only update ProSeries Systems that are actively monitored by Alarm Grid. If you have a different monitoring provider, then ask them to help you update your system.

If your automatic OTA update fails for whatever reason, or if you didn't have your panel ready at the time of the mass OTA update, then you can request that the update be sent down manually. Alarm Grid customers can email support@alarmgrid.com to request a manual OTA update. Please make sure that you have your ProSeries Panel powered on and connected to WIFI when we push down the OTA update, or else the update process will fail. Our support hours run from 9 am to 8 pm ET M-F, so keep that in mind when contacting us. Furthermore, we cannot push down a manual OTA update to your panel if you receive alarm monitoring service from a different provider. If you are monitored by a different company, then you should instead reach out to your provider for further assistance.

There are some big highlights here in ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0. Obviously, the elephant in the room is the introduction of local programming mode. Previously, users were forced to have all system programming completed remotely by their monitoring provider. This included basic system setup tasks like enrolling sensors and configuring zone settings. Not only will the introduction of local programming make activations easier for professional technicians, but it will also empower end-users and give them greater control over their systems. This is a huge deal, as it officially makes the ProSeries Panels DIY-friendly alarm systems.

There are other major introductions in ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0, though they are likely to be overshadowed by the introduction of local programming. Nonetheless, we are still very excited about these smaller, but still important, introductions. For one, there is a boost to system partitioning, as a common lobby partition option is now available. You can set Partition 3 or Partition 4 as the common lobby, depending on how many partitions are being used. The highest number partition will always be the common lobby, and you must have at least 3 partitions in order to enable the common lobby feature.

There are some principles to keep in mind regarding the lobby function. You cannot set both Partition 3 and Partition 4 as the common lobby. Only one can be the common lobby partition at any given time. The way that the common lobby partition works is that disarming any other partition will also disarm the common lobby partition. Additionally, if ALL other partitions are armed, then the common lobby will also automatically arm. The only way you can arm/disarm the common lobby partition independently is if all the other system partitions are in an armed state. All system users have authority over the common lobby partition. Finally, any 24-hour zones assigned to the common lobby partition will sound on keypads of all partitions, but you can only silence alarms and troubles from these zones using the common partition keypad. Any faulted zone in the common lobby partition will be automatically bypassed when the common lobby partition is armed, even if it is armed automatically due to all other partitions being armed.

The ProSeries Firmware Update 3.591.92.0 brings support for some upcoming PROSiX Sensors that we hope to have available on our site very soon. Specifically, we are talking about support for the PROSiX Wireless Repeater (PROSIXRPTR) and support for the PROSiX Wireless Heat (PROSIXHEAT).

A local alarm mode is now supported, meaning you can trigger a localized system alarm, complete with siren, but without the system reporting out. This can be good for scaring away on-site intruders, while also resting easy in knowing that the authorities will not be sent to the premises. This is basically how the system behaves if an intrusion alarm occurs on a system that is not being monitored. When local alarm mode is enabled, all communication to AlarmNet is halted, including access to Total Connect 2.0 features.

The panel will now provide severe weather alerts. This feature requires that the system is set up with Total Connect 2.0 and the corresponding weather package. Remember, this is only possible if the system is monitored and set up with Total Connect 2.0. Ask your monitoring company about receiving weather alerts on the panel.

If you are using the system in Canada, you can now use the PROTLE-CN Communicator. This communicator may be carried by Alarm Grid in the future. Alarm Grid is not provided with the option to sell the Resideo and Honeywell Home lineup of Canadian communicators, however, we can get potential customers in touch with a Canadian distributor. Once you obtain a PROLTE-CN elsewhere, then we will be able to set it up for monitoring.

On the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC only, you can now stream the live video feed for Total Connect 2.0 IP Cameras and SkyBell Video Doorbell Cameras from both the Panel, as well as any PROWLTOUCH or PROWLTOUCHC Keypad. The PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC also now both support disarm photos from the PROWLTOUCH and PROWLTOUCHC Keypads. Again, these two (2) features are for use with the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC only.

For all ProSeries Panels, there is backlight timeout improvement. You can now set the backlight timeout for a ProSeries Panel or a PROWLTOUCH/PROWLTOUCHC Keypad to Disable and have the screen go completely dark. This is instead of going to the "inactivity screen" that shows the weather, time & date, 1st thermostat temperature, partition arming status, panic icons, and CELL/WIFI/AC/BLE status.

Other updates include:

  • You can now have Partition 1 Disarm automatically when a Z-Wave Door Lock is UNLOCKED.
  • There are improvements to the 7-Day Z-Wave Thermostat Schedule on Total Connect 2.0.
  • There is now optional device supervision for PROWLTOUCH & PROWLTOUCHC Keypads.
  • The PROSIX Wireless Technology is now more accurate in displaying signal strength and remaining battery life.
  • There is now improvement in enrollment range for PROSIXSMOKEV and PROSIXHEATV.
  • There is now improved multi-language display on the PROSIXLCDKP Keypads.
  • If you use a cellular communicator in Canada then you may notice Cellular Roaming Improvement.
  • Updates to the ProSeries Cyber Security.
  • The PROINDMV Indoor Motion Viewer and Z-Wave Devices are now supported during the AlarmNet360 Panel Replacement Process. This is only for the PROA7PLUS and PROA7PLUSC.

Are you excited about this new update? What do you think about local programming finally being available for the ProSeries Panels. Is there some other new feature that you're also really eager to check out. Let us know in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more news and updates coming soon.

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The Alarm.com Demand Response Program will continue expansion in the next month, as new members will join the program. Delaware Electric Co-Op, Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Duke Energy in Indiana, and Magic Valley Electric Cooperative will all be joining within a month's time from now.

If you are not familiar with the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program, it is a demand response program that helps mitigate high demand for electricity during periods of peak usage, while simultaneously offering financial incentives to electric company customers. Many Alarm.com users who are also customers of participatory electric companies have used the Give Back, Get Back Program to save money, while also helping electricity providers more effectively load-balance through peak demand periods.

The way that a demand response program like the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program works is that an electric company customer will give their electricity provider permission to drop or reduce electrical flow into their associated home or business at the electricity provider's discretion. In exchange, the electric provider will offer incentives to the customer, such as bill credits, reductions or discounts on their monthly bills, or even financial payments or gift cards.

Although the electricity provider can drop or reduce the electrical supply to a participating party at any time at their own discretion, the typical practice is to only do so during peak periods of the heaviest usage. For example, a user may expect the program to go into effect on a hot summer afternoon, during which all households and businesses are actively running their AC systems. Most participants do not notice any changes from such programs, and they are a great way for users to save a little bit more money on their energy bills.

In the case of the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program, an Alarm.com user is giving permission to their electric company to offset power through their smart thermostat as a means of reducing strain on the grid. To participate, an individual must be an Alarm.com user who is also a customer of a participating electric company. Additionally, they must own a compatible smart thermostat device that is integrated with their Alarm.com account. The incentives for enrolling in the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program vary, depending upon the user's electricity provider.

Within the next month from now, four (4) new electric companies will be joining the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program. Delaware Electric Co-Op, Wabash Valley Power Alliance, and Duke Energy of Indiana will be joining the program in Mid-June, while Magic Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) will be joining in early July. The incentives for opting into the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program are as follows:

  • Delaware Electric Co-Op - Participants who enroll by September 30th will receive a $25 credit towards their electric bills, plus a $5 bill credit for each summer month in which they participate and remain enrolled in the program.
  • Wabash Valley Power Alliance - Participants who join will receive a one-time $50 payment, plus a $25 ongoing seasonal credit.
  • Duke Energy (Indiana) - Participants who join will receive a one-time $75 e-gift card upon enrollment, plus a $25 e-gift card for each year they participate in the program.
  • MVEC - Participants will receive a one-time $50 credit upon enrolling in the program, in addition to a 10% reduction on their electric bills during the summer months on all subsequent years.

If you are a customer of any of the aforementioned electricity providers, or any other participating provider, and you are also an Alarm.com user with at least one (1) smart thermostat set up with your Alarm.com network, then you are eligible to join the program. Any user looking to get started should log in to their Alarm.com account using a compatible web browser, click on the > arrow inside the Thermostats Card, then the "Give Back, Get Back" option, and then Settings and Notifications.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer having trouble getting started, then you may email our support team at support@alarmgrid.com for further assistance. Our support hours run from 9 am to 8 pm M-F, so keep that in mind when emailing us. You may also want to contact your electric company to find out if they are a participant in the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program. If they are not currently involved, then you might ask if they would ever consider getting involved sometime in the future.

Do you have any experience with the Alarm.com Give Back, Get Back Program? Has it helped you save any money on energy expenses? Or maybe you're looking to join the program in the near future? What are your expectations, and do you think it will be a worthwhile endeavor? Share your thoughts in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. Remember to stay tuned to our blog for more security and automation news coming soon!

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Alarm Grid is here with another video recap! This recap marks the return of Jorge to our videos after a long absence. Each video in this week's edition covers the 2GIG Edge, and we feel like we have some really helpful content to share with you. Anyway, let's get started with the video recap!

2GIG Edge: Activating on Alarm com

Jorge shows you how to activate the 2GIG Edge System with the Alarm.com service. Getting the 2GIG Edge set up with Alarm.com is an important part of getting the system monitored. All system alarms and other notifications are sent to the Alarm.com servers before being passed on to a central station and/or the end-user via text and/or email, depending upon the user's alarm monitoring plan. The 2GIG Edge comes ready to activate with Alarm.com using its built-in LTE cellular communicator. You can also set up optional IP connectivity using the panel's integrated WIFI card. Adding WIFI allows the use of the 2GIG Edge Remote Keypad as well as the Live Streaming feature for Alarm.com cameras.

2GIG Edge: Deleting a Zone

Jorge teaches you how to delete a zone on the 2GIG Edge. Zones are never really deleted from the 2GIG Edge. The system always has 100 wireless zones. But whether all of them are currently active or not is another story. When someone talks about "deleting" a zone, they mean clearing out the zone settings so that the zone can be used with a new sensor instead. This is normally done if you run out of zones and need to free one up, or if you simply want to stop using a sensor with the 2GIG Edge, or need to replace a sensor on the system.


2GIG Edge: Deleting Door/Window Sensors

I show you how to delete a door/window sensor from a 2GIG Edge. The process for deleting a door/window sensor from the Edge is the same as any other sensor type. You need to enter into zone programming, select the zone associated with the sensor you want to clear from the system, and then tell the Edge to reset that zone. The zone would then need to be reprogrammed from scratch in order to support the same sensor, or a new sensor programmed in its place. This could be another compatible door/window sensor, or any other type of compatible sensor.


2GIG Edge: Changing the Master Code

I show you how to change the Master Code on your 2GIG Edge Security System. The Master Code is the system's primary code for disarming, and also arming if Quick Arm is disabled. Changing this code is very important for security purposes, and it is one of the very first things you will do after getting the 2GIG Edge System. The 2GIG Edge default Master Code is 1111, and you will certainly want to change it to prevent a savvy intruder from trying that code to disarm your system.


2GIG Edge: Programming a Zone

Jorge shows you how to program a zone on your 2GIG Edge. Programming zones is an important task for setting up the system. This is the act of assigning sensors to empty system zone slots. You must configure the zone settings so that the system responds as intended when the sensor is faulted or activated. You will also set various settings for the zone, like its chime sound, whether or not RF supervision will be used, whether the system will report if the zone causes an alarm, and even the zone name.


2GIG Edge: Bypassing Zones

I teach you how to bypass zones on the 2GIG Edge. Bypassing zones is the act of telling the system to temporarily ignore specified zones so that they do not cause any system response when activated. Later, when you are ready to use the bypassed sensors again, you can then un-bypass them so that they are again used with the system like normal. This is a good alternative, and honestly much quicker and easier than having to delete zones entirely and then reprogram the zones from scratch.

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There is an important key change coming to the way that Alarm.com Video Analytics are handled. Notifications for Alarm.com Video Analytics are now being as soon as a person, vehicle, or animal is detect. A notification will link to the live camera feed so that you can view the action.

This new change will apply to all new and existing Alarm.com Video Analytics recording rules. Previously, Alarm.com Video Analytics notifications were sent out once the associated video clip was fully uploaded. The one exception to the change is for email and SMS text message Video Analytics notifications that are specifically configured to "Attach a Video Clip" are still going to be sent after the video clip has been uploaded.

According to Alarm.com, the new method with the notification linking to the associated camera video feed will make it easier for users to quickly access the associated camera so that they can gain knowledge of the situation at-hand in a faster time period than they were able to previously. While this might seem like a relatively small change here, it will actually have a pretty big impact on Alarm.com Video Analytics and how they are used.

Remember that Alarm.com Video Analytics are based around Video Analytics Rules. If you want to add a new Video Analytics Recording Rule through the Alarm.com Website, then start by logging into your Alarm.com account through a compatible web browser. Choose Video on the left-hand side, then Recording Rules, followed by Add New Rule, and then Video Analytics. Remember that your alarm monitoring provider must have enabled both video monitoring and Video Analytics on your account before you will be able to do this. Alarm Grid customers must have a Platinum Plan (Self or Full) or an Alarm Grid Video-Only Plan to use any form of Alarm.com Video Analytics.

Do you have any thoughts on this seeming small, yet major change to Alarm.com Video Analytics notifications? Share your viewpoint in a comment down below. Maybe you like this change, because it will allow you to access your cameras more quickly? Or maybe you think that Alarm.com should have just left things alone. In any case, we would love to see some discussion. And don't forget to to stay tuned to our blog for more security news coming soon.

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If you are a regular reader of the Alarm Grid Blog, then you have likely heard us joke about the current paltry selection of Total Connect 2.0 IP Cameras from Resideo (formerly Honeywell). But what if Resideo were to revamp their camera lineup? Today, we speculate what could be possible.

First, let's look at the currently available TC2 IP Cameras. There are two (2). We have the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC1 and the Honeywell IPCAM-WIC2. Both are indoor cameras, with the IPCAM-WIC1 being a "budget" 720p camera, and the IPCAM-WIC2 as the premium 1080p camera offering. There isn't anything inherently wrong with these cameras, and the IPCAM-WIC2 is actually quite nice. However, since the Honeywell IPCAM-WOC1 was discontinued, there is no outdoor camera for the lineup, and if you compare this selection with the Alarm.com Camera Lineup, quite frankly, Resideo should feel embarrassed.

But it doesn't necessarily have to be this way! Not only have we heard grumblings about some new cameras coming out of the Resideo pipeline, we're also happy to do our very own speculating. So let's play pretend for this blog post, and imagine what might be possible from Resideo and Honeywell Home.

With the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS positioned as one of the leading next generation security panels, just imagine what could be possible if it had a robust and complete camera lineup to accompany it. Actually, you don't have to imagine, because we're going to do it for you. Right here, right now, we're going to drop some ideas and speculation about what Resideo could be cooking up. Who knows, maybe we'll see some of these thoughts become reality at ISC West 2021 next month.

We would want these cameras to look sleek and impressive. They should be easy to pair with your Total Connect 2.0 account. How about QR code pairing through the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App? That would be quick and easy. WPS pairing for WIFI connectivity would likely be possible, but there should also be more secure Access Point (AP) mode pairing for greater security. We wouldn't be too disappointed if WPS pairing were dropped entirely, just as long as there were an efficient and simple process for network connectivity. Maybe they could do something where you connect an initial camera to the network, then other cameras could connect with that "Master Camera" and automatically pair with the network? There would be some security kinks to iron out there, but that sounds quick, easy and simple, which is optimal for end-users. And actually, if you were to use a power over ethernet setup, then you wouldn't even need WIFI connectivity.

Here's a quick and easy idea that consumers will love - a simple color option for each camera. Release each camera in the classic white coloring option, as when you think of security cameras, you usually think of white. But what about also a jet black color option? The black-colored cameras would be well-hidden in the darkness of night and catch intruders off-guard. Why hasn't this been done yet? Plus, consumers love fun choices like this. It's simple, sure, but black-colored security cameras would be a major market hit. Speaking of night time, we would want these cameras to have IR night vision capabilities for recording in the dark. We wouldn't expect anything less from these top-of-the-line cameras.

How would you go about viewing these camera feeds? Well obviously you would be able to access them remotely through the Total Connect 2.0 platform. You could use the website or mobile app. We also know that there would be connectivity through the PROA7PLUS Alarm Panel, and the PROWLTOUCH Keypad. For the most part, that would probably be enough. But let's get creative here. What if you put an HDMI or other type of port on each camera, and then you could connect a loose monitor just to get a quick peak at the camera's feed while you are installing the devices in the field? Maybe that's packing too many features into a tight space, but at the same time, why not?

Speaking of, we have to wonder how the cameras would receive power. You could do what Alarm.com does. They have a "residential" lineup of cameras that uses simple, yet effective, plug-in transformers. They're quick and dirty, but they get the job done. Then there's also a "commercial" lineup that uses Power over Ethernet (PoE). We'll give you the best of both worlds here and just say that each camera should have both options available. Bundle a transformer, and release a universal "extension cable" for those who need a long wire run. But at the same time, allow a user to lose that transformer and just run an ethernet cable for both network and power connectivity. More choice, more options, more power.

And also, why not battery power? Allow a camera to run off AA batteries or CR123A batteries, and make something truly wire-free. Battery power is only becoming more impressive as technology grows and changes. This could also be a backup power option during electrical outages. Maybe you could do something where the camera pairs with the PROA7PLUS like a sensor, and then it uses its cellular connection (via the PROLTE-A or PROLTE-V) to remain connected to the network even if the internet is down? This might be a bit unrealistic at the present time, but hey, we can dream right?

This post wouldn't be complete without talking about some camera types. We will start simple. There would have to be a universal go-to and basic indoor model. The equivalent of the ADC-V523 (for those familiar with Alarm.com Cameras). This would be a versatile device that you could use in pretty much any indoor installation. And if there's an indoor model, then there would also have to be an outdoor model, ala the ADC-V723. And why not have a budget model, aka the ADC-V515. Maybe tone down some of the features and give an affordable option. There could even be a budget outdoor camera, the fictitious ADC-V715, which doesn't even exist... yet.

Would Resideo and Honeywell Home release their own version of the ADC-V622-WELL? Sure, why not. Actually, Honeywell has definitely attempted a "social camera tower" device before. We do like the idea. An interactive camera with a call button and two-way voice. It's creative and unique, and it could absolutely be a hit. Imagine pressing the camera call button and then getting an alert on the panel or via push notification from Total Connect 2.0. This is an excellent option for those taking care of sick relatives, or aging family members.

We would like to see some dome camera options. Dome cameras are easy to hide, and they offer some excellent installation opportunities. How about a small dome camera like the ADC-V821, and a big dome camera like the ADC-VC826. Maybe the big dome camera would get a boost in specs and capabilities, like pan/tilt and possibly even zoom, to take advantage of the larger size. Resideo Dome Cameras and Honeywell Home Dome Cameras for residential and commercial applications alike. And they would certainly be suitable for outdoor use as well. The dome design practically screams "Install Me Outside Please!", and we don't see why not.

Lastly, we want to go out with a BANG! here. You know the ADC-VC836 Turret Camera? Well imagine a design like that, but then you can go into Total Connect 2.0 to remotely control the turret camera's position like a robot. A remote control camera, kinda like a stationary drone. Wait, a Drone! Resideo Drone Camera and Honeywell Home Drone Camera! Why not just release a Resideo Drone or a Honeywell Home Drone? Pair it with your Total Connect 2.0 account, select the Drone Camera, and then use your phone or computer as a controller for it. Take flight and scope out your home or business with your drone camera. An outdoor model could charge using solar power. Fly around and capture all of the activity recorded. Not only would you get amazing coverage, it would be COOL.

We can just imagine spending hours flying our TC2 Drone Camera. If privacy concerns are a thing, you could set the camera to only record footage while it is within the assigned property address. We're strictly talking for monitoring your own property. Still, the possibilities of flying a mini TC2 drone around a 3-story house or multistory company office would be pretty neat. Imagine the drone riding in the elevator and then surprising your co-worker as the door opens! Two-way voice capabilities would allow you to communicate through your drone in real-time. Again, we know a drone might a bit scary and open up some unnecessary espionage opportunities. But this is too cool not to at least imagine and dream about.

None of the ideas or topics discussed in this blog are known to exist, and this is just purely conceptional imagination "what-if" at this point. The odds of Resideo actually showcasing a drone camera at ISC West 2021 are slim-to-zero. At some point, the camera fairy tales in this post became exactly that - fairy tales. That's not going to stop Alarm Grid from thinking about a day in the future where Resideo has an incredible lineup of security cameras, and we laugh the fact that at one time it was just the IPCAM-WIC1 and IPCAM-WIC2.

What can we expect out of Resideo as far as new cameras at ISC West 2021? Well a drone, or even a stationary turret camera ala an ADC-VC836-like design that you can actually use for 360-degreee control through Total Connect 2.0 is probably asking too much. Let's come back down to planet Earth for a second. It's fair to expect a new indoor and outdoor camera for use with Total Connect 2.0. Seriously, TC2 users deserve a better camera selection. And even if we saw some nice dome cameras for the platform, we would probably still be blown away. Resideo has to up their camera game. Why not give the public something impressive?

Can you dream big on some Resideo and Honeywell Home Camera ideas? Or has this writer lost his marbles? Leave your thoughts in a comment down below. What would you like to see out of a next generation of Honeywell IP Cameras? What's realistic, and what's a fun fantasy idea? We clearly crossed the line into the realm of fantasy in this post, but why not get a little creative once in awhile? Security is fun, don't ever forget that. Speaking of fun, stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and other content coming soon.

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We have a short but sweet announcement to make today, as we now have the DSC PowerSeries NEO ICON Keypads available. These are the equivalent of Fixed English Keypads for the DSC PowerSeries NEO. They are great if you need additional keypads to accompany one or more Alphanumeric Keypads.

The following four (4) DSC ICON Keypads are now available for DSC PowerSeries NEO owners:

The main thing to keep in mind with these ICON Keypads is that they are essentially Fixed English Keypads. This means that they do not display system status, and instead just display the current time. More importantly, they also cannot be used to program the panel, because they will not display zone settings.

In other words, you should only use one of these keypads as an extra keypad controller to accompany an existing Alphanumeric Keypad. You can use the Alpha Keypad a the primary controller and for making system changes. Then the new ICON Keypad can go in a secondary location, such as by your back door or in your master bedroom.

If you are looking for just one Alphanumeric Keypad, then a good option is the DSC HS2LCDRF9 N, as that keypad includes the built-in PowerG Transceiver so that you can begin adding wireless sensors. If you already have a standalone PowerG Transceiver, then you can get the Alpha Keypad without the built-in PowerG Transceiver, the DSC HS2LCD N Keypad or the DSC HS2LCDP N Keypad With Proximity Tag Support. Remember that we sell Proximity Tags for the DSC PowerSeries NEO here in a packs of eight (8).

What do you think of the DSC PowerSeries ICON Fixed English Keypads? Do you think you will add one to your DSC PowerSeries NEO Security System? Let us know in a comment down below. We would love to hear your thoughts. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security news and product announcements coming soon!

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We have a short but exciting announcement today, as new Qolsys IQ Smart Water Valve Kits are now available! There are two (2) kits available, including the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-PG that uses PowerG communication and the Qolsys IQWV908-KIT-SL that uses 319.5 MHz S-Line communication.

Both of these new kits include two (2) components. The centerpiece is a smart water valve that uses Z-Wave Plus V2 700-Series communication technology. This piece of hardware has an adaptive torque output and can be self-installed on most quarter-turn (1/4 turn) ball valve pipes ranging from one-half inch (1/2") to one and a quarter inch (1-1/4"). Wireless communication is kept super secure using the optional Z-Wave S2 Security Protocol, which is supported by most 500-Series and 700-Series Z-Wave controllers.

Some of the best aspects of the Z-Wave 700-Series Qolsys IQ Smart Water Valve include its ability to be used indoors or outdoors (keep out of direct sunlight), it has an adaptive torque rating of up to eight (8) Nm, and its ingress protection rating of IP66, making it both waterproof and dustproof. The water valve is nice and compact at just 14.8mm x 9.6mm x 13.3mm in size, and it weighs a mere 603g. It can be used reliably in temperatures ranging from 14°F to 121°F. Best of all, it can be self-installed, without the need to hire a plumber.

The other component of the kit is a wireless flood sensor that is ideally used in conjunction with the smart water valve. Depending on the kit you choose, you will get either the DSC 915 MHz PowerG PG9985 Flood Sensor or the Qolsys 319.5 MHz S-Line QS5536-840 Flood Sensor. The PowerG option is good if you have any version of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or a DSC PowerSeries NEO Panel with an added PowerG Transceiver. Meanwhile, the S-Line variant is good for the original non-Plus Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or even something like a wireless Interlogix Alarm Panel.

The biggest advantage to using the Z-Wave smart water valve and the wireless flood sensor together is that you can create an automated scene to turn the water off in an emergency situation. The way that this works is that when the flood sensor detects liquid, it will send a signal to the centralized alarm control panel. This faulted zone can then be programmed to trigger an automated smart scene that tells the Z-Wave valve to shut off the water supply. This can stop the flooding and potentially save you thousands of dollars in serious damage. If you've ever experienced the devastation of a major flood, then you will realize this importance.

Do you have any thoughts on this new smart water valve and flood sensor combination package from Qolsys? Share your viewpoint in a comment down below. We would love to hear what you have to say. It's great to see Qolsys taking such initiative in the field of flood damage prevention. Who knows, maybe Resideo and Honeywell Home or 2GIG and Nortek will release their own smart water valve in the near future (pure speculation). From what we can tell Qolsys really put out a winner here, and we're really excited to see it in action. Anyway, that's all the news for now. Keep posted to the Alarm Grid Blog for more updates in the security and smart home automation world coming real soon!

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With ISC West 2021 quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to take a quick look at various security manufacturers to speculate about what they might be presenting. Keep in mind, this is purely speculation. None of this is guaranteed, it's just our guess as what we might see.

Before you read about the various security and smart home automation offerings that we might see, make sure to check out our earlier post on the ISC West 2021 Health and Safety Guidelines, if you haven't already. Remember that this year's ISC West runs from Monday, July 19th through Wednesday, July 21st at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV. With that out of the way, let's begin discussing some manufacturers.

Resideo

Resideo will certainly want to showcase its new system, the PROA7PLUS. We would expect to see both the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS and the virtually identical Resideo PROA7PLUSC showcased prominently at ISC West 2021. You will also likely see its accompanying hardware, including the PROLTE-A and PROLTE-V Communicators, the PROTAKEOVER Legacy Receiver Module, and the PROSIX Series Encrypted Wireless Sensors. All of this aforementioned equipment is already available for purchase.


As for new products, we would be surprised if we didn't see Resideo releasing a new lineup of security cameras, perhaps under the Honeywell Home brand. With the Honeywell IPCAM-OC1 Outdoor Camera being discontinued, the selection of Total Connect 2.0 Cameras is pretty weak compared to the selection of Alarm.com Cameras. As such, a user getting security cameras as part of their system is more likely to choose an Alarm.com System than a Resideo System that is being used with Total Connect 2.0. We're sure Resideo wants to change that, so it would be disappointing if we don't see some new Resideo Cameras.

Lastly, we have heard rumors of a new hardwired system that would essentially replace the Honeywell VISTA Series. This lineup of wired panels is rumored to be named the Honeywell Home PROH8PLUS, and it would be a fully hybrid system able to support both hardwired sensors and wireless sensors, possibly using the PROTAKEOVER Module Legacy Receiver. While there's nothing inherently wrong with VISTA Alarm Panels, we might see Resideo updating their technology a bit, and bringing the hardwired selection lineup to the next level.

Nortek & 2GIG

From what we can tell, Nortek is very pleased with their 2GIG Edge Security System, and it's a fair bet that that 2GIG Edge Alarm Panel will be the main highlight of the 2GIG and Nortek Booth at ISC West 2021. And it's rightfully so, as the Edge is a highly advanced alarm panel with great features like facial recognition and Bluetooth disarming. What remains to be seen if Nortek will decide to roll-out a lineup of 2GIG Edge-exclusive encrypted sensors, perhaps to break away from the existing 2GIG eSeries Sensors that work with the Edge and the older GC2e and GC3e. However, we haven't actually heard anything about new 2GIG Edge Sensors, so that is just pure speculation. That being said, you can bet on 2GIG to heavily feature the 2GIG Edge Alarm System in their booth. If you haven't seen it an action yet, then ISC West 2021 figures to be a great opportunity. The 2GIG Edge and its accessories are currently available for purchase from Alarm Grid.

Qolsys

Qolsys has been secretly working away on some new alarm panels, and we figure ISC West 2021 to be right opportunity for Qolsys to unveil them to the public. The company needs to make a big splash to keep up with household names like Honeywell Home and 2GIG. We can expect to see the new Qolsys Budget Panel, the Qolsys IQ Hub, which we have been expecting for quite some time.


This may also be the chance for Qolsys to unveil their big new flagship alarm panel, the Qolsys IQ Panel 4. We are expecting the IQ Panel 4 to be a tremendous juggernaut in the home security industry, as the new alarm system will boast a Snapdragon Chipset running Android 9 Software, and come complete with an 8MP front-facing camera, all-new lifestyle automation pages, and oodles of great features. There's a chance Qolsys might be secretive and keep the IQ Panel 4 tucked away, but we would be pretty sad if we don't get to see it at ISC West 2021. We are hopeful that the Qolsys IQ Panel 4, Qolsys IQ Hub, and Qolsys IQ Router will be made available later this year.

DSC

Digital Security Controls (DSC) has been at the forefront of Canadian Home and Commercial Security for years. But now that both DSC and Qolsys are under the Johnson Controls banner, we may see considerably less of the DSC brand out in the limelight. As security systems are being made "sexier" and flashier to fit-in with a modern home, a bulky wired alarm system like the DSC PowerSeries NEO just isn't suitable for most residential applications. We don't expect DSC to be completely absent from ISC West 2021, but don't be surprised if Johnson Controls is putting Qolsys out on center stage, while DSC may remain more in the background as more of a commercial security option. The PowerSeries NEO and the existing DSC Iotega are both candidates to be featured in ISC West 2021. We have not yet received any word on possible "new" DSC equipment that may be featured.

Alarm.com

Alarm.com always has a prominent showing at ISC West, and we don't expect this year to be any different. However, we aren't really sure what to expect from Alarm.com, if anything new. It's possible that Alarm.com might try to make ISC West 2021 more of a quiet showing. It's likely that the Alarm.com Smart House will return, allowing users to interact with the latest smart home automation and video surveillance offerings from Alarm.com. The ADC platform strives to be a leader in terms of home automation, and they will likely use this ISC West to showcase their complete array of offerings and how their equipment can be used together to create a complete smart home. We are also regularly pleased with all the Alarm.com Video Camera offerings, so it's fair to expect their cameras to make an appearance. We aren't necessarily expecting any new cameras, but we definitely anticipate seeing great devices like the ADC-V523, ADC,V622-WELL, ADC-V723, and ADC-VDB770 Doorbell Camera.

Z-Wave Alliance

You can always bet on seeing the Z-Wave Alliance tucked away in the back corners of the ISC West Showroom Floor. Z-Wave wireless communication has secured itself as the leading protocol in smart home automation, and it continues to dominate for good reason. ISC West 2021, figures to be a huge opportunity for Z-Wave 700-Series Technology to really present itself to the public and showcase its rich capabilities. Z-Wave 700-Series, also being called Z-Wave Plus V2, promised extended wireless range, and a longer battery life of at least ten (10) years. Z-Wave Plus V2 sensors are also required to be built on the Z-Wave S2 Security Protocol, thereby making them more secure than most Z-Wave 500-Series devices.

Of course, the Alarm Grid team will be returning to ISC West 2021, ready to post about the latest security offerings from all the major brands. Be sure to keep-up with the Alarm Grid Blog if you can't make it to ISC West 2021 yourself. We will let you know the latest news for Resideo, Honeywell Home, 2GIG, Qolsys, and more as we attend the event in Las Vegas, NV. Stay tuned for more ISC West 2021, especially as we get closer to the even on July 19th through July 21st. We're super excited, so get ready for more content coming soon.

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If you use an Interlogix Alarm System with Alarm.com, then you can expect a firmware update for your system's LTE communicator. The firmware update will be automatic, and no action will need to be taken. Interlogix Simon Panels, NetworX Panels, and Concord4 Panels will receive the update.

If you haven't upgraded to an LTE communicator yet, then make sure to do so as soon as possible. The 3G Sunset is going to occur on January 31st, 2022 for AT&T and December 31st for Verizon. If you are not aware of the 3G sunset, then please read this blog to get acquainted. This upgrade is very important to ensure that you do not experience a loss of service.

We want to mention that each firmware update is just a general update designed to improve the user experience. Each update is being pushed down automatically, at no cost to the user. No action is needed on your end, just have your system online and connected with the Alarm.com servers, and everything will be taken care of.

Please note the update according to your Interlogix System:

  • Interlogix Concord4 - Firmware Update 189d
  • Interlogix NetworX - Firmware Update 189a
  • Interlogix Simon XT, XTi, XTi-5, XTi-5i - Firmware Update 191f

Additionally, if you use a Honeywell VISTA System with an Alarm.com SEM (not AlarmNet or Total Connect 2.0), then you will also be getting a pair of automatic system updates. All VISTA Systems using Alarm.com SEMs will receive the SEM VISTA 187i Upgrade and the 1.61 Firmware Upgrade. Again, both updates are automatic, and they are being provided at zero cost.

That's all the news for now. If you have any of the aforementioned systems on Alarm.com, then you can expect the automatic firmware update. If you are monitored by Alarm Grid and you are having any trouble with your system, please email support@alarmgrid.com. Please keep in mind our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F.

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