Alarm.com Rebranding Geo-Services, To Be Called PlacesPosted By Julia Ross
From the beginning, ever since place-based services have become a staple of alarm-based remote access, Alarm.com has provided a better experience than their closest competitor, Total Connect 2.0. Recently, they announced they will be rebranding, with a name change from Geo-Services to Places.
Geo-Services, soon to be re-christened Places, allows a user to create a geo-fence around any location, and then create rules for their panel and their other automation devices based on that geo-fence. For example, you could create a rule that tells the system when your iOS or Android device enters the geo-fence, turn on the porch light
Alarm.com users with Master Control, Full Control, and Custom with Notification Settings enabled can configure Places. The feature can be enabled from the customer app by selecting Menu > GeoServices > and setting the feature to enabled:
You'll be prompted to go to your devices Location Settings and choose to Allow Always in order for the Places feature to function correctly even when the Alarm.com app is not in use. Once the feature is enabled on one or more devices, you can then create a geo-fence. One of the changes that is coming in early November is the ability to manage geo-fences from the customer app. Previously, the ability to configure this option was only available through the Alarm.com website.
Since this change hasn't actually been implemented yet, there is a chance that the menu options mentioned and shown above may change. Geo-services is included in every Alarm.com plan, and there is no additional charge to enable it. Geo-services uses the phone and WIFI networks to determine the location of the geo-services enabled device, rather than the built-in GPS. This is because using actual GPS consumes a lot of battery, but for this reason, location accuracy suffers. It can be off by as much as 3km, although that's not something we've experienced personally. Also, there is a tiny amount of cellular data used when WIFI is not available. About 100 bytes of data or less per geo-fence crossed.
Available Rules and Reminders For Geo-Services
|Arming/Lock/Sensor/Garage/Gate Reminders||Used to alert a user if the alarm isn't armed when the geo-fence is crossed. Can be used for locks, sensors, and garage doors as well.|
|Thermostat Override||Set a desired temperature when leaving and/or returning to a location when the geo-fence is crossed. Works with thermostats and mini-splits controllers.|
|Pause Video Recordings||Allows user to configure video devices to automatically pause recordings triggered by motion detection based on whether one or more geo-devices are within a geo-fence. Used to avoid unnecessary or unwanted recordings.|
|Automate Light Rules||A user can create an event-triggered rule to automate lights based on when a geo-fence is crossed.|
This is just a brief overview of this excellent Alarm.com feature that you may have, but may not be using. Be on the lookout for some possible changes to this feature early next month. If there are substantial changes, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop! Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about this, or any other alarm features. We look forward to hearing from you.