We have been covering the 2GIG Edge quite a bit recently, but only just now have we gotten a look at what features we expect the panel to bring. The award-winning, yet still unreleased, alarm panel promises to be the cutting-edge system that we have been wanting from Nortek for years.
This list of features comes from an informative PDF regarding the 2GIG Edge Beta Test. While we cannot show the actual document quite yet, we can go through the list and give our thoughts as to what they likely mean. Again, none of these features are promised or guaranteed to be supported by the 2GIG Edge in its official release.
When looking at the list of features, there's nothing in here that sounds unreasonable. In fact, most of this is pretty standard stuff that we would expect out of any capable system in 2021. But it does help confirm our expectations for the 2GIG Edge as a feature-filled, high-end alarm system. And if the panel delivers in terms of intangibles like build-quality and user interface, then the Edge can still go down as an all-time great security system.
Here's what the 2GIG Edge looks to bring:
- Face Recognition: The integrated camera is used to recognize faces. This may involve receiving alerts regarding an "unexpected face" disarming the system. But the documentation suggests that the feature may be used to activate personalized smart home features based upon the detected face.
- Data Privacy: The 2GIG Edge will use "on-the-edge analytics" to process facial recognition without sending it to "the cloud". Other data will also be kept protected. Really, this is just 2GIG's way of saying "we won't expose you". Still, it's good to see that 2GIG is doing what they can to protect end-users and their personal data.
- Bluetooth Disarm: This will involve pairing your phone with the system for automatic disarming upon detecting the return of your phone (and presumably you along with it). Some timer settings will likely be involved to prevent the feature from being abused. It will likely be optional, as some users may not feel comfortable using it.
- Geofencing: The panel can arm/disarm and have scenes activate automatically based upon the location of the user. This will likely involve tracking the user's phone to determine their probable location. It is also likely that Alarm.com will be used in this feature, though that has not been confirmed.
- Smart Home Controls & Scenes: This is likely a cover-all for the smart home automation features of the system. Again, it is likely that Alarm.com will play a role in this feature. It is fair to expect that scenes will be able to be performed both locally at the panel and remotely using the Alarm.com Mobile App.
- Slideshow & Video Playback: This is a feature seen on many wireless panels. You can have the screen default to show images and have the system operate as a digital picture frame when it is not in use. Our hope is that the 2GIG Edge makes it easy to add photos, as other panels tend to make this simple feature absurdly difficult to use.
- Video Live View: Up to eight (8) cameras and video doorbells can be live-streamed from the panel. You can stream up to four (4) camera feeds at once. Again, our hunch is that Alarm.com will be used to facilitate this feature. This has been one of the best features for the IQ Panel 2 Plus, so we're very excited to see it available on the Edge.
- Photo Snapshot: The onboard camera will take disarm photos. No word on whether these photos will be available on Alarm.com for quick and easy access on the go. We have seen this feature on other panels, and it can be fairly useful when set up well. A photo to go along with a notice that your panel has been disarmed can come in handy.
- Encrypted and Non-Encrypted Sensors: The 2GIG Edge will support encrypted sensors, and also be backward compatible with older 2GIG Sensors. No word on whether the encrypted sensors refer to the existing 2GIG eSeries Sensors, a new lineup of encrypted 2GIG Sensors, or both.
- Smart Area: This refers to the return of Smart Area Partitioning for the system. Users can section off the system into different partitions for greater flexibility and control. It's a great feature for multi-family homes, businesses, and households with "secure" rooms. Up to four (4) Smart Areas will be supported. It's no surprise to see this return.
- Built-In Glassbreak: The 2GIG Edge will operate as a glassbreak detector for detecting broken windows. This is a really cool feature that we have seen work great when configured on other panels. The feature will likely require that the panel be installed with a direct line-of-sight to a window in order to function properly.
- LTE Communication: Both AT&T LTE and Verizon LTE options will be available. No surprise here, as virtually every current security system has LTE connectivity. We were almost expecting a 5G option here, but it seems like that technology just hasn't arrived yet. Still, LTE is excellent for future-proofing a security system.
- Dual-Path: You can use both WIFI and LTE cellular connectivity with the 2GIG Edge. Alarm.com will most likely require that cellular connectivity is used. WIFI connectivity will likely be optional, but it's also fair to assume the features like camera streaming will require a WIFI setup. Again, no surprise here. Dual-path connectivity is expected.
- WIFI Access Point: You can use the 2GIG Edge as a wireless access point for other WIFI devices. As Nortek puts it, the Edge Panel "becomes a router". Again this is a fairly common feature. Most users will not need to bother setting their alarm panel as an access point, but it can help you overcome WIFI range issues in certain situations. It can also be helpful when the panel is used in a secondary home where a constant internet connection is not available, but some WIFI capability is needed, such as for secondary keypads.
- Mobile System Control: This refers to the ability to control the 2GIG Edge System remotely using an interactive platform. We assume that the feature is referring to the Alarm.com platform, but we do not see specific mention of ADC. Being able to control a system remotely through Alarm.com is standard for any system that uses ADC.
And there you have it, the features specifically mentioned by 2GIG and Nortek in the 2GIG Edge Beta documentation. We honestly expect all of these features to make their way over to the final release. Nothing is too surprising, but it's still really cool to see some features like local panel camera streaming, optional automatic Bluetooth disarm, and an integrated glassbreak detector. And the facial recognition feature should also not be overlooked, as it could really offer some cool options if set up properly. Just imagine being able to arm your system by simply staring at it, rather than entering a command. That's about as close as we can get to just using mind control to operate a system!
If you have any questions about the 2GIG Edge, please email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to check email questions from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We still have a little over three (3) weeks to go until the 2GIG Edge is released, so stay tuned to our blog for more content. We look forward to hearing from you!