The rise of DIY home security crowdfunded projects, what it meansPosted By Joshua Unseth
In recent months, there have been a rash of projects on sites like kickstarter. These projects claim they are here to disrupt the home security industry by making changes to security systems that will give YOU full control of the unit.
The truth is, none of these products are disruptive. Security companies have been making their own products for an incredibly long time. While we sell Honeywell, and a lot of dealers also sell GE, 2Gig, DSC or other branded systems, there are tons of companies that make their own products. Alarm Force is probably the best known of these companies. The Canadian company has put millions of dollars into developing their own products. The reason companies build their own equipment is because then you have no choice but to use their service. So, if Alarm Force installs their units in a million homes, those homes will have to buy a completely new system if they do not like the system they installed. It means that either 1) they stop service or 2) they have to pay $300-800 (depending on how big their system is) to move to a new company.
A lot of companies that do sell you their own product tout their willingness to forego a contract (just like Alarm Grid does), but the catch is that you have to install their equipment, and once it's installed, should you want to upgrade or move will required that you stay with that company for the long haul since getting rid of their products and buying new products is expensive.
The difference between the new systems being developed by Kickstarter companies and those created by well-known alarm companies is that most of the DIY systems can't call a central station. So while these new systems solve some problems (some of them are prettier than what's available others are more customizable and simpler to install), the truth is, most of these systems have neat features but are neutred of their most useful feature, the ability to be monitored.
That said, Kickstarters for these products are regularly funded in the order of millions of dollars. This indicates that there are a lot of people out there willing to pay for awesome home automation and DIY home security systems.