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Sat, Mar 23, 2019 10:22 AM

Home Automation and Security - the SimpliSafe Differential Question

SimpliSafe offers smart home integrations as part of the Interactive Monitoring Plan (Pro Premium in the UK). You'll be able to set up arming and status inquiries via voice command through Amazon's Alexa, and Google Assistant. For more info, visit our Help Center here.

When SimpliSafe was introduced it did disrupt the Home Security market and forced the giants like ADT to innovate to differentiate themselves. The industry embraced the IoT and Home Automation while SimpliSafe developed more sensors (glass break, Smoke, CO2) and cameras to complete their offering. Startups gave SimpliSafe competition and jumped on the IoT Home Automation bandwagon right out of the gate forcing the new giant of DIY Home Security, SimpliSafe to innovate to differentiate themselves.

The Home Security and Automation market erupted with the birth of Amazon Alexa in 2014 and Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit quickly followed. Today they are the command and control centers of the home.

The Home Automation and Security market has 2 segments; 1) When I'm home AND awake and 2) When I'm home asleep OR away. The functionality overlaps when I'm awake and away (remote access and control) or Zones for areas at risk while I'm home and awake such as garages and sheds. Those Zones or rooms should be able to be in away mode while the rest of the system is off.

SimpliSafe needs to out innovate the competition and differentiate themselves in the 2nd segment of "I'm home asleep OR away' with superior remote access and control applications. SimpliSafe needs to "own' this segment and dominate with high quality reliable products, customer service / communications and the best application user interface across all platforms and devices. Within their market segment they need to finish rounding out their core competency product portfolio with outdoor security sensors and cameras. Their foray into Doorbells is a distractions and waste of resources into a market segment (home and awake) they don't belong. A potential 3rd horizontal market segment is the personal health and safety segment which SimpliSafe also touched when they added Medical Alert to the panic button. Zones would have been much more valuable to more customers but no additional revenue for SimpliSafe for the doorbell hardware.

As a customer what are your requirements for Home Automation and Security when you're home asleep or away? To answer that question we have to break the "Home asleep OR Away' Home Automation and Security market segment further. The core functionality and devices provided by SimpliSafe (security) and 3rd party integration devices to give the illusion I'm home or to activate with an alarm.

As for the SimpliSafe Home Security product lineup they need exterior sensors and cameras with Zone functionality. The web and phone app should be the identical and perform all the same functions.

As for SimpliSafe Home Automation they need to fully integrate with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google so those systems recognize all SimpliSafe devices and can be included in Groups, Scenes and Routines. The app setup should ask which Home Voice System (Alexa, Siri or Google) I'm using and add that to the SimpliSafe app menu. If I selected Alexa and installed the SimpliSafe Smart Home Skill there, then the SimpliSafe app can read which other Smart Home Skills I have installed on Alexa. The configuration page could then allow me to type any Alexa command I could verbally say to my echo device based on a SimpliSafe state (off, home or away) or Scene (secret alert, intrusion alarm or environmental alarm). For example during home or away when an intrusion alarm is triggered send the following voice command to Alexa; "Alexa, set all hue lights red.' Also provide a test button to check for typing errors and an acknowledge checkbox that it functioned as expected before saving the configuration. In Away mode also provide a timer and duration ROUTINE for typed commands. Such as I could set a sequence of rooms for the lights to turn on, count down 10 minutes then off. Next room on, count down then off, and so on. This can give the appearance of someone being home. Also when I turn on Away mode and based on my robot vacuum skill, I could type the command to starting vacuuming. When I turn off SimpliSafe the vacuum could return to its base.  Any native Alexa command spoken should be able to be executed based on a SimpliSafe state or scene. This approach does not require SimpliSafe to develop specific "works with....' software code for every possible smart home device. When turning my alarm off from away mode I could even type "Alexa, play my flash briefing' with a 2 minute start delay to allow me to enter the house. The possibilities are endless with a one-time coding effort for Alexa, Siri and Google. Do not develop per smart home device anymore (Nest, August) and charge $5 per month for the Ultimate Home Automation integration package.

To own the "I'm home asleep OR away' market, SimpliSafe needs to maximize their integration with Alexa, Siri and Google and tap all the possible 3rd party products which are integrated with them. Doing so one by one would be impossible. People who like their smart door locks or smart lights but have small market share for the other Home Security companies to integrate may buy SimpliSafe because of your unique integration mention with their favorite product.

Focus on Alexa, Siri and Google plus your application UI and functionality and customer service. It's a simple and effective business plan.

Ack0605

Captain

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4.6K Messages

Il y a 3 y

@Ack0605, another great, informative post. As far as the ability to have zones, I suggested years ago just add the ability to have a checkbox next to each sensor similar to "Instant Trigger" that would allow you to have specific sensors to "always on". Why? I have 3 basement windows that have not been opened since we closed on your house 32 years ago. This simple add on feature would meet my requirement for a zone of those 3 sensors that are always on.

Sounds simple but we all know it will take Simplisafe way too long to implement.  The only thing that has changed with SS2 to SS3 is that it can be updated, so there is hope.  BTW, your won post on August lock integration was also very well done and shows what SS is capable of doing with  the Amazon and Google integrations.  (HomeKit, who cares, yes, Apple, ADT and Comcast are all the same to me.)

14 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Hi Captain11,

I remember that "Always On" suggestion, it was simple and an effective way to create a 2 Zones. I use Secret Alerts for my Shed door and glass break sensors so I'm stuck with a text message for all activities.

The problem is there is no value for SimpliSafe to make these minor feature additions. If SimpliSafe would develop the Alexa Smart Home Skill as I defined above I would gladly pay extra every month for that functionality.

Ack0605

14 Messages

Il y a 3 y

TL;DR: +1 to full HomeKit integration (who cares about Amazon or Google) and +1,000,000 to the zones idea.

In response to Captain11's comment, "HomeKit, who cares...": "I care!" Luke, Star Wars.

Seriously though, I just posted my own feature request for HomeKit integration. Just because you may not use/like Apple doesn't mean there's not a very large market of iPhone/iPad/Mac/etc. users out there w/HomeKit compatible (like Philips Hue) hardware.

In response to the original post regarding zones: +1,000,000!

I have a detached garage that was burgled. That's what led me to acquire my SS system. I currently have the sensors in the garage set to "Secret Alert" in "off" mode because it's very possible that someone could break into the garage and steal stuff while I'm home (and my system is off) without me ever noticing. I'd love my garage to simply be it's own "zone" so it could instead just be fully armed even while the rest of the system is completely off (I find that while "home" mode is nice at night, during the day I'm in-and-out and all around my house area enough that there's no subset of sensors that'd make "home" mode useful during my daytime activities).