December 6, 2022

Technology

Remote Control

Mike Vogel | 12/1/2010
ADT Pulse - Laptop
ADT’s new Pulse smart-home devices let homeowners control energy use and video-monitor the premises. One of Palm Beach County’s larger private employers, ADT has 3,600 workers in 22 offices in Florida and 450 in Boca Raton, where it just moved into its new North American headquarters.

The home of the future has been a staple of Popular Mechanics for decades, but this quarter it takes on special significance for Palm Beach County as Boca Raton-based ADT makes a big foray into the smart-home field, a field so hot that Intel, Apple, GE, Microsoft and a host of smaller firms have jumped in.

ADT Pulse - Phone
Though security remains its core business and though half of its business is commercial, ADT now hopes its new service, called ADT Pulse, will appeal to energy-conscious residential consumers looking for more than an alarm service. The new offering comes as the alarm monitoring industry continues to search for a way to expand its market. Currently, only one in five homes uses an alarm monitoring company.

ADT's Pulse service allows customers to remotely adjust thermostats, lights and appliances, whether slow-cookers or the hot tub, and to video-monitor pets and kids — to the point of being able to turn off power to the curling iron left on by a teen daughter. Helping people care for senior relatives is expected to play a major role in growing the smart-home industry. ADT chief marketing officer Don Boerema says next year an ADT feature will alert a customer if a pill box isn't opened by the scheduled time, indicating a forgotten medication.

Don Boerema
Don Boerema
The Pulse service is priced at $48 to $58 a month, which includes security but not the cost of buying wireless devices. The company has had to invest in both the technology and getting installers, salespeople and call center workers up to speed. Call center workers, for example, have to be conversant in how iPhone apps interact with the monitoring systems to help customers adjust the thermostat or throw a deadbolt lock.

Pulse has brought ADT into social networking and content. Customers may glance at traffic, weather reports and other content while adjusting energy usage. Says Boerema, "That's going to open a lot of doors."

Tags: Southeast

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