[Guide] In the field of smart security, Google and Amazon can stand up to court.
In the field of smart security, Google and Amazon can stand up to court.
In the past year, Amazon’s Ring and Google’s Nest have released DIY security systems and added smart doorbells and visual cameras. In addition to being able to weaken competitors in price, the two companies can also rely on other products, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers to form a unique integration. For example, Amazon’s Echo series of speakers can monitor whether the glass is broken in real time and warn the Ring home security system in a timely manner, while Home allows users to view the monitoring through the smart device. Recently, Amazon’s acquisition of home router manufacturer Eero has sounded the alarm for small start-ups: it is more difficult to establish an industry competition.
In the face of such daunting competition, it is curious to see how companies like August, SimpliSafe, Wyze and Netatmo will use their real-time monitoring and security systems to turn around. Here are the strategies they have tried to go beyond the tech giants:
Source: Mapworm Creativity
Insist on details
For SimpliSafe CEO Chad Laurans, taking over such a large company has received much attention. For each sensor, surveillance camera and keyboard sold, SimpliSafe charges a $15 monthly monitoring fee. The company currently has more than 3 million paying users, up from 2 million in early 2018.
“We are thinking about how to improve security and how to create better value propositions in terms of security every day,” Laurans said. “I strongly suspect that big technology companies don’t think this is a top priority. They Open your eyes every day and just think about how to use data to create greater profits.”
A small company with a focus on business competes with large, difficult competitors, but Laurans points out that SimpliSafe The unique mission has advantages in many ways. For example, Nest outsources its customer support and home monitoring services, which means the team may miss out on valuable customer feedback. He also criticized that the Nest alarm device can only be placed on the desktop, and this design is an “important security hole.”
“We studied how people use security systems and learned that if you don’t design the keyboard on the door, people won’t use it,” Laurans said. “We are constantly working hard to study all the factors.” , including a good experience and a bad experience, took the lead in 10 years.”
Laurans also made a similar criticism of Ring, pointing out that SimpliSafe’s touch screen and motion sensor have longer battery life. And the battery life is up to 10 years, and Ring is only 3 years.
He said: “It’s great for checking the security system framework, but it doesn’t make sure that every sensor works the best, providing any information we can feed back.”
In addition, SimpliSafe has successfully withstood the test from a larger competitor. Laurans pointed out that before Amazon and Google entered the home security field, SimpliSafe had to compete with mobile phone operators, retailers and well-funded DIY startups (some of which have long since failed or failed). For example, Verizon’s smart home service was discontinued in 2014; Lowe’s also closed the Iris platform launched two years ago last month; Wink seems to be able to maintain it.
“We are not very scared of Google and Amazon,” Laurans said. “I sometimes feel scared for their customers. If the two giants lose interest in family security, I don’t know the whole format.” How to change.”
Many of the companies I interviewed believe they can provide more privacy data than tech giants. In response to this problem, the case of the French company Netatmo may be the most convincing. The company originally built weather monitors, and the business expanded to security and smart doorbells and visual cameras.
Unlike many other companies like Amazon and Google, Netatmo does not upload any monitoring content to its own server. Instead, it is stored on a MicroSD card. Users only need to connect to the home network to view monitoring. Users who want to get a cloud backup can choose to link the camera to Dropbox, but Netatmo’s business does not have a corresponding subscription component.
Mathias Thibaud, product marketing manager at Netatmo, said: “We don’t want to charge users for free and private information.”
Although Netatmo does not use privacy as a marketing point, Thibaud said that users will gradually like this feature after setting up the device. In Netatmo’s home security camera, face recognition is handled on the device itself rather than in the cloud, while its outdoor camera and the upcoming video doorbell are not equipped with face recognition. When registering an account, Netatmo doesn’t even ask for the user’s name, just an email address.
Thibaud said: “Because of the lack of subscriptions, people buy products. After the products are installed, they realize that this product is very safe, while other products are not.”
For its part, August Home may have the opportunity to address the challenges of technology giants as it expands from smart door locks to video doorbells. But at the end of 2017, the company was acquired by Swedish smart lock giant Assa Abloy, working together to study access control, working together on smart locks and security monitoring in an integrated solution.
“Our goal is not to create a smart home with lightweight controls and thermostats. From start to finish, we are a security company,” said Martin Huddart, head of smart home division at Assa Abloy.
As Jason Johnson’s co-founder and CEO, Huddart and Jason Johnson believe that Google and Amazon will not soon expand the smart lock business, even if they have this plan. This explains why Amazon embeds Asa Abloy’s Yale brand in its Amazon Key home delivery service, and why Nest and Yale collaborate on the smart lock component of the Home Security Suite.
Huddart said: “The design of the lock is quite difficult. If the mechanical part is not perfect, it is equivalent to laying a potential risk. I think experience is very important in the design of things like locks.”
As a result of its scale of operations, Assa Abloy can continue to sell its main hardware, and as the current smart lock giant continues to introduce new features, August can complement its software expertise. Still, Huddart said Assa Abloy is using its newly developed smartphone to try new things. For example, last year, the company launched a grocery distribution program with the UK’s high-end supermarket chain Waitrose. Huddart believes that the plan is extended to other areas, such as home repair, dog walking and furniture distribution.
“Our products are in charge of millions of families around the world,” he said. “So, as a broker for the CMM and access control, this means a lot to us.” p>
Good price and excellent price
Although most smart home security companies are likely to lose money in the face of price wars by technology giants (tech companies offer at lower prices) A similar alternative), but Wyze’s powerful camera with a price as low as $20 is an exception. Despite its low price, Wyze’s surveillance camera features 1080p ultra-clear video and comes with many useful features such as motion detection zones, two-way audio and integration with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
In the past 18 months, the camera has sold 1.5 million units and is now available for a wider range of security applications with a $20 touch screen and motion sensor. In addition, smart bulbs that can be activated via Wyze cameras and sensors are also coming soon.
For Wyze, low pricing is a good game. Although the company has a meager profit on the hardware, it also lacks a marketing budget, but it still needs to pay staff salaries and product development costs. To this end, Wyze recently received $20 million in financing from Norwest Venture Partners, but the company is still developing its final business model.
Wayze co-founder and COO Elana Fishman said: “We are still in a growth model. As a start-up company that has been established for only one and a half years, we will definitely invest heavily in business expansion and product development. “
Despite the uncertainty of the business model, Fishman said that their goal is not only to give back to investors, but also to build a smart home ecosystem that can compete with technology giants. Although their current main business is selling cheap hardware, they are also trying to build relationships with their customers. (Example: Wyze’s product roadmap is publicly visible, and customers can vote or comment on new features.)
Elana Fishman said: “We invest heavily in our product ecosystem and become smart homes. One of the main players is full of confidence. This is not just a buying game of ‘big fish eating small fish’.”
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