ADT plans IFTTT integration and rethinks security for a connected world

pulse

ADT, the home security giant, plans to link its Pulse home automation and security system with If This Then That in the coming months, as it seeks to protect its business from the influx of connected DIY security products flooding the marketplace. To do this, ADT has released products that are more mobile-friendly, such as the Pulse app, and has expanded the definition of security for the digital era.

“We protect a place — a premise — but that doesn’t provide security in the twent-first century,” said Arthur Orduña, ADT chief innovation officer, in an interview. “Besides protecting a place, let’s protect a person and allow them to retain that level of control when they walk out the door…We do a fabulous job of protecting the physical asset of you, but the rest of you is your bits and bytes stored around the world, so we’re thinking of your digital life.”

With all of that in mind, ADT has been working on products such as a digital security partnership with McAfee that was unveiled at CES and the ADT Canopy app, a service that lets you share the locations and whereabouts of loved ones on the go. Pulse, which lets ADT subscribers get home automation gear and services for a fee, was launched four years ago and has seen a number of improvements, such as the recent launch of voice control. But the link with IFTTT would open up Pulse to a much broader ecosystem of products.

Orduña says ADT loved services like Life 360, which lets you track your family members’ locations, and wanted to work with the startup without interfering with its business as a formal partner. It could do that through the IFTTT channel, since Life 360 is an IFTTT channel partner. Some proposed IFTTT recipes suggested by ADT include:

  • If Life360 family members are away from home, then lock ADT Pulse-connected doors and arm ADT Pulse security system “away.”
  • If the phone alarm goes off at 6:45 a.m., then turn on the ADT Pulse-connected coffee machine.
  • If a wearable changes from “sleep” to “awake,” then disarm the ADT Pulse security system.

Orduña expects that in the next year we’ll see new recipes and a public unveiling of an ADT IFTTT channel, but first the company wants to test recipes and implementations with beta customers for ease of use and also security. Much like others providing high-value services, ADT is laser-focused on elements such as access to passwords and reliability for its customers, which can mean that simply linking up APIs isn’t an option.

But as it adds new services, ADT will start with free options so that its 7 million paying customers get more value. Of those, only 850,000 are Pulse subscribers, so the idea is to expand that number as well. However, Orduña isn’t afraid to take on challengers in the market who are trying to offer security without subscription fees. He doesn’t discount the possibility of new offerings that might appeal to the DIY crowd as a way to broaden ADT’s customer base.

For now, we’ll wait and see what ADT does. It’s certainly offering an intriguing option for its Pulse subscribers with an eventual IFTTT integration, but I’ll want to wait and see it in action before I get too excited. Meanwhile, we can ask IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets about the ADT integration and maybe even more details on how IFTTT plans to make money at our Structure Connect event October 21 and 22 in San Francisco.

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