ADT, the world’s largest provider of home security, may soon be partnering with Nest, the IoT startup Google acquired for $3.2 billion dollars. The relationship was intimated by ADT CEO Naren Gursahaney during a recent phone interview with Forbes, but a deal between the two home service providers is still far from certain. “We’ve had discussions with Fadell and his team…these things take time,” explained Gusahaney.
While speculation as to the exact nature of a partnership is premature, the possibilities are exciting. Currently, ADT allows customers to control their security products remotely using their smartphones and the ADT Pulse® app. They also partnered with IFTTT (If This Then That) in recent months, which will allow them to tether commands from web applications to any of their connected hardware sometime in the near future.
By siding with IFTTT, ADT taps into an extensive pool of smart devices, including Jawbone fitness trackers and Lutron’s window shades and light dimmers. Soon people could use ADT Pulse® to directly control kitchen appliances from afar, or use their fitness tracker to arm home security systems when they switch to sleep monitoring mode at night. It’s a move that alters ADT’s tepid introduction to home automation into a refreshing plunge—the Internet of Things was the main theme of CES this year, and ADT’s flurry of new relationships show that they anticipated the message.
Nest integration would expand the reach of ADT’s home automation products to include powerful features from Nest’s suite—like storing video feeds from security footage (using the Dropcam technology Nest recently acquired), for example. It would also convert Nest from a small but feisty competitor to an innovative ally. At the same time, Nest would gain access to 7 million customers, boost the effective size of their sales staff by 4,000, inherit ADT’s preexisting relationships with fire departments, police departments, and emergency responders, and add ADT’s monitoring centers—a rare win-win-win for both companies and their customers.
It’s possible that a relationship between ADT and Nest wouldn’t involve hardware or software integration, and instead be a simple union of ADT’s customer base and sales infrastructure—two assets Nest lacks. But even that association shows a remarkable willingness on the part of ADT to facilitate newcomers to the industry rather than attempt to destroy them. It bodes well for the home security market at large if its biggest, most established players are open to new innovations and the potential for competition they represent. It’s better still when competitors find a way to collaborate on that new technology. Here’s hoping that’s where this potential partnership leads.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more