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“Consumers’ willingness to take on responsibility for some aspects of monitoring will continue to change the industry. Whether it is a DIY with 100 percent self monitoring, or some subset of events the customer self monitors, this will impact the next evolution of monitoring. In addition, the way the monitoring centers communicate with the consumer is evolving … to be more responsive to consumers, communicating with them via the venues they prefer — this relates to alarm response, service requests, billing payment options, and even sales. ”Staying current is top of mind for most manufacturers, but with so much outside of the industry competition, it is even more critical for residential security manufacturers and their dealers. “That is what guides our product development going forward,” NAPCO's Jorge Hevia says. “We want to leverage those ecosystems that exist out there with the Internet and smartphones and everything that is already in place and still come out with products that keep our professional installers relevant.

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Most panels also contain a cellular radio that connects them to a monitoring center if you subscribe to a professional monitoring plan, and they almost always have a speaker and a microphone for two way communication with a monitoring agent. The cellular radio is also used to push updates to the system. For example, the $229 SimpliSafe Foundation is a starter kit that gives you the hub, a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, and a yard sign. Additional door/window sensors go for $14. 99 each and you can order glass break detectors for $34. 99 each, smoke detectors for $29. 99 each, and water sensors for $19. 99 each. The LifeShield Essentials system goes for $199. 99 and comes with a base station, a keypad, a keychain fob, four door/window sensors, a motion sensor, a fire safety sensor, and an Asus Memo Pad 7 tablet with LifeShield software that you can use to control everything. Additional sensor pricing is similar to what you'll pay with SimpliSafe.