ADT Acquires Wireless Security Company LifeShield

Florida-based home security giant ADT has agreed to purchase Pennsylvania-based wireless security company LifeShield in a $25 million deal. Facing competitive pressure from do-it-yourself security providers, ADT plans to combine their 145 years of experience safeguarding homes and small businesses with LifeShield’s innovative wireless technologies, such as the smart device-compatible LifeShield S30 base. Under the terms of this acquisition, John Owens, CEO of LifeShield, will continue in his current position. The news of the sale of LifeShield follows ADT’s purchases in 2018 of North Carolina cybersecurity firm Secure Designs and Florida commercial security company Red Hawk. LifeShield was previously sold to DIRECTV in 2013 before original owners Hawk Capital Partners bought the firm back in 2017.

Nest: No System Hack, But Change Passwords Anyway

Google-owned home security system Nest says there is no truth to reports that its devices have been compromised. Nest says users can protect against individual hacks by changing their default usernames and passwords, which are readily available online, and using strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Rumors of a security breach came after an Illinois family claimed a hacker took over their system, shouting racial slurs and curse words through the microphone and turning up the home thermostat to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The story has renewed calls for new smart home devices to be equipped with unique credentials prior to first-time use.

Startup Develops Home Security Drones for Expected 2020 Sale

California-based Sunflower Labs has begun promoting a new solution for reducing current false home security alarm rates of 99 percent. The Sunflower system uses motion detecting sidewalk lights that send alerts via a quadcopter drone’s base station computer to the user’s mobile device in the event of a potential intrusion. The user then deploys the drone to capture live video of the suspected intruder’s location and compile a data package for police. CEO Alex Pachikov says Sunflower’s technology will help homeowners identify genuine security threats from regular outdoor noise, such as car and animal activity. Sunflower Labs debuted their home security technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2019.

SecureNet Wins Patent Infringement Case Against Alarm.com

Florida-based SecureNet has been found not guilty of infringing three smart home security patents belonging to Virginia-based Alarm.com. The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware spared SecureNet from paying $20 million in damages, finding they did not “directly and willfully” infringe the patents and force Alarm.com to lose profits and royalties as a result. The patents in question relate to the use of a single interface to control separate home security and automation systems, as well as interactive gateway technology for the use of a mobile app. The five-day trial was the end stage of a lawsuit originally filed by Alarm.com predecessor iControl Networks in 2014.

Lowes to Shut Down Iris Smart Home Platform

North Carolina-based home improvement chain Lowes will shut down its Iris smart home platform this spring. Iris, launched in 2013, offered a do-it-yourself security system consisting of indoor and outdoor cameras, panic buttons, motion sensors, and a wide range of other security components. The company plans to shift the software from Iris to a new open-source program called Arcus, which will be available to third-party developers. Iris users are eligible to redeem their devices for a prepaid Visa card until the app and its services are taken offline on March 31, 2019.