Home monitoring is a growing market that could be worth $60 billion by 2017, according to Juniper Research, and a Burnaby-based company is getting in on it.
Founded in 2010, NYCE Control is a global supplier of wireless home sensors. It is quickly becoming part of a shifting market as a solution provider for cable companies looking to offer home security services.
In Eastern Canada, cable companies such as Rogers Communications Inc. are already offering home security as part of cable packages. But in Western Canada, cable companies haven't hopped on board yet.
However, NYCE (nycecontrol.com) has partnered with international home automation company Control4 to offer their home sensors, according to Doug Fast CEO of NYCE. Control4, based in Utah, has 25 dealers across the Lower Mainland.
"So the foundation right now is home security because people are willing to pay for home security," he said. "Over time, it will start to climb up from home security to lifestyle, and you can add elder care, life and home, healthcare . and energy saving. Those are all the things that can be built on this foundation."
The company has achieved $1.1 million in sales since May 2012.
NYCE develops its sensors in its Burnaby head office and manufactures them in the Lower Mainland.
When a sensor detects movement in someone's home, it can notify the owner through a smart phone or tablet app.
"Our sensors send you something happened," he said. "The door opened, it shouldn't have opened . it tells the Internet and that pings you on your phone or your cellphone device."
Fast said the other shift in the market is phone technology.
"Everybody has a smart phone," Fast said. "You have an iPad, broadband, you have a smart phone, everybody you know has a smart phone - there's broadband everywhere. It seems to make sense; can I manage my house from my phone or from my iPad or from my tablet device?"
The company is in discussions with big box retailers to offer their products and has a signed agreement with Control4 and cable operators in Eastern Canada.
NYCE does the hardware end only but may offer the software applications in the future.
"The challenge is getting the home owner to pay the money for it," he said. "But homeowners have shown that they are willing to pay for home security."
Fast said the uses for the sensors are limitless.
"A motion sensor is really saying if someone is in the room or not. You might use that for security, (or) for energy," he said. "Have my teenagers left the room and left the light on? Maybe we don't need to heat the main floor if no one is on the main floor."
High-end home automation offered by Control4 is popular amongst multi-million dollar home owners, according to Fast.
"If you're an average guy, you're probably going to want to go down to (a big box retailer) and do it yourself," he said. "Your grandmother, she may not want to do it herself, she may want to call an installer to do the monitored security."
Fast said his company's sensors last five years until the battery needs replacing. They use ZigBee, which is a two-way wireless signal that requires less power to run than WiFi.