Johnson Controls enters SA smart home security market

Residential Security Handbook 2021: Secure Living Residential Estate (Industry), Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Products, Smart Home Automation

Following the completion of its acquisition of US-based Qolsys in the latter part of 2020, Johnson Controls is now broadening its offering in South Africa. As the company behind the DSC and Visonic security brands, Johnson Controls has a large foothold in the local residential and commercial intrusion security market.

Now, with the Qolsys products added to its portfolio, the company is expanding into the growing market in South Africa for smart home security with the introduction of the IQ Panel smart home security system. Originally developed by Qolsys and proven in installations across North America and other global markets, the IQ Panel integrates Johnson Control’s PowerG wireless security technology. It features a 7-inch touchscreen control panel with a mobile operating platform and future-proof features supported by over-the-air software updates, a built-in 5 MP panel camera, Bluetooth disarming and innovative installation and diagnostic tools that reduce costs and increase user engagement and satisfaction.

In South Africa, Johnson Controls is partnering with Alarm.com to provide the interactive monitoring and automation platform.

Smart home security solution

Julian Seiderer, country manager for intrusion in sub-Saharan Africa at Johnson Controls, says the IQ Panel offers advanced security and smart building technology for residential and SMB/commercial installations. “IQ Panel is a true all-in-one panel for smart living and security. It is integrated with PowerG wireless security technology, supporting the full range of PowerG devices, including DSC devices and works with Z-Wave Plus home automation devices – which allows you to use up to 128 smart home devices like lights, locks, thermostats, garage openers and more via the panel.

“With a built-in 5 MP camera, the IQ Panel can take disarm photos and send them to the homeowner’s phone. The mobile app also provides users with full accessibility and visibility into their smart homes at any time, from wherever they are, making the device useful for those travelling or that need to monitor staff or contractors in their homes. Alarm notifications also capture videos and record intrusion activity.”

The IQ Panel also includes dual-path communications, meaning that both Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity are used to connect the panel to the cloud for added resilience. It includes two microphones and a quad core processor, as well as software that leverages both of these as a built-in glass break detector.

Some key capabilities of the IQ Panel include:

• Smart home ready: Pairing with cameras, lights, locks, thermostats, garage openers and more.

• Panel glass-break detection.

• Live answer: View people at the door and unlock it directly from the touchscreen (panel or mobile).

• Fast and easy installation using the technician-friendly setup wizard.

• High speeds and high reliability: LTE and Wi-Fi dual-path connectivity.

• Automatic over-the-air updates.

More than securit

Eskom announced in April that electricity tariffs would rise by 15%, dealing a new blow to consumers, particularly with so many people already feeling the pinch of Covid-19 job losses, wage cuts and business disruptions, as well as the riots in July 2021. Steps like improving insulation, switching to LED lighting, updating electrical appliances to models with high energy-efficiency ratings can all help. However, this is not always easy or affordable, especially for renters. Families and businesses need to think outside the box and look for additional ways to reduce energy consumption.

With the IQ Panel, Johnson Controls also enables households and businesses to use smart devices to monitor, control and reduce electricity usage.


“For example, Johnson Controls’ PowerSeries Neo and PowerSeries Pro security systems and the IQ Panel smart home security system can also be connected to a range of wireless smart devices, such as thermostats, lights and presence detectors and more,” adds Seiderer. “Rules set by the user in the security system enable automatic turning off/down smart devices according to specific conditions. With a mobile app, users can see energy consumption information and trends over time, as well as control the devices from anywhere.”

What’s more, Seiderer notes that PowerG devices have an energy consumption footprint of less than 2 µA. “They use technology that allows a low-power downlink channel and their communication channel is mostly dormant, waking up only for a fraction of a second to transmit a message. They also avoid repeated transmissions, resulting in an energy saving system.”

Johnson Controls makes it easier to manage your smart home, ensuring lights are turned off, doors are locked and the alarm is set from the IQ Panel or your mobile. “Users can check the alarm is armed, turn off the air conditioner and peek inside the house to check what the kids or staff are up to, all from the same app. Even simpler, a user could set up a simple command in the app covering multiple routine actions for security and energy savings, such as: make sure the door is locked, the alarm system is armed and that lights are off after a certain time at night.”

For more information, contact Julian Seiderer, Johnson Controls, julian.seiderer@jci.com


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