New 24/7 Monitoring Service ($4.99/mo) works w/ SmartThings

Yep. Abode, whose founders had serious industry credentials, had the Big Idea that a UL listed selfinstalled security system could provide live video to the monitoring center to allow for visual verification of the alarm. With pay-as-you-go pricing instead of contracts. It was an ambitious idea and required a lot of upfront investment, but they succeeded to launch, at least. From the CE pro review:

Here’s the really big deal: Video and snapshots from the cameras are relayed to the security monitoring station for alarm verification. This is a major missing element in today’s DIY-friendly security systems and requires a special relationship between the product manufacturer and the central station.

The reason video verification is so crucial is that police departments throughout the U.S., in addressing false-alarm rates of up to 99%, are severely restricting their response to residential alarms. In some instances, they will not respond unless there is an eyewitness or live video attesting to a legitimate emergency.

As self-monitored “security” systems spread, police departments will continue to place further restrictions on alarm dispatch. Abode scores big points on this feature.

Amazon reviews are very good. Now we just have to see if it’s a sustainable business model.

I’m guessing the big idea for sheriff is that you could get the notification yourself while you are away from home and immediately contact your local 911. Like I said, I can see some value in that, especially for someone with a rental property or second home or RV where they really aren’t there that much… I think the Robo call feature will become less and less valuable over time, as 911 centers really don’t like them.

I think sheriff might fit well with the philosophy that many current SmartThings customers have: they want to spend as little as possible and do as much themselves as they can. When you see people disassembling a $15 lightbulb because they don’t want to buy a $40 sensor, it’s not likely to be the same market niche that considers ADT or even Abode. :wink: Which is fine: choice is good.

That’s why I’d like to see sheriff be totally transparent and rigorous in their own advertising. The people who are considering them probably dislike ADT or Xfinity home on principle anyway. :sunglasses:

Again, just my own opinion.

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@alanshore, there is a help code for duress situations. If you answer and disarm using the help code it acts like a real disarm, but then calls trusted contacts, patching them through to dispatch. All the information about the RP (you) is sent to your trusted contacts via SMS, so they can relay it to the police.

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I’d also like to add that while I haven’t seen it mentioned we still have the reliability issue that plagues ST.

The ST is just not reliable enough to have it as a primary security setup from the forum posts i’ve seen in the past 6 months. I hope that changes, I REALLY do. It’s up to the Devs and the ghost in the machine

I would put my lights on it, I’d put my speakers on it but I would not put my physical barriers on it The stories i’ve heard about stuff unlocking by itself is extremely alarming.

:frowning:

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So here’s what I’m worried about…

This appears to be an unofficial integration with SmartThings SHM solely via the SMS text message option.

The website implies it is more tightly integrated than that, but, unless I am mistaken, it is not, once you review the details.

If this is not an official SHM integration (which SmartThings can arrange through their Partnership program if you meet the criteria), then SmartThings is unlikely to let this integration continue to operate as is. I speculate they will block the target SMS number(s) for Sheriff Link that is given to customers when they sign up.

SmartThings views SHM as a recurring revenue opportunity (hence the official integration with Scout and ADT Canopy and more on the way). Doubtful they will allow this to directly circumvent those partnerships. That’s why there is no published API for SHM!

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I don’t see how they can block a customer from using any notification number they want to. It would be bad PR as well as bad business. It would certainly be opposite to the “open platform” philosophy.

What they can do is review the advertising from another company to see if it implies an official relationship that doesn’t exist.

And even more importantly, build up the brand for their own official partnerships, so that they do appear to have distinctive value even if it’s only that support will help troubleshoot them.

But the fact that someone has built an unofficial integration via a customer choosing who a text gets sent to is an option that exists for many security platforms, even ADT or Xfinity. Just as an example, I have friends who have done exactly this with a traditional security system to notify a medical monitoring service. Doing it isn’t an issue. Describing how it’s being done could be.

“open platform” is a spectrum, and SmartThings certainly isn’t on the “most open” or “absolutely open” end of it.

I’m not an attorney, so I can’t say if the Terms of Use would restrict this type of use, but SmartThings reserves the right to change those Terms at any time.

Still unlikely you could offer an “enter the number to which you wish a notification sent” field and then limit who the customer is allowed to notify. I just don’t see it happening in the US.

It would have to be addressed from the other side: the advertising for the other service.

@tgauchat Sheriff Link only integrates across the board via SMS at the moment. We’re working on an API to integrate without SMS as well, but most smart watch panic buttons and smart phone panic buttons (especially Samsung’s) currently only use SMS today. Those devices, as well as IFTTT and SmartThings support SMS, and because of this, our first integration target was SMS. But we’re planning many more integrations, and we’re planning a public API.

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Thank you guys for your feedback. Because of this feedback we’re looking into launching fire/smoke/co integration in the coming weeks.

Now that you’ve had a chance to debate the concept a bit, would any of you be interested in signing up and beta testing the service if we comp your first month, so you can try it out?

Remember, you can cancel at any time, and there are no contracts.

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If you want to test out the service, sign up this week and we’ll refund fully your first month if you direct message (sherifflink) your account email address.

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I have had some DMs on other sources tell me they had concern over how hard it was to de-integrate if you decide to cancel…it takes as much time or less as it does to integrate in the first place…which is very fast under 4-5 min, depending on how many devices you integrate with.

Let us know if you have questions about it.

I’m happy to announce that we’ll be adding support for Fire/Smoke/CO & Medical monitoring next week.

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Sheriff Link now officially supports alarms triggered by smoke/co detectors and medical related setups, allowing dispatch routing to go to the correct dispatch location, Police, Fire & Rescue, or Ambulance.

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I think the challenge you’ll face with Smartthings/SHM is the lack of entry delays. I still get too many false positives due to this. I even got one yesterday as my wife came home but ST didn’t register her home until 5 minutes later. This isn’t something you can necessarily control. Of course, people can still use Smarthings integration without SHM since all you do is rely on a SMS relay but it’s cleaner to do it with SHM.

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As an avid SmartThings user myself, I don’t rely on Arrival Sensors as they can be spotty. I recommend installing an Amazon Echo Dot in your vehicles and using voice to trigger turning off a switch (virtual if you’re savvy enough) that triggers a routine.

Or if you’re looking for a more simple solution, use something like an apple watch or a widget on your android phone for quick access.

Thanks for the feedback Mbhforum. I appreciate it.

Thanks. Actually, I’ve found a way for presence sensors to be pretty reliable by using a combination of mobile presense, along with key fobs lately.

Another challenge I think youll run into, is knowing if your local police can accept robocalls. I found this on my county’s website:

Texting 9-1-1 is not an option in most locales; you must dial 9-1-1 and speak with a call taker.

I called my county an they had no idea, and told me to call my town, which I will do tomorrow. I recommend somehow creating a database where potential customers can look this up easily. I am already now spending 15 minutes finding this answer out. It’s an interesting concept and I would love to save $20 a month and get rid of the redundant hardware. (I use SimpliSafe now).

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I’ve said this already a couple of times, but I want to make sure its clear. You do not have to use robocalls to the police. That feature can be turned off, and you can rely on only yourself, and trusted contacts.

You still need your local dispatch numbers so that you or trusted contacts can be connected to dispatch in an emergency, but you can disable the robocall to the police…especially during this beta period. You can also use a Sheriff Link Dispatch Test Number, until you feel you have the system configured and you’ve tested it a bit.

Thanks again Mbhforum

So, 3 questions; how long after an alert does SL place the call to me or a trusted one? If robocalling is turned off, how does SL differ from SHM adas it sits right now? If we disable Robocalls, we would rely on ourselves to contact 911. What if we are incapicated?

Thanks. I consider the robocall a must have since I could be sleeping during a fire, etc.