Oomi Smart Home now offering no contract UL Listed Monitoring Services ... possible Insurance Discounts


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #1

Continuing the discussion from Home Insurance Discounts? Unmonitored, monitored? California:

(All my usual emphatic warnings here that IndieGogo and Kickstarter Projects are extremely risky to consumers. No matter the wording of the campaign, contributions are not “sales/purchases” and discounts are meaningless due to the lack of retail market and unknown mass production costs. Projects tend to deviate from specifications and implied quality, and slip far behind on delivery dates).

That said…

The Oomi IndieGogo campaign is now offering “UL listed monitoring services” at $15/month (paid annually) or $25/month (paid monthly).

Some of us have been hoping for this option for SmartThings for a long time, since it may qualify users to substantial home insurance discounts. Such discounts could easily exceed the cost of the service, making this better than free.

“UL Listed Monitoring Centers” can be arranged on a wholesale basis for much lower then the price Oomi is charging, BTW. But I don’t think any of us have figured out how to get SmartThings compatible plans worked out (along with insurance underwriting acceptance).

With our Professional Monitoring service you will receive 24/7 monitoring of your home by a UL listed monitoring center. That means there is always a team of monitoring professionals ready to help in case of any safety or security concern. They can notify you of any potential problems, communicate with your emergency contacts, and, if necessary, will personally contact the appropriate emergency response services. At present, Professional Monitoring and Personal Monitoring Plus will only be available for customers in the United States and Canada, but we are exploring options for expanding the service to other countries soon.


Does anyone here have ideas of how to establish this type of service for SmartThings homes (without waiting indefinitely for SmartThings to offer it directly)?

There are a few existing Topics related to this, but I figured Oomi is the closest analog to SmartThings with respect actually offering a solution.


#2

Almost certainly they’ve signed up with alarm.com or C.O.P.S.

It requires a camera, I believe, and of course OOMI has one built into their hub.

As we’ve previously discussed in the insurance topics, some insurance companies approved Iris for discounts specifically because there is a brand labeled camera–which ST doesn’t offer yer.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Thanks; I missed that discussion.

So … do you think that there’s any chance that the consistent use of a well-reputed third-party camera could be the key to working with Alarm.com or other insurance approved monitoring?

i.e., Must the camera be tightly integrated with other smart home components (such as SmartThings or Ooomi) and certified and/or branded to work together?


#4

The insurance companies so far were accepting multiple camera brands if part of a professionally installed and monitored service like ADT or Crestron.

But for self installed systems, they wanted the camera to be part of the branded package before they gave the discount. They don’t want to Individually evaluate each homeowner’s set up (too costly), they want to approve the system. hence Iris and Simplisafe, yes, Staples Connect and ST, no, last time I checked.

But every company has their own rules, which also vary by state.

See this topic:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Well… This seems like a huge win for Oomi right out of the gate (presuming they don’t run into production problems). I really don’t like their overly optimistic delivery time frame of October 2015.

But, if I’m to be honest, I’d take good odds that Oomi will deliver their product line (and monitoring) before SmartThings releases a camera and gets UL Listed monitoring integrated. I’m not in a super hurry to get monitoring, otherwise I guess I should feel obligated to ante up and contribute to the Campaign. It’s over-funded, of course, due to a ludicrously small “goal” amount.


#6

It’s getting more popular these days to run a kickstarter campaign for the last certification step as a pretty inexpensive way to gauge market demand, or sometimes market demand for specific features. And basically recruiting brand ambassadors. Makes sense, especially for millennials.

I’ll wait until it’s released to see what it looks like.


(Jody) #7

Yeah. The WigWag kickstarter was funded two years ago in August. Backers are still waiting for their rewards. 2220 people is also a very tiny number of customers.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

I know. I am one of those WigWag Backers. :disappointed:


#9

@geko just shared a Bloomberg article on Sony’s innovation department which mentioned Sony has used Kickstarter type campaigns twice for new products as a form of market research to gauge market interest. Obviously they didn’t care about raising $50,000.

Their Indiegogo campaign for Mesh made it look like a product from a start up company and listed only 8 staff members. (But it’s an official Sony project!) You had to get all the way into the Privacy Policy on their website to find the Sony name.

I’m seeing more and more of this, in some ways it’s similar to Quirky’s “influencer” votes.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #10

There are a few ethical concerns I have with this:

  1. It is deceiving the Backers, who, theoretically are buying the right to “support” a new venture, not a multinational corporation. (Though most “backers” are really just bargain hunters / early adopters, so I don’t sweat this bullet much).

  2. It deceptively gives the impression that complex campaigns by small novice teams are successful on their own… ie., it skews the perceived risk curve and makes crowdfunding seem less risky.

  3. It gives the crowdfunding platform operators “that much more” risk free revenue that continues to serve as a legal reserve against the inevitable litigation against them for negligence in consumer protection.

Perhaps most people don’t care, but I’d like to see this practice get greater media exposure.

O