Technology

Sensor Suite: What Resideo's First Alert $593M Buy May Signal

Increasingly, sensors and systems that talk to each other and deliver a safer, healthier, more comfortable, more efficient home environment will be come a new home standard.

Technology

Sensor Suite: What Resideo's First Alert $593M Buy May Signal

Increasingly, sensors and systems that talk to each other and deliver a safer, healthier, more comfortable, more efficient home environment will be come a new home standard.

February 10th, 2022
Sensor Suite: What Resideo's First Alert $593M Buy May Signal
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The need is so basic and primal it often falls between the lines of surveys and insight that take the pulse of what we care about most in our homes: protection, safety, security, privacy, peace-of-mind.

Second only to physiological needs – food and water, oxygen, sleep, shelter, sex, and warmth – Maslow's hierarchy ranks safety as an essential motivator, mostly triggered by unconscious fight or flight impulses.

Nowadays, as a home security systems market upwards of $80 billion by 2025 attests, what's often taken for granted or inferred between the lines now vibrates as a top-of-mind expectation.

A new home and a certain – perhaps vaguely defined – protective, secure, private standard-level baseline of safety, health, and protection value proposition have fused themselves into equivalents among consumers in an exponentially hyperactive technology environment.

In a pandemic era new normal for homebuilding and buying, Maslow and [Gordon] Moore's Law have woven neatly into into one. Physical, emotional, financial, and cyber security, safety, protection, and peace-of-mind now channel and filter and amplify as new-home standards through ever-cheaper microprocessor and sensor monitoring and response capabilities that – increasingly – reflect how we want to live.

And we want to live in a way where our tech solutions talk to one another.

Buy a gadget, plug it in, and it will work with the rest of your smart home. Set up that new device with your favorite smart home app, and control it with your voice assistant of choice, no matter who made it. This may sound like some distant smart home nirvana, but this is the promise of Matter. The simple smart home could be just around the corner.
An open-sourced connectivity standard created by over 200 companies, Matter is a communication protocol that leverages existing technologies — Thread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ethernet — to allow all of your devices to communicate with each other locally, without the need for a cloud.

Empowered consumers – catalyzed by the increasing spending capability of younger, digitally-native late-20s through late-30s adult households – have set the pace of fusion between their expectations on safety, security, and privacy and technology's role in addressing and solving for those expectations.

And the pace is picking up, triangulating around three macro-trend drivers:

  • Need for safety, security, and privacy in an era of upheaval in health, natural hazards, social and political turbulence, and cyber-risk.
  • Demand for self-service, control, and a la carte choice around systems and technologies that address the safety, security, and privacy needs.
  • The demand for compatibility and interoperability among technologies, and assurances that, while the reliability and benefits of these technological solutions are assured, so too are assurances that risks of failure, hacking, etc. are negligible.

Household sensors that monitor conditions, signal alerts when danger occurs amidst the routine settings of normal conditions, and rapid response and support in the event of those emergent warning signals have become wedded to the future of how we want to live – and they're the Holy Grail for every technology platform, whether it's Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Netflix, TikTok, Peleton, or you name it.

In that context, Resideo's announcement this week that it has agreed to acquire First Alert, Inc., a leading provider of home safety products, from Newell Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: NWL) for $593 million in an all cash transaction squares with what people in Resideo's 150 million homes worldwide say they want when it comes to comfort, security, energy efficiency and control.

First Alert, whose founders brought the first home smoke alarm device to market in 1958 and set up shop in Aurora, Ill. in 1969, offers detection and suppression devices including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, combination alarms, connected fire and CO devices, and fire extinguishers and other suppression solutions. Products are marketed through the First Alert, BRK and Onelink® brands.

The First Alert array gives Resideo – a $5 billion global player -- a more holistic whole-home technology solution for room comfort, security and privacy systems, energy and air quality monitoring and management, and safety, with the added advantage of First Alert's beacon-like position on the ceiling of rooms around the house.

For Resideo, both First Alert's consumer brand power and its established infrastructure adoption among homebuilders and installers will strengthen Resideo's playing hand it selling through its portfolio of smart technology solutions.

Resideo ceo Jay Goldmacher, in a press statement on the deal announcement Monday, notes:

We see significant operational synergies with First Alert's strength in retail and relationships with leading homebuilders and Resideo's strong partnership with professional contractors and distributors. First Alert advances our strategy of expanding Resideo's presence with contractors and broadening our suite of sensors for the home."

Through its global ADI distribution network unit, Resideo offers an array of product, services, installment, and solutions categories, from access control, to batteries and power supply, to security, to central vacuum, to data, to fire safety, air and ventilation, networking, structured wire, and hardware.

Broadly, as shocked and stressed supply chains reset balances between just-in-time efficiency and warehousing inventories that can weather hiccups and disruptions, fewer, larger, integrated, and multi-stacked building systems products and solutions are emerging as resilient capability platforms.

Scale, single-sourced holistic solutions, and a geographically agile infrastructure give larger players opportunities to gain marketshare and clout in active new construction markets.

At the same time, Maslow's second-level primary motivator of human behavior and need – safety, with its ride-alongs of security, privacy, and peace-of-mind – has begun to clock in as a new home construction, features, and functionality "must-have" for a society on higher alert to domestic turmoil, turbulence, and upheaval.

Call them "smart home" solutions for now. Whether you know it or not, the helical relationship of the driving need for safety and the exponential-advance of technology's role in providing for protection effectively means you can simply remove the word "smart." They're home solutions, and they're going to be standard sooner than later.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

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