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ADT Pulse suite gets voice control, IFTTT, and a sleek control hub

ADT updates its Pulse home automation and security service to stay competitive with its over-the-counter smart home competition.


Las Vegas - The newly expansive DIY smart home market continues to invigorate the contract-based home security and automation service providers. First AT&T said it will be add support for LG, Samsung, and other connected consumer product makers to its Digital Life smart home package. Then this morning ADT says it's bringing IFTTT, voice control, and a sleek wireless control hub to its Pulse home control suite.

IFTTT support in particular is a nod to some users' interest in getting creative with home automation. IFTTT (if this, then that), is a mobile app that lets you tie together automated behaviors between various apps, devices, and online services. Thanks to broad support and an active community of users creating "recipes" that trigger various actions, IFTTT can extend the capabilities of smart home devices in all kinds of interesting ways. Recipes include fun things, like blinking your smart lights every time your team scores a touchdown, to more useful things like getting a text message whenever someone opens a particular door or window with a connected motion sensor attached to it.

By embracing IFTTT, ADT lets its customers experiment, and potentially adding capabilities to their system that other providers might consider charging for. ADT says it will be curating the recipes that work with Pulse, citing the need to maintain security. If ADT can maintain the right balance between security and letting you play around, letting IFTTT into its network could add some measureable value for its subscribers.

The Total Security wireless control screen and hub seem less exciting when you can just use a standard tablet. The hub has built-in cellular and battery back-up, which most retail smart home products don't offer. I'll reserve judgement on voice control until we get to try it out. Voice has great potential for home automation, but the few systems we've tried so far, looking at you Honeywell , Ubi and Ivee , aren't accurate or reliable enough to recommend.

Look for all of these updates to ADT Pulse to emerge this year. We'll update with more specific timing and any pricing information as we can find it.