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Vivint Sky underscores mobile security by consolidating smart home systems

Vivint is highlighting mobile?s growing role in home security by introducing an application that oversees consumers? smart home devices and systems, offering the ability to control various appliances remotely.

The Vivint Sky mobile app was designed to offer consumers peace of mind when they are away from their homes, as well as gather important customer metrics to improve the mobile experience. Users can opt to receive push notifications related to certain instances, such as a visitor ringing the doorbell or the house alarm going off, suggesting that these types of overarching controller apps will become commonplace for consumers with security concerns.

?Every smart device coming out today has its own app,? said Brandon Bunker, senior director of customer analytics and intelligence at Vivint, Provo, UT. ?That means if you buy 10 smart devices, you could have 10 different apps to control them.

?This makes everything much more complex for the user and harder to use. At Vivint, we consolidate all of your smart home devices so you can control everything from a single app.?

Understanding customer experiences
Vivint?s app aims to consolidate all smart home device controls into one singular location, so that consumers do not need to relinquish prime smartphone real estate for a plethora of standalone apps. The provider recently teamed up with open marketing platform Ensighten to leverage an app tagging technology that helps optimize cross-device user experiences.

A comprehensive Vivint smart home system includes a slew of services and products, such as smoke detectors, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor cameras and automatic door locks. The Sky app enables homeowners to control these systems when they are away.

Customers may request for the app to flick their lights on when they wake up, lower temperatures at night and lock the door after someone leaves, among other options. Maintaining all of these functionalities and having them work in a seamless manner can be tricky, meaning that Vivint must engage in better app tagging.

To track how users were interacting with Vivint Sky, the company chose to integrate with Ensighten?s open marketing platform. The brand can now update its app tags immediately, similar as it would with a Web page.

Vivint is able to allocate its data better, as Ensighten?s data layer enables its analysts to syndicate collected information to any location and format. This makes it simpler to synchronize and also maintain consistent tagging across Android and iOS.

Additionally, it helps garner latent data not connected to screen views.

Improving mobile functions
Tag data is also able to bolster the in-app functions of the Vivint Sky app. For example, the company realized that when someone rings a homeowner?s doorbell, the preferred sequence of actions includes connecting to the visitor via audio and video, unlocking the front door and disarming the system.

This data helped Vivint develop a more streamlined menu selection.

?With the Vivint Doorbell Camera, we?ve made it possible for users to remotely answer the door and to do everything they would do if they were at home,? Mr. Bunker said. ?Homeowners can see and talk to any visitor, unlock the door, disarm their security system or open their garage door for a delivery, all from the Vivint app.?

Other major brands have forayed into the world of smart home devices as well.

Last year, General Electric Co. shined a light on mobile?s role in the connected home with an LED bulb that linked to a mobile application and enabled consumers to remotely control their home lighting from anywhere by syncing with their smartphones (see story).

Ultimately, the focus on collecting customer data via app tagging is able to support ongoing conversations between homeowners and their places of residences.

?If you can understand what your users are doing, you can better tailor an offering to suit their needs,? Mr. Bunker said. ?Ensighten makes it easier for us to understand our users by simplifying the tagging process.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York