Interested in investing in a new home alarm system? Don’t to check out what security companies are previewing at CES – and that includes a particular offering by ADT Pulse that we want to discuss in-depth.

“Pulse” is the ADT line of products that says, “Fine, it’s the 21st century, here are some smart products” for those who prefer lightweight, high-tech, mobile security solutions (pretty much everyone these days). Since this is likely the future of ADT itself, Pulse needs to impress, and CES gave ADT to show that it can do just as good at smart mobile devices as everyone else. Mostly.

First, we saw the Video Doorbell, a new ADT creation that looks well-designed, small, and easy to install right on your door without it looking too strange (Ring, which ADT also sells, is a totally different product). It has a large, LED-lit button for ringing the doorbell, and a basic 720p, 180-degree camera for you to take a look at who’s ringing.

As with other Pulse devices, the Doorbell will have compatibility with Amazon Alexa voice commands, and the company is also planning on including Google Assistant compatibility within the coming year. The device cost’s $200, which is more or less in line with the current market, although it may be a bit steep for such a simple device as we head into 2018.

Security ADT Go
Go is a family tracking app that can do pretty much everything – for a price.

Second, ADT is announcing a mobile app called ADT Go. It’s made in partnership with Life360 and is much more interesting than the typical smart security app.

This app (in its premium version), allows for an SOS emergency response, family member check, geo-fencing for tracking teenage or elderly family members who may “forget” to check in, and a map that shows everyone’s locations at once. It also includes a lot of driver tracking and potential to record driving habits.

However, the core problem of ADT’s business model remains: It still appears to be a subscription service, and that security model is quickly dying, or at least due for a serious shake-up.

Sure, you can keep in touch with family members with the ADT Go, but would you buy it if you had to pay a monthly fee? Especially when other tracking apps are available for a one-time charge? That’s the issue that ADT is up against, and while this is a great step forward, there’s still work to be done here.

Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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