BeClose®: Review

The Basics

Product name: BeClose 

Manufacturer / Distributor: Alarm.com

Compilation: 

This page contains our Alarm.com BeClose review.

 

 

Analyst Summary: Alarm.com BeClose

The Basics

COMPANY BeClose.com (Rebranded in 2015 as the medical division of alarm.com)
PRODUCT NAME BeClose®
Compilation date 9/1/14
Website https://www.alarm.com/productservices/wellness.aspx

 

Background Factoids

General

Based outside Washington DC, USA. 

Analyst Notes

  • First entrant.
  • Alarm.com is parent.
  • UI is very "monitoring focused". Powerful but complicated, geared to knowing a lot about the person being monitored

 

Detailed Feature Set

Feature Type Product Characteristics
What job(s) does it do?  
Check Dad is generally OK. Watch for significant changes in daily routine. Yes
Automatically detect (& promptly alert on) specific adverse events Yes
Senior can summon help promptly in emergency Yes
Track wellness and health parameters No
Reduce stress for in-home caregivers, and allow them to sleep (rest) without worrying. N/A
   
Type of Monitoring  
1. Check general daily routine is more or less "normal".  Yes
2. Watch what they do and when they do it, and catch unusual activity patterns Yes
3. Detect specific (adverse) events (eg tub, stove, get out of bed) Yes
4. Detect falls automatically No
5. 24/7 Human monitoring of activity patterns and sensor alerts No
   
Normal vs Abnormal  
Who decides what abnormal is (for alert on absence of stuff)? AI recommends after learning "normal" pattern.  User decides
Is there AI support to help learn what is normal?? Yes
Required Techie-ness to set up "normal vs abnormal" Low-Moderate
   
Who is the first (second etc) responder?  
For system triggered alerts Designated "friend(s)"
For senior calls for help 24/7 Call center. Or designated "friend(s)".
   
Sensor approach  
Sensor family Security-type sensors + extras
Sensor types Motion, Door, Bed (on mattress), Bed (under mattress: coming), BeClose button, Toilet mat, Chair, Water, Emergency button. No key fob. Chair and bed are proprietary. Pill reminder can use door sensor?
   
Senior interface  
Senior interface for general monitoring None
Senior can summon help promptly in emergency: which approach? Have two sorts of senior alert buttons. Neither is mobile. Both go through hub at home. Two way call to senior then if no answer call center  calls 911. 
   
Friends & Family interface  
Activity time line streams for individual sensors Available
Red/green/yellow for status for individual sensors Yes
Open API Yes
Friends & Family interface platforms Browser based. Runs on all platforms in browser. No "app".
Alert handling Many modes of notifications are possible (i.e. sensor activated, sensor not activated, sensor activated for a period of time, all sensor inactivity, reminders, voice notifications, central station emergencies). Furthermore, notifications can be configured to go to SMS, email, or voice.
   
Ownership issues  
Ease of Use & service Not tested
Installation: DIY or Professional Designed to be consumer install. Comes in mail. Sticky backs on sensors. 
   
Privacy & Security  
Data center robustness and maturity "We partner with an established monitoring company in the home seecurity industry to leverage a data center and cloud that supports over 2 million customers.  The cloud is complaint with industry accepted security standards."
Who owns the data Unclear.
Privacy policy Yes. On website.
   
Will it work in your house?  
Sensor range (max in air) "We have tested sensors in a wide variety of homes, and we can easily accommodate point-to-point connectivity in most situations.  The open air range of many of our sensors is 1000 feet."
Communication to data storage "cloud" (need at least one of these)  
Landline Not required
Cellular reception Needed. "Our technology supports CDMA, GSM, and HSPA connectivity.  Verizon is the preferred carrier for cellular connectivity; however, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Rogers are also optional."
Home Internet & WiFi network Not required
   
Battery backup in base station (in case of power outage) Yes
   
Readiness  
Stage of deployment Traction (1,000-10,000).
Company maturity & stability Shipping product since 2010. Subsidiary of Alarm.com, which has over 2 million customers.
Published studies showing "it works" Independent white paper sponsored by Government of New Brunswick (Canada) to investigate whether BeClose system could delay move in to long term care facility. Conclusions seemed positive. Contact BeClose for copy of study.
   
Acquiring it (July 2014)  
Countries available (or soon to be available) USA, Canada
Two year costs* $2,155
Where to Buy it BeClose website. Through affiliates
* typically 6 sensor package if have that.  
   
Techie stuff  
Sensor to base station communication prototcols "We support a range of wireless protocols, including proprietary protocols from our OEM partners (Interlogix, 2GIG, DSC), industry standard automation protocols (i.e. Z-Wave), and a proprietary higher data rate protocol (900 MHz) that we have developed for use with our own sensors."

 

 

 

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Research Project

This analysis is a part of a research project on Activity-tracking Home Sensor Systems.

 

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