Virtual Keypad™ Now Available on the Amazon Echo™

“Hey, Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to arm my system away.”

New Amazon Echo Release:

The Virtual Keypad App is now available as an Amazon Echo skill. The Virtual Keypad skill for the Amazon Echo offers a new way for you to arm your system and conveniently control Z-Wave™ devices. Below is a list of all current functions and commands:

Arming: All arming commands must start with “Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to…” Then, say one of these phrases to select an arming type:

“arm my system home.”

“arm my system sleep.”

“arm my system away.”

“arm my system all.”

“arm my system perimeter.”

Favorites: To activate a favorite, say “Alexa, activate (favorite name).”

Lights: To turn Z-Wave lights on or off, say “Alexa, turn on (light name).” or “Alexa, turn off (light name).” You can also dim Z-Wave lights to any percentage by saying “Alexa, turn on (light name) to (percentage).” For example, “Alexa, turn on kitchen light to 50%.”

Locks: Z-Wave locks can be locked by saying “Alexa, lock my (lock name).”

Thermostats: To set the temperature using your Amazon Echo and a Z-Wave thermostat, say “Alexa, set my (upstairs) thermostat temperature to (degree).”

To get the new Virtual Keypad skill, download the Amazon Alexa App and login with your Amazon account information. Search for the Virtual Keypad skills and enable them – there are two available, and you will need both. Use your Virtual Keypad email address and password to login and select the system you would like to control.

The app is free to download and is included for current app users. The Amazon Echo skill is a convenient way for current Virtual Keypad App users to control several system features by simply using their voice.

The Virtual Keypad app is also available on the Apple TV® and coming soon to the Google Home™.

To learn more about the Virtual Keypad on the Amazon Echo, watch this video:

This new Apple TV App builds on the already powerful capabilities of the Current Virtual Keypad App for Apple® and Android™ devices. Current IOS & Android Features include:

System arming/disarming

System and panel status

Z-wave automation of thermostats, light, and locks

Favorites, which enable control of multiple Z-wave devices with a single touch

Rooms, a feature that allows users to take a picture of an area and add hotspot control of Z-Wave devices

Real-time local weather

View live video from cameras

User-code management (add, delete, or edit users)

Schedules: View, add, edit, and delete system schedules for arming/disarming, favorites (includes Z-Wave®), outputs, and doors.

Faulted Zones: When the system is being armed, the App alerts the user to any faulted zones and allows them to be force-armed, bypassed, or the arming process to be stopped so that any problems with the zone can be corrected.

False-Alarm Reduction. When receiving a burglary alarm Push Notification, “Is This A False  Alarm?” is displayed, allowing the user to confirm or cancel the alarm by tapping “Real Alarm” versus “False Alarm” on the screen.

Enhanced Video Verification: If cameras are on the system, users can click on the Alarm Push Notification and open the App to view a list of available camera views, giving them the ability to verify the alarm based on the video clips and live thumbnails.

Door Control & Lockdown: Lock and unlock doors, and initiate lockdown for all public doors and Z-Wave locks (XR150/XR550 systems).

Rooms with a View: Allow users to watch real-time device activation when clicking on hotspots embedded in the associated video stream.

Camera Settings: Record on motion & alarm, flip image, and motion detection regions.

Customizable Home Screen tab to keep frequently used favorites and cameras easily accessible.

Compatible with the Apple Watch on iOS systems.

Access all App features through an elegant, intuitive interface.

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Halloween Safety Tips

haloween 1

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these easy tips. Keep costumes both creative and safe.

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hour

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

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Register your Closed Circuit Cameras with the Police

No, this isn’t so police can view the images from the cameras whenever they want. It’s so they can have a record of where cameras are and what they are viewing, so that if there is ever a need, they can request footage to aid in the investigation.

Boyd & Associates, police departments all around California, and our customers are partnering to catch and even deter criminals in a way that never existed in the old days.

A few months ago, there was a stabbing outside a commercial building where we had installed HD cameras and a NVR (network video recorder). The business had registered the system with the local police department. When detectives came calling, they knew that there were cameras covering the area. A perfect view of the license plate on the getaway car allowed the police to find the assailant.

Ask you local police department if they have a program. Here is what some departments are saying.

“Video surveillance is one of the best methods to apprehend criminals and convict suspects in the act of committing a crime. Installing video surveillance is a great example of community-police partnerships and is highly valued as a police agency serving our community.”

Boyd & Associates is committed to partnerships with local police departments. That commitment, coupled with our expertise, community involvement and the service we provide means total security.

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Welcome to the future: Robotic Security Guards.

Welcome to the future, we have reached the point that robotic security guards could be patrolling your business. They can provide round-the-clock monitoring of buildings. RAMSEE scans its environment to identify motion and signs of fire, smoke and gas leaks, as detailed by the Daily Mail. Gamma 2 Robotics designed the robot.

RAMSEE uses infrared vision, laser radar navigation, 360-degree cameras, heat sensing and toxic gas detection when scanning its surroundings. If they detect anything awry, they contact their human overseers.

Watch the video below to see RAMSEE in action.

 

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BOYD & ASSOCIATES BRINGS 50 NEW JOBS TO VENTURA

Draganchuk SignBoyd & Associates, the largest family owned security company in Southern California has relocated its Corporate Offices to 2191 E. Thompson Boulevard in Ventura.  The 8,000 square foot office building located on a two acre plot was formerly a car dealership, a water company, and more recently the home of Draganchuk, a local security alarm company.  Boyd purchased the Draganchuk company in 2013 in an expansion fueled by several prior acquisitions, including Bay Security & Communications, Get Alarmed in Indio, and Locktronic Security in Los Angeles County.  Boyd services its customers from three branch offices located in Costa Mesa, Palm Desert, and North Hollywood.  In addition to relocating the Corporate Offices, several of the principals at Boyd & Associates have moved to Ventura location as well.

Plans are well underway to build a state-of-the-art central monitoring station at the Thompson Boulevard headquarters.  This will replicate the current monitoring facility in North Hollywood. In addition to service and installation technicians Boyd is unique among alarm companies by sending their own manned patrol cars to the scene of intrusion alarms

Boyd was founded in 1967 as an investigation firm.  It has been family run ever since.

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How To Hide Your House on Google Street View

google-street-view-logoGoogle Street View may be giving crooks information about your home.  In this age of the internet, criminals don’t even have to drive to your home to “case it” for a possible burglary.  By using Google Street View, these criminals can determine possible hidden entry points and even determine if you have a nice car.  For more information about how to hide your house on Google Street View, please watch the following video news report courtesy of CBS 13 in Sacramento… http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/05/15/call-kurtis-how-to-hide-your-house-on-google-street-view/

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