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ADT’s ‘Trusted Neighbor’ finally takes advantage of Google Nest integration as new hardware looms

1 month ago 69

Google and ADT are preparing to take their smart home and security partnership to the next level with “Trusted Neighbor,” a supercharged method of guest access that will allow users to automate when trusted contacts can enter their home using smart home devices and more.

Google’s partnership with ADT is a few years old at this point and, to date, it hasn’t really been all that exciting. Rather, it’s led to ADT Self Setup, a good, but underwhelming security system that has one-way Nest integration and hardware that’s a poor replacement for Nest Secure, which Google killed earlier this year. All the while, though, there have been rumblings that ADT is working on something else, and we’re getting a first taste of that this week.

Alongside the launch of Home APIs at I/O 2024, Google and ADT have announced “Trusted Neighbor,” a new smart home security offering that will be a part of a new ADT platform. There’s no new hardware (yet), but the new feature already seems interesting.

“Trusted Neighbor,” in short, is like an automated version of giving a key to your family or neighbors, but using your security system.

The system can be automated using conditions such as the time of day and events that are not traditional emergencies. This system isn’t meant for fires, break-ins, or anything of that level of urgency, but rather for more simple events like a water leak, tending to pets or plants, or even something as simple as checking if the stove is off. The way in which this is handled is pretty clever, though.

The new system will leverage ADT’s security hardware including various sensors and the arming and disarming of your alarm, as well as Google Nest products. ADT couldn’t confirm if sensors from the Google Home app will be used, but confirmed it will include more than just ADT sensors.

Specifically, Google’s “Familiar Faces” are a key part of this. In a form of “multi-factor authentication,” the new system would be able to combine a recognized individual – a neighbor, family member, etc – with an event or time – a leak, the time your kids come home from school, etc – to grant temporary access to your home to that individual. Package detection, which Google added in 2019, will also be leveraged along with some other integrations.

Existing ADT integration with Google Nest

How would the system grant access to the home? That’d start with disarming the system, of course, but it would also include a smart lock. In a call with 9to5Google, ADT couldn’t directly comment on what to expect from a new smart lock, but made it clear that a smart lock is a vital piece of the puzzle here. Given the existing Nest x Yale lock is several years old at this point and has no integration with the ADT+ app, it’s only reasonable to expect that something new is on the horizon.

The other question that quickly came to mind was cost, and there might be some good news there. With ADT’s current DIY system, you only have to pay for professional monitoring. If you opt for self-monitoring, these automations will apparently still work, though pricing hasn’t been finalized just yet, apparently. However, you’ll definitely need to pay for Google’s Nest Aware, which is required for Familiar Faces.

There are, obviously, still a lot of questions to be had about how all this will work. In particular I’m curious to see how Familiar Faces will do in its role as, as it stands today, that useful feature is also one of the most inconsistent parts of Google Nest cameras. I’m also curious to see how this all interacts with the Google Home app, seeing as that’s been the key weakness of ADT’s partnership with Google thus far – it’s very one-way, and not in a good way. It doesn’t seem like that will be changing very quickly, though, as ADT confirmed Trusted Neighbor will be “managed” via the ADT+ app, but teased “other ways” to deliver the service.

ADT teased that we’ll hear more about all of this in the not-too-distant future.

Most likely included in those future announcements is a new collection of ADT hardware. While we’re not getting any news on that this week, leaks over the past few months have made it clear that a new and improved system is coming, and that it might even revive some aspects of the now-dead Nest Secure. 

The leaked ADT system

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