Innovation, or lack thereof: Frustrated and Disappointed
I have been a SimpliSafe customer for two years. It's the first and only home Security System I have ever owned. I will admit I didn't choose SimpliSafe; it was gifted to me by the previous owner, free of charge. Hard to say no to a free system that was already set up throughout the home. In the two following years, I purchased a number of additional devices including outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, smoke detectors, CO detectors, panic buttons, solar panels, remotes, etc. My entire home is completely covered in SimpliSafe hardware and I am deep inside the SimpliSafe ecosystem.
With all of that said, I am reaching a point of frustration with lack of innovation and product offerings. I received notification yesterday of a price increase on the monitoring plan. I really don't mind a price increase, heck I'd pay double if it meant we had access to a wider array of products, smart home integrations, and consistent product functionality; all things other popular home Security suites offer. In the two years I have had this service, TWO new products have been released. A wireless indoor camera, and a two-in-one Smoke and CO detector; Hardly groundbreaking. The price increase is not justified.
When I get a notification of motion in my backyard from the outdoor camera, it sometimes takes 20 or so seconds for the painful "Waking up the Camera" all the way to "Launching Live View" process to take place. It's not my WiFi. I have a professional IT background and I am very familiar with the hardware. My WiFi system is the best money can buy. My devices are up to date. If I open the door when the system is armed home, it takes nearly TEN seconds for the shutters on my brand new indoor wireless cameras to open. That's enough time an intruder could quickly walk right past them. When compared to other popular home Security suites, the SimpliSafe iOS app lags in every area of UI, usability, features, and functionality.
Then there's HomeKit and smart home integrations. The SimpliSafe ecosystem is a very, very small garden with very, very tall walls built up around it. Efforts to add products seems to take several years, not months. Efforts to integrate with smart home systems like HomeKit seem nonexistent. I understand one argument for this approach is user security and privacy; very valid argument. But when other companies seem to integrate their products just fine, there is no reason SimpliSafe cannot. It seems to be a choice. I have started to use products from other large home Security companies and I am beginning to see how bright the world is outside those large garden walls. Bottom line: when a user wants to integrate with HomeKit, Matter, Google, Alexa, they are making an informed choice to introduce risk. Let them (us) make that call.
This is not meant to be a post bashing how terrible SimpliSafe is. Quite the contrary, it mostly works well. Except my extreme frustration with being able to quickly access any live camera feed (and the occasional "video unavailable" message on the timeline), the system works as advertised. Nothing technologically ground breaking, but as the name says, it's Simple and it works. Probably SimpliSafe's biggest advantage over everyone is their monitoring capabilities. I feel safe and comfortable that if my system is alarmed, it will be dealt with urgently and promptly. This may be the most important part of any Security system and we feel secure with SimpliSafe. They are top of the line in this category and deserve tremendous credit for it.
But I can't look past the shortcomings anymore. No HomeKit support. An iOS app that never sees any feature improvements, additions, or enhancements. Wireless cameras that take an eternity to show their live feed. Devices that are out-of-date and technology that is behind nearly every other big name DIY home Security suite. A cloud system with inconsistent video reliability and storage. ONE new major product in the two years I've been a subscriber. I want to love SimpliSafe; I want to want to keep SimpliSafe in my home; I want to recommend SimpliSafe to friends and family, but I don't. I send them elsewhere.
I'm sorry if this post bothers some people and comes across a bit whiny. It probably does and I don't blame you. I'm sure many of you don't feel the same way. But I've invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars into this system and switching Security suites isn't the easiest to do. I made a significant investment into this ecosystem, pay a monthly monitoring fee, and expect the ecosystem to offer me the same return on my investment that its competitors offer their customers.
TL;DR: Innovate and Integrate. Give your customers a suite of products and services that meets or exceeds your competitors.