Monday, 23 July 2007

AlertMe first controlled release - taking pre-orders now!

As we're now getting very close to our first controlled release, we've decided to open the gates.

We’re now taking pre-orders for a limited release, exclusively to friends and family of the AlertMe team in the UK. If you are interested in hearing more about this, please send a note to "sales at" and tell me who you know here and I’ll tell them you’ve said “hi!” Then I can also share more details about our service and the coming release. The response has been great so far, and supplies are limited, so act quickly if you want to be one of the first to enjoy intelligent home security, control, and monitoring.

If you don’t happen to know us personally, but want to learn more, let me know the nature of your interest. We would be happy to have a chat on a variety of topics once we know a bit more about you. To misquote Bogart: I think this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Sunday, 22 July 2007

AlertMe website relaunching

Is "relaunching" a word? Oh well.

Just a quick note to let you know we'll be relaunching our website sometime in the next couple of weeks. This is the big moment, when we'll open the curtains and show you just what it is we've built. It's been a major effort in developing comprehensive content and a friendly, intuitive design. We're hoping you'll like it!

Sections will include:
  • "Why AlertMe?"
  • "What is it?"
  • "Who is it for?"
  • "How does it work?"
and the ever popular "FAQ" for things that just didn't seem to fit elsewhere.

I won't spoil the surprise, but be sure to check back often at and be the first to know.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Home trials of AlertMe

Over the last few weeks, AlertMe has been busy with a number of home trials of our home security, control, and monitoring service. A range of people with a variety of homes and living situations have been able to set up the kit, show it off to their friends and family, and find out what's it really like.

The trials have gone very well so far. People outside the company have been appreciative of the design elements and interested to learn more. Perhaps more importantly, we've collected a ton of feedback on areas for improvement and future enhancements.

The trials will be ongoing right up through sign off of our first controlled release, and we plan to never stop learning from our customers. When you get your kit, be sure to drop us a line and let us know what you love about AlertMe, and where we might do better.


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Business Weekly reports on

Business Weekly covers news, feature and analysis on business issues for senior decision makers in companies across the East of England. It has reported on our business this week.

US investors alert to home security venture

By Lautaro Vargas, 07 March 2007

Two of the region's top entrepreneurs are promising to revolutionise the home security market by launching a new generation of internet and mobile-enabled monitored alarm systems.

Backed with £5 million from entities affiliated to one of the USA's biggest hedge funds, Tudor Investment Group, Pilgrim Beart and Adrian Critchlow will trial AlertMe's first products in Cambridge this summer prior to a national roll-out before the year's end.

The Series A financing follows initial seed funding from the co-founders and business angels and will be used to complete the final stage of development and testing, build brand partnerships and bring the product to market.

Details of the technologies that will be used to underpin the new products, as well as the actual products themselves, will not be released until after the trials, though Beart insists that the AlertMe system will produce a step change in home surveillance.

"In contrast to many older alarm systems that use a phone dialer, the AlertMe system architecture is bang up-to-date; however we are not releasing any details of it yet" said Beart."Suffice to say that a large US hedge fund has invested in us on the basis of its potential."

AlertMe's next generation home security offering will use internet and mobile technology to connect people with their homes and alert them immediately to any unauthorised entry or fire.

The company's intention is to provide a major challenge to traditional monitored alarms by using the latest technology to offer enhanced functionality at a fraction of the current cost.

Increased functionality will free users from a prickly relationship with alarm firms according to Critchlow.

He said: "Many people use alarm companies but are not happy with the service."

AlertMe's system is expected to provide significant savings to users over existing systems.

Critchlow added: "Over the lifetime of our products we would hope to strip a significant amount of cost off existing systems, up to 50 per cent. But the comparison is really chalk and cheese as the amount of functionality would be far beyond what you can get at the moment."

The teaming of Beart and Critchlow could prove to be the masterstroke behind the success of the new venture, bringing an expert in wireless and RF technology start-ups together with one experienced in the rapid exploitation of a highly successful internet firm.

Beart has 20 years exp-erience in establishing ground-breaking high-technology companies including ActiveRF (which was sold to US-based Gatekeeper) and Antenova, which is heading full-throttle towards its goal of becoming the global supplier of choice for integrated antennas.

Critchlow co-founded online reservation service Active Hotels in 1999, helping it become one of the UK's fastest growing companies before it was sold five years later to Priceline for £90 million.

"The intention is to get a leading edge product up fast and one of the reasons for taking this on is that the technology already exists," said Critchlow.

True to its word, AlertMe, which was founded in April 2006, not only has 12 employees working in Cambridge on hardware and software R & D and commercial, but it already has a team of five doing software R & D in India.

As it finalises its commercialisation strategy, AlertMe is now seeking to develop partnerships with a number of different sectors including Internet Service Providers, mobile operators and insurance companies.

Mythbusting - Home Security Myth #2: Effectiveness

There was an interesting article about the effectiveness of home security a few weeks ago.

You can read the full version here.

The summary is that Britain has high rates of burglary because people don't take adequate steps to protect themselves (such as locking up and using their alarms) and that many steps they do take are ineffective (such as security lights and siren only alarms.)

They argue that some of these actually aid the burglar, like lights to work by, or are easily circumvented, like wearing a hoodie around a CCTV camera. And we all know that most alarm sounds are routinely ignored.

I would argue that the real reason all of these security measures fail is that they don't tell anyone who cares that there is a crime in progress. With our approach, a crafty burglar may still get in as none of us really wants to live in a concrete bunker, but if they do, you know instantly. You can then call the police and give them an opportunity to intervene WHILE it's still happening.

I'd much rather the police catch the bad guys in the act, than just take a crime report long afterward.

Effectiveness is based on deterrence and response. We can help with both.