Tech-savvy homeowners will be glad to know that Frontpoint Security has added the Qolsys IQ Panel – the company calls it a “Touch-Screen Control Panel” — to its security ecosystem, an easy-to-use upgrade that could replace the company’s GE Simon XT panel as a primary or secondary system control.
Simon XT isn’t going away: If you love it, you can still order it. But if the latest thing in home security turns you on, then you can upgrade — for an additional fee of $150 — to Qolsys, which communicates with your smart devices and with Frontpoint’s central monitoring operations.
Qolsys’ 7-inch LCD panel lets you check system status, adjust thermostats, lock/unlock doors and adjust lighting. It also features:
- Built-in camera that snaps and saves a picture every time the alarm is disarmed, so you can see who turned off your system.
- Dual-Path Connectivity, which lets your system communicate over both cellular and broadband WiFi channels, whichever is faster and more reliable.
- Daily and extended weather forecasts.
- Talking panel that states the name of sensors and their status.
- SD cards slot that lets you upload family pictures so that the panel looks like a picture frame.
Like the Simon XT, the new Qolsys control panel provides “crash & smash” protection, battery backup, cellular connection and integrated sirens. But unlike Simon XT, the screen turns red if an alarm is triggered. If it’s a false alarm, you can simply hit disarm and enter a four-digit pass code.