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About the Authors:
David Gearhart, CFA
Vice President
David Gearhart is a vice president specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things sector and has played a key role in establishing First Analysis’s Internet of Things franchise. He is a thought leader in his sectors, having authored several widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2011, he was an accountant with The Northern Trust Co. and an options broker with American Option Services. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University with a concentration in economics and finance and his MBA at DePaul University with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. He is a CFA charterholder.
Howard Smith
Managing Director
Howard Smith is a managing director (office of the president) specializing in research and investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses and other business models based on information technology, particularly Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and internet infrastructure. He also built the firm’s historical research franchises in call centers and computer telephony. He is a thought leader in his sectors, having authored numerous widely read white papers. He uses his industry knowledge and expansive network to uncover promising investment opportunities and help companies navigate their strategic paths and accelerate growth. His work has been cited for excellence by the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1994, he was a senior tax consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a certified public accountant.
First Analysis Internet of Things Team
Howard Smith
Managing Director
David Gearhart
Vice President
Matthew Nicklin
Managing Director
First Analysis Quarterly Insights
Internet of Things
Crossing the chasm: Stationary and mobile offerings converge
November 20, 2020
  • For much of the history of the Internet of Things, the markets for stationary solutions, such as residential and commercial security cameras, and for mobile solutions, such as personal and commercial vehicle dashcams, have evolved mostly separately.
  • However, Ring's recent expansion from providing residential monitoring solutions to also providing vehicle telematics and video security products underscores a compelling value proposition and highlights the opportunity for technology vendors to build scale and accelerate adoption by combining traditionally separate offerings.
  • The high-profile nature of Ring's move alone will likely spur greater adoption in both stationary and mobile video monitoring, but it will also likely prompt other companies involved with fixed location video monitoring, such as home security technology providers, to undertake similar expansions into the mobile environment through internal development, acquisitions and partnerships.
  • Drawing on our extensive work in telematics and residential and commercial security, we examine some of the factors that will likely affect which path companies choose. We also highlight a handful of innovative video telematics companies that could be good candidates to be part of this convergence.


Includes discussion of ALRM, AMZN, DGII, EMR, REZI, VVNT and five private companies

Ring move is part of an early trend to combine stationary and mobile offerings

Potential ramifications

Ring's competitors in home security likely to follow suit

Video telematics assets generally scarce relative to traditional telematics

Tailwind to consumer adoption of video telematics solutions

Converging to growth and value

IoT index sneaking up on Nasdaq

IoT M&A in Q4 on pace with recent quarters

IoT private placements on track to match Q3's strong pace


In late September, video doorbell and do-it-yourself home security company Ring announced it will enter the car security market by launching three vehicle-centric offerings in 2021. These include Car Alarm, Car Cam, and Car Connect.

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