How IoT Protocols Have Helped Professional Security Become Smart
The Internet of Things is based on the principle that different objects connected to the internet should able to communicate and interact with each other. This would not be possible, of course, without appropriate communication channels. These channels or communication protocols, such as Z-Wave —which, according to IHS Markit, is the leading protocol within the home security industry—, or Zigbee, or the newer Google Thread, are the technologies that are contributing to make the connected home a reality. In fact, it has been thanks to these technologies that the traditional home security industry has been able to make the leap into modern smart security.
Thanks to IoT and the interconnectivity it offers, home security professionals are now presented with a unique opportunity for growth, diverging from their traditional —and rather stagnant— market. IoT protocols allow them to add new devices to their solutions and take the standard of security they offer their customers to a whole new level. These devices – when connected to a smart controller can create rules-based scenarios. These rules, which are configured by the user, are what make it possible for connected devices to interact, upgrading the home security level. For example, lights can be configured to turn on automatically in the event a window sensor detects a break-in, thus scaring away a possible burglar. Rules also allow triggering specific events at different times in the day to simulate that an empty house is occupied, such as opening the shutters in the morning and closing them at night, or turning on the house lights in the evening. The possibilities are almost endless and meant to suit each particular user’s needs.
IoT protocols have also helped traditional security devices become ‘smart’. We are talking about devices such as door-locks, doorbells, IP cameras and garage doors. An electro-magnetic door lock, when enhanced by IoT connectivity, allows homeowners to lock or unlock their door from anywhere in the world, allowing access only to authorized people, using just a smartphone. Not just that, it allows them to remotely check on the time the kids arrive home from school, or grant access to a technician and then lock the door again afterwards, with just the tap of a finger. The lock can be configured to work with the house lights or the thermostat. It offers not only upgraded security and full access control, but also a whole new level of convenience.
One of the greatest advantages of technologies like Z-Wave or ZigBee, is that they even allow devices from different vendors to work together seamlessly, thus professional security companies aiming to make their solutions “smarter” are not even restricted in their selection of devices, but can avail themselves of best-of-breed. By adhering to industry protocols their security is ensured, since most protocols have high certification standards, which must be strictly met. Also, standard protocols allow for plug and play set up and configuration, without requiring any technical knowledge on the consumer side. This is extremely important for security companies that aim to offer flexible DIY solutions to their customers that they can expand over time, according to their needs.
The professional security market owes much of its latest development and advances to IoT protocols, which are helping improve interoperability in the industry, making it possible for thousands of devices to communicate with each other, enabling the transition from traditional home security to modern smart home security.
Essence will be exhibiting its new WeR@Home platform for professional security at IFSEC International 2017, on 20-22 June, London. Click on the link for all the details and to set up an onsite meeting.
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