Smart Security Allows Users to Take an Active Role in Protecting Their Homes
The Internet of Things (IoT) is completely changing the way we interact with our homes. Its influence is huge in many aspects of our lives, but if we were to highlight a specific industry where the IoT and the connected living concept it entails is turning everything upside down (for the better), that would be security.
Conventional home security has been around for a while. It has proven to be useful and effective, and its figures are rather impressive: In 2015, the market for traditional residential security was valued at around 2.3 billion dollars. However, despite its size, the industry growth is rather stagnant, mainly due to the high initial setup costs, monthly monitoring fees and the rise of new, sexier and much more affordable cloud-based smart security solutions utilizing the aforementioned IoT technologies.
So what is it that makes smart security so different from conventional security? Firstly, interactivity. Both of them are based on various security devices: motion sensors, video cameras, sirens and door locks, and their most prominent feature is their ability to trigger an alarm if an intrusion is detected. But their similarities end there. A traditional home security system will warn a monitoring station the moment the alarm goes off. The monitoring station will be the one responsible for contacting the homeowner and sending the police to the house, if necessary. The user’s role is totally passive and although the security system may include other additional features, that is pretty much all it can do.
Smart security, on the other hand, is much more flexible. The same solution can be either remotely monitored —by a security company— or self-monitored, by the homeowner. What’s more, a smart security solution can be both monitored by the monitoring station AND the homeowner, through a mobile app, which allows him to take a much more active role in the protection of his house, right from the tips of his fingers. Thanks to IoT technology and mobile connectivity, if the alarm goes off, not only will the central station be notified, but the homeowner will also receive an immediate alert on his phone, so he can be in the know of what is going on at all times, and act on his own accord. He can even dismiss the alert on the go, in case it was a false alarm.
The differences do not end there. The combination of new IoT technologies, smartphones and wireless devices has enabled a whole new type of home security, where everything is interconnected within a system that works seamlessly and is expandable over time. A smart home security system can double as a connected home solution, just by adding the right devices, such as a smart thermostat, or smart light switches. And the other way around, smart home devices can become part of the security experience, adding, for example, a smart lock, o by configuring Smart Rules that allow to create ‘If-This-Then-That’ scenarios. For example, setting up the lights to turn on and off at random when the house is empty, to make it seem occupied. Or telling the lights to go on if an intrusion is detected, to scare off intruders.
A connected home brings home security and home automation together, allowing users to remotely manage all their house features from a single mobile app. While the capabilities of conventional security are only local and limited —connect and disconnect the alarm, record images, take pictures, trigger a siren—, smart security is flexible, adaptable and has no boundaries: the same security camera that records intrusions can watch over the family, detecting when the kids come home from school, and allowing to remotely open the door for them. The user is always in control of what is going on at home, even if he is at the other side of the world.
The continuous development of technology is making traditional home security obsolete and security service providers are renewing their offerings accordingly to the new times, in order to offer the best solutions to their customers and stay competitive in the market. They are also in a great position to help raise awareness about smart security, since many consumers are still not familiar with the concept.
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