The home security industry – just like most other industries – has been completely revolutionized by technological advancements.
To understand how far the home security business has come, you must first know exactly where it came from. The roots of modern home security date back to 1853, when the first electromagnetic burglar alarm patent was issued to inventor Augustus Pope. Pope applied then-innovative discoveries about electricity to create the most influential design in the evolution of the industry.
Today, instead of electricity paving the way, it’s wireless technology. Conventional, hard-wired systems are being supplanted by more portable, flexible and reliable wireless systems – capable of things Augustus Pope would surely be proud of.
Home automation is the bellwether of wireless home security, which has evolved to serve a host of functions outside of just safeguarding against burglary.
What is home automation?
We live in a gadget-dominated world. Every day, we rely on iPhones, tablets, 3D televisions and other gizmos for communication, entertainment, business and a number of other functions. A home automation system allows you to control your security system, thermostat, lighting and much more from one seamless application on your smartphone, tablet or web-enabled device.
You’re probably wondering – how does something as simple as a light switch, for example, connect to your smartphone?
Typically, these devices are outfitted with wireless modules, which communicate using Wi-Fi or another home automation technology (X10, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Insteon) with a web-enabled hub device. The hub then collects the data and sends it to the cloud, making the information accessible from a computer or smartphone app – from just about anywhere.
What does this mean for the future of home security?
Many prominent residential security providers have already adopted this “smart home” technology and begun offering it to customers as a deluxe service – with tremendous success.
Privately security company Vivint has spearheaded the “home automation movement” by expanding his business to encompass everything from smart thermostats, rooftop solar systems, remote climate control and more.
Vivint has already signed up 170,000-plus customers to its energy-saving system, which CEO Todd Pedersen claims can save homeowners around $30 a month on their heating, A/C and electric bills.
Additionally, global manufacturer Ingersoll Rand estimates the home automation industry will grow into a $2.5 billion business in two years – a 30 percent growth in the number of “smart homes.”
As far as home security goes, let’s just say burglars are going to have a much tougher time. Here are some of the ways a smart home can boost security.
- Arm and disarm your alarm system remotely using your smartphone, tablet or web-enabled device.
- Watch live surveillance video from anywhere using your web-enabled device.
- Receive text, phone or email alerts notifying you of emergencies (fire, low temperatures, etc.) or other events (your son gets home from soccer practice).