6 smart home security inventions for 2015
Iris Price | Improvement Center Columnist | October 6, 2016
The best home security is not necessarily the cleverest or the most hyped. It's the one that keeps you and your family safe from harm. With the tsunami of smart home technology currently flooding the market, you have a lot of options now when shopping for the right security system or components. Seeing what's out there may even prompt you to reevaluate your existing home security system.
Many newer home security products can tie into a whole home automation system now; however, your decision to purchase a product may depend on its compatibility with your particular system, or else you may be forced to replace your current system -- and there are lots of smart home operating systems vying for your business.
The latest home security systems and products
Providers of home security monitoring systems might be right if they feel threatened by the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows interactive connectivity between you, your smartphone and more and more of your home's systems -- far beyond the level of monitoring that traditional home security companies currently provide.
If you're already the kind of person who's glued to your smartphone, then keeping tabs on activity in and around your home can be strictly DIY if you want. You can now detect intruders without expensive installations and contracts with home security companies by easily installing sensors in your home that can alert you to leaks, carbon monoxide, smoke, and fire through a smartphone app that you can download in minutes when you set up the hardware.
You can also remotely control the indoor climate of your home throughout the day and night, lock and unlock doors, turn lights on and off, and raise and lower shades -- to name just a few of the growing list of tasks you can perform from virtually anyplace in the world, thereby disguising your absence from home and throwing burglars off the scent.
Whether you are considering home security companies because they offer innovative products or are just looking for some of the latest smartphone-connected systems or components, the following list of home security products includes some promising new technology, from complete systems to components such as surveillance cameras and alarms. "Coming soon" may apply to some of these products; others are in crowd-sourcing mode. Many are already available for purchase.
- Self-setting security alarm. Have you rendered your home security alarm system useless simply by forgetting to set it? The White Rabbit Smart Hub has your back. White Rabbit works in tandem with your security system, locking doors and arming your alarm when all household members have left the house and unlocking and disarming when they return. It can also automatically turn lights off and on as well as perform other designated tasks. The mobile app allows for manual control any time.
- Smart battery smoke detector upgrade. Turn your ordinary smoke detector into a smart smoke detector by replacing its 9-volt battery with a Roost smart battery. In addition to a lithium ion battery, the Roost consists of a built-in Wi-Fi antenna, an audio sensor for alerts and a voltage detector. You receive alarm notifications through your smartphone -- without a hub.
- Canary in the house, not the coal mine. Aptly named, the Canary alerts you something is wrong using algorithm-based motion detection. Installation amounts to setting it on a flat surface in the middle of the house, plugging it in and connecting to Wi-Fi. It learns your household's normal movements, senses when you come and go, notices if something is amiss, records video and let you know so you can take appropriate action.
- Lights, camera. It's a bulb; it's a camera; it's a Snap by sengled. This outdoor LED floodlight is a wide-angle, HD camera that alerts you when motion is detected. It records video day or night that can be streamed and stored on the cloud. The Snap is designed to withstand the elements and operate all year round. It even features two-way audio. Just screw Snap into an existing outdoor light socket over your entryway or garage to see who goes there.
- Welcome home. A camera featuring face recognition, Welcome by netatmo knows who belongs in your home and who doesn't. Set it up indoors facing your entry and customize your notifications such as when strangers enter, the kids get home, or someone leaves the house.
- It's a ball. It's a camera. It's a robot. Shaped like a magic 8 ball, the iCamPro FHD by Amaryllo is a 360° robotic home security tracking system with full HD1920 X 1080 resolution. It features two-way audio, text and snapshot alerts, 24-hour tracking and -- this is a biggie if you worry about hackers -- 256-bit encryption, which is the same level of security used for the Pentagon and the White House.
In addition to these smart home security products, fans of traditional home security companies may be interested to know that ADT recently introduced Pulse® video, its entry into the home automation arena. Honeywell, a well-known name in thermostats, announced it's expanding its Lyric™ home automation line to include home security. The lines between products and services may be blurring, but when it comes to monitoring your own home, the IoT is pulling it all together.
Photo credit to Kevin Irby