How Latest Technologies are Upgrading the Home Security Landscape

Date: August 17, 2018

Introduction

There was a time when home security was defined by towering gates and rigid locks. But, as times changed, the security requirements changed too. Currently, people across the world are aware of the imminent threats and consequently they are making judicious decisions while investing their hard-earned money in home security that boasts of the latest available technologies. Systems can range from light sensors or security cameras to a suite of integrated smart-home solutions. The global security market is set to cross $100 billion by 2020 out of which Home security systems will account for an estimated $47 billion of the total security market.

Rapid path breaking innovations in the home security domain offer residents the access to an array of advanced hardware and software solutions to keep their premises safe. There is a visible spike in the adoption of app-based security systems for gated communities because residents now want absolute control over visitor authentication and validation. Moreover, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) – particularly in deep learning – have further accelerated the proliferation of vision-based applications in security space. 2018 has already witnessed a distinct application of Face Recognition technology in the security systems.

The Evolution of Home Security

For the uninitiated, Home Security has been prevalent since ancient times but it was not always aided by the technology of its time. The earliest known lock and key which was believed to have secured a palace door was found in the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh. The system found gradual revisions in different corners of the world and remained pertinent. From wooden pin locks in ancient Egypt, lever tumbler locks in 18th century Europe, it travelled to Massachusetts where Mr. Augustus R. Pope obtained the first patent on an electromagnetic security system. From then on, the technology played its significant hand in the efforts to keep the system sturdy.

Today’s Threat

Burglary is an event that's always considered to be a "Concern of Others" until it happens at your own humble abode. After all, between a "safe neighbourhood" and an "unsafe" one, there is a matter of just one such incident. According to an extensive FBI survey conducted in 2016, an estimated 1,053,000 home burglaries were carried out in the United States. Simply put, there’s a burglary about every half-a-minute.

What with crimes always on the rise, Home Security Systems descended from the pedestal of Luxury and found its place in the ranks of generic yet urgent Necessities long back. They provided a strong defence to households in the owner’s absence. But, in today’s times, when everyone is getting busier and we’re out and about for a larger part of the day, the time is ripe to take a stock of your existing security system. Is your security system adept at tackling the advanced security threats posed by tech-savvy miscreants?

Embrace the Advanced

Contemporary Home security systems - which are constantly getting updated by a host of shrewd technologies - offer reassurance and peace of mind from such attacks. They offer an overwhelming set of features which promise to keep your place secure for every eventuality and continue to push the envelope. With smart video camera that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and face recognition, today's systems provide features that range from crystal clear 1080p Full HD resolution, 24/7 Full HD Recording, cloud storage & two-way audio to remote 911 emergency response and geofencing capabilities to automatically arm and disarm it. Replete with siren and smoke detector, they also offer Enhanced Night Vision. Appended by a mobile application, they allow you to access your camera anytime and anywhere.

Several players in the market have integrated advanced technologies to home security systems which have helped in achieving significant progress in making it even more effective, user-friendly and accurate. Let’s see how the available technologies are revolutionising the definition of Home Security.

Whole Home Automation

Home automation systems consist of hardware, communication and electronic interfaces which integrate electrical devices with one another. Post integration, it allows the owner to regulate domestic activities with the touch of a button. The home automation software essentially uses computer networks so that users can adjust settings on their personal devices.

It has three main elements: sensors, controllers and actuators. Sensors monitor changes in daylight, temperature or motion detection and help home automation systems in adjusting settings to the preferred levels. Controllers refer to various devices — personal computers, tablets or smartphones — which can be used to send and receive message alerts about the status of automated features in user's home. The light switches, motors or motorized valves are actuators that control a mechanism or function of a home automation system.

One of the greatest advantages of home automation systems is that users can protect against break-ins and fires, while enjoying automations for lights, temperature, and more. The automation of features in one’s home helps to promote security, comfort, energy efficiency, and convenience.

IoT Enabled Home Security

Internet of Things (IoT) remotely connects and monitors real world objects through the Internet and makes homes smarter, safer and automated. IoT transforms homes with a smart wireless home security system which sends alerts to the owner by using Internet in case of any trespass and raises an alarm optionally. The leverage obtained by preferring this system over the similar kinds of existing systems is that the alerts and the status sent by the Wi-Fi connected microcontroller managed system can be received on the phone from any distance irrespective of whether the mobile phone is connected to the internet.

Computer Vision Enabled Security System

Computer vision is opening up possibilities of adding differentiating capabilities in high-tech products by enabling these products to see and understand the world around them better. Only by embracing the idea of Computer Vision at home can we transcend to redefine security, safety, comfort and entertainment. Shying away from the idea of sharing personal data will keep us stagnated at the already considered ‘old ways’ of securing a home. Computer vision allows computers/systems to perceive and understand what they “see” through digital images or video.

With vision-based systems, user authentication and intruder tracking can both be performed from a distance without any human intervention. This is an important advantage as opposed to sensor-based systems that rely on contact or movement sensors or contact-based systems such as fingerprint and palmprint scan or keypad activation that require substantial amount of contact with an input device.

With such enhanced ability, systems can learn to detect and recognize objects and can deliver smart actions according to what they were programmed to do. There is already one segment that has effectively proven how computer vision can aid our lives, it’s the automotive space.

The Breach Concern

Buying connected devices to secure homes and enjoy convenience is a noble intent. But, there is a flip side to such influx of connected devices too. There can be several reasons why many security solutions that work effectively in other sectors aren’t suited to protect smart home devices. The inability to add security software to most connected appliances is the major reason behind why a certain approach that works well for devices like laptops or mobile phones won’t work for IoT-enabled tech. It's also because protecting consumers is more complex, because network operators serving residential customers cannot simply use the same approach that works for businesses.

These consumer complications, however can be effectively tackled. The answer to it may lie in adding a security layer on the device level, adding a rock solid security layer to IoT hardware used at the edge, leveraging data and using Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for threat analysis and response.

Conclusion

Recent future - which includes what’s left of 2018 - is all set to witness continued adoption of advanced technology-backed comprehensive home security systems. With time, citizens will become even more aware of the vitality of security and the crucial roles these security systems can play. Through automation, AI, Computer Vision and combining several other smart home elements, homes will be safer than ever.

Further Reading

Image Quality Benchmarking – Unravelled - A Whitepaper

References

IoT based smart security and home automation system

Applying Modern Machine Vision Technologies to Security

An Integrated Vision-based Architecture for Home Security System

Computer vision holds the key to the smartest home, literally

Revolution and Evolution: The History of Home Security

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