As an electronics integrator, security is an area of my business that have sometimes regarded as a “necessary evil.” I only say that because in the past it has been about as exciting as selling insurance. You had door, window, motion, glass break, and smoke sensors all over the house, and a keypad that activates them. Not a whole lot to talk about that’s considered “cutting edge” in my world. Now, things have changed in such a huge way, making security systems one of our most exciting categories.
One of the most dramatic changes in security in the past couple of years is the interactive nature of alarms with the rest of your home. Now, you can control your locks, lights, and HVAC from your iPhone, Android, or iPad, using your security system. This is huge if you’re like me and never at home when you need a trusted plumber or HVAC guy to get inside the house. Also, you can access live feeds of your cameras, just in case you want to make sure the plumber fixed the leak.
For 3rd party monitoring, the newest alarm panels simply connect to the home internet, and have cellular backup. This means we can send text messages and emails to everyone in the home. This also doubles up to the monitoring company that has a 24-hour operator getting notification in the event of an emergency. This is the fastest critical interaction than has ever existed.
Most recently, security companies have started releasing touch-screen keypads that not only do all that, they also allow you to see where your kids are! Now you can install a GPS locator in your kids’ cars (much like the one Flo from Progressive touts), and then you can a look at the screen on the bedroom wall to see were they are!
So has it been a while since you’ve thought about your security system? If so, you may want to talk your local geek (me) about them again. They are the most affordable method of getting your home to be more interactive.