From smart locks and smoke alarms to smart carbon dioxide detectors and smart cameras, the world of augmented technology has transformed security and safety for homeowners. The introduction of smart tech, the internet of things and the smart home has given us a glimmer of promise into a future of interconnected products and helpful integrated tech.
However fun and exciting the concept of smarthomes may be, the area that has seen the most practical products in use is the home security sector.
Although voice-activated media systems and self-aware robots grab the headlines, its security and home safety technology that’s actually gaining traction in the marketplace, with more and more systems implemented into homes and businesses every day.
What’s on the market?
CCTV & Home Monitoring
CCTV is no new sector in the home security market and the introduction of connected devices have allowed manufacturers to move away from traditional static storage systems like DVD & HDD to live feeds, cloud backup and user-controlled cameras.
This move towards internet-enabled tech has allowed users to harness their CCTV as a live monitoring system on the go.
One of the easiest to use security appliance on the market. The standalone 180 degree vision HD camera broadcasts a live video stream to your smartphone or tablet when you’re not home. With a precise built-in motion sensor and high quality microphone for loud sound detection along with battery back in event of a power failure, the camera acts as your eyes and ears in the home, alerting you with notification if anything out of the ordinary comes along.
As a simple to install security appliance, Piper also acts as a Z-Wave controller allowing Z-Wave based Smart Home products to be easily added to the Piper App.
Piper also packs a bit of a punch. The little camera unit includes a 105 dB siren which blasts off when a security mode is breached. If you want to cover multiple rooms, Piper integrates with other units to create a security perimeter in your property.
The ISmart alarm is a clever DIY security kit, based on the Ismart Cube. With super simple setup and customisable extras the ISmart is a great entry point to connected tech security.
Users have the choice of two kits, “Preferred” or “Premium” depending on their needs, with option to add extras.
The preferred kit is sensor based, with the Ismart Cube One Hub, 2 magnetic Door/Windows Sensors, 1 Motion Sensor, 2 Remote key fob remote control and presence Tags, and iSmartAlarm stickers. Sensors on the doors and in rooms allow for full coverage of a house and with customisable rules for what should happen when the system is tripped, depending on the state the Ismart has been set to; armed, at home, panic or disarmed.
Remote tags also allow you to monitor who’s leaving or entering the home at what time. Ideal for tracking kids getting home from school or keeping tabs on your pet’s movements during the day.
The Premium package adds a camera to the above giving you live eyes in your home and additional cameras and sensors are available for purchase. You can use your phone to control the cameras, view live streamed video and take and receive pictures.
Kids and Pets Safety
If anyone is likely to get injured in house, there’s a good chance it’ll be a child. So adapting smart technology to monitor and protect children has been a big part of the augmented home push.
D-Link have a range of monitoring products designed to help you keep tabs on your kids and pets
The Baby Eyeon And EyeOnPet range is effectively the next step up from the old-fashioned audio baby monitor . The smart connected camera allows for easy video streaming to your connected device. If you’re out of the house and want to check the babysitter is doing a good job or you just want to monitor how your baby is doing in the next room, the BabyEyeOn monitor covers that.
The portable unit streams direct to a smart device and can record footage in the dark, offers two-way audio and even plays lullabies .
Smart security can also revolutionise the way we care for the elderly. With the help of monitors and sensors, older people who had previously need round the clock observing can now take advantage of alarms and triggers to alert carers. This all adds up to more autonomy for those who need care, as well as cutting down of staffing and nursing costs.
Smart tech in this area is still in development but many interesting products have come out including smart bed sensors, which alert a care-giver if the patient hasn’t moved from the bed in the morning, to the security appliance features such as indoor air temperature and motion detection that can be used to notify carers that the subject is warm and moving about the home.
The beauty of smart monitors, is that they can pick up on dangers before they turn into big problems. Minor household issues like leaks or damp can quickly get out of hand and cause major structural damage. A study showed that 24% of all insurance claims in the UK are for damage caused by water leaks.
Water leaks can be devastating to houses, rotting away from the inside, so detection of leaks and moisture can often lead to a simple fix.
Wally Home can monitor moisture, water and temperature alerting you to changes in your home. It works by using walls and the existing wiring of your home, to create a sensor network.
One of the largest growth sectors for smart home has been in the alarm sector; smoke, carbon Dioxide and gas alarms can quickly alert home or small business owners to any leaks or fires even if they are away from the property. Recent tragedies have prompted the government to review legislation around carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties and across many EU countries, these reviews have already gone into law.
Birdi helps you track the health of your home. Whether it’s factors such as temperature, humidity or how stale the air is, or external dangers such as pollution, pollen and particulates.
In addition to housing the sensors necessary to detect things like smoke and carbon monoxide, Birdie includes a slew of other sensor types that enable it to monitor an array of environmental factors.
Following on from the Nest Thermostat, The Nest Protect is a damn fine looking Wi-Fi smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor. Its smart hook-up gives it powers not many other smoke alarms can claim, including the ability to send alerts to the Nest smartphone app.
The nest can alert residents to smoke or fire danger in a number of different ways including alarms, colour flashing and audible instructions. These varied sirens are to help those with different impairments like vision and hearing loss.
Naturally Nest Protect is also part of the smart range so can connect to Wi-Fi allowing it to report its status remotely via a web browser or iOS and Android apps.