Is AI going to save the home security industry?

With the increasing crime rates in today's world, it's not a surprise that homeowners are paying closer attention to home security. How can AI improve the quality of our home security systems?

Smart city internet of things with security camera
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Some industries are slow to adapt their products to meet the changing demands of today’s consumers. Home security is one of those industries. Once the first models were built, they remained virtually unchanged long enough to become ineffective.

The way people live today is not the same as it was fifty years ago. Today, people frequently travel outside their homes for extended periods of time and want to know that their property is safe. They’re used to having immediate contact with friends and family through smartphone apps, and expect the same from their home security system.

Home security started out as a brilliant invention

In the 1800s, the invention of the telegraph and battery inspired hobbyists and electrical engineers to pursue ways of improving telecommunication. Around this time, a Unitarian minister from Boston named Agustus Pope began inventing the first burglar alarm. Contemplating the dilemma of how to get his electronic invention to ring a bell, he found the answer in the work of an electrician.

Moses Farmer had invented a way to use an electromagnet to open and close a circuit at set intervals to create the sound of a bell. Pope recognized the opportunity to use Farmer’s invention; the sound was loud enough to easily alert the home’s occupants of any intrusion. This “bell” was precisely what Pope needed to complete and patent the first electronic burglar alarm in 1853.

Edwin Holmes bought Pope’s patent and by 1895, the Holmes Burglar Alarm Company dominated the East Coast market and has served as the home security model ever since.

Every successful model needs a renovation

Despite technological advances, most home security systems have been slow to change. They’ve gone from simple bells to units that monitor and record video, but that’s about it.

Digitally monitored home security systems aren’t exactly a revolution, though. They’re a useful addition to the actual sound of an alarm. However, they’re static and unintelligent.

It’s not enough to create apps that let you monitor your home while you’re away. You’ll still have to deal with false alarms and burglars swift enough to go undetected. And what happens when people swipe packages off of doorsteps? They’re not easy to identify and catch.

This old model might serve an older generation that isn’t glued to a smartphone, but it’s not going to fly as we move into the future.

The smart home generation has come to the rescue

A select handful of home security companies know consumer needs are changing and they’re working hard to catch up. Deep Sentinel is one of those companies working hard to revolutionize the industry, and has raised over $7 million to get started.

According to David Selinger, co-founder of Deep Sentinel, “Current home security is ineffective, failing millions of homeowners and wasting the valuable resources of our law enforcement agencies across the U.S.” Selinger also commented about the use of AI, “Deep Sentinel uses sophisticated AI, including computer vision and deep learning algorithms, to predict and disrupt crimes before they occur.”

It may seem like science fiction for a security system to be powered by AI, but it’s the only way the home security industry will survive and thrive in the future. In the next few years, any home security company that doesn’t embrace AI will disappear in the same way cassette tapes were replaced by CDs and eventually digital music.

AI can recognize who belongs in your home

Last year, a German startup called BuddyGuard launched a home security system called Flare that uses artificial intelligence to recognize friend from foe. According to BuddyGuard, their product is “the first home security system powered by true artificial intelligence.”

Flare consists of a wall-mounted camera monitoring 130 degrees of your home, but that’s not all. It’s programmed to utilize machine learning to detect and catalog faces, register your spoken commands, and distinguish between normal and suspicious sounds.

From the moment you plug it in, Flare is sampling the environment to distinguish your normal routine. If it detects a smashed window, a loud crash, or an unfamiliar face, it can contact police while it records the intruder’s every move.

Smart home security systems aren’t completely secure (yet)

As with any IoT device, security is a valid concern. Security experts have been expressing concerns over home security systems connected to WiFi for a while.

For instance, hackers have been able to disable smart home security systems long enough to enter the home and turn it back on when they leave. There’s also the possibility that someone can buy a system, install malware, and then return it to the store. When it’s eventually purchased, they’ll have full control over that device.

While AI has the potential to save the home security industry, it’s not completely foolproof. Consumers should secure their wireless networks and change their passwords often. Perhaps the next generation of home security devices will detect hacking attempts and thwart them like a physical intruder.

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