The next generation of devices that will be used to secure your home are all ‘smart’ and able to talk to each other or your phone. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way people approach security and is allowing manufacturers to offer some truly unique solutions to users.
Everyone is aware of that frustrating time when you are in a hurry and just do not remember where the keys are, or forget to leave the key for the dog walker/delivery guy/house sitter or are maybe trying to balance a full set of groceries while fishing the key from one of your many jacket pockets.
With smart locks, all of these situations are history. The August Smart Lock comes in at $200 and is probably the best smart lock you can buy at the moment. It can be installed on your main door and will automatically unlock at it senses you approaching.
The best part about this lock is that it allows giving ‘virtual keys’ to anyone you want that allows them to unlock the door. These keys will function up until you want them to and also alert you when they are being used if you want to.
Also included is HomeKit integration so you can just walk up to the door and ask Siri to unlock it for you! Very cool.
Neatatmo has made quite a name for itself in the connected camera’s space and has a wide range of products to choose from. Its stand-alone cameras start at 199$ which do not require any additional monthly subscription like some other competing services.
The Neatatmo Presence is a combination of the smart camera and floodlights that can be used to secure the perimeter of your house. It is the algorithm developed by Neatatmo that makes this camera unique as it is intelligently able to distinguish between a person, car or animal that’s within your property boundaries.
The Neatatmo Welcome which is the standalone camera also has a proprietary face recognition software that can distinguish between friends, family and possible intruders into the house. The cameras stream a live HD feed onto the phone of the individual and can also be connected to other smart appliances through the IFTTT platform.
One of the most interesting smart alarms on the market is the Scout Alarm system. It takes a modular approach to protecting the home with alarms and thus offers a lot of flexibility in the way different users might want to approach things.
At the center of the system is the Hub, costing $129 with the ability to add $29 sensors as you wish. The alarm siren is equipped into the Hub.
Users have the option of adding motion sensors, door sensors or window sensors in as many locations as they want. The system is already compliant to work with Amazon’s Alexa, so if you have an Echo hub in your house, you can just ask Alexa to set up the alarm for different settings.
IFTTT connectivity to other gadgets is also possible and so you can set your smart lights or soundbar to go off at full blast whenever a motion sensor is triggered!
The IoT is making our gadgets smarter and our lives a lot more convenient. While these gadgets are definitely the future, a note of caution should be sounded here while jumping head first into the IoT world about possible security breaches.
Security researchers have been talking about the possible vulnerabilities hackers can employ to gain control over IoT gadgets. Make sure that you do your homework about devices before you install them and avoid cheaper, generic brands which may not pay as much attention to securing these devices.