Home security today has come a long way from just five or so years ago. Today's systems utilize "smart" technology and provide better security than ever at a lower cost. Here are a few examples of some new devices and technologies that are either available or on the horizon for home security applications.
While some security systems today employ wireless window chimes that alert people in the home when windows are opened, advanced window sensors are being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Germany that take window security technology a step further. These advanced sensors let homeowners know the status of each and every window in the home, and can be monitored by smartphone apps. Furthermore, they are solar powered and eco friendly. These systems include the window, sensor, solar cell, and all other necessary components, so they're expected to be expensive, at least at first. Currently in prototype form, these systems may be ready for mass production within a year.
Vibration and motion sensors tend to produce false alarms. For example, a motion sensor camera that emails the homeowner pictures whenever motion is detected can easily make a big deal of a fly buzzing in front of the lens. Falling branches, pets, and other normal movements can set off vibration and motion detectors too. The latest security systems are incorporating audio sensors that "know" the difference between normal noises and suspicious noises (like shattering glass), so that the security system can more easily distinguish between real intrusions and normal conditions.
While most security systems today use a keypad on the control panel, some are starting to integrate speech recognition, so that homeowners can simply speak in order to change settings, activate, or deactivate the system. Also on the horizon is voice identification technology that can make sure that the homeowner (or an authorized person) is the only person who can speak to the system in order to change the settings.
People have been using motion detection floodlights outside their homes for years. They're very convenient for people arriving home after dark, and they tend to scare off burglars. Systems are currently being developed that make use of a passive infrared motion detector situated outdoors that triggers lights indoors. An intruder would step into the field of view of the sensor, and suddenly lights inside the home would come on. This adds yet another layer of safety to a great home security system.
These are currently being used on high-end luxury yachts as a deterrent to unauthorized persons getting onboard without being noticed. After all, if you're out on your yacht, there could be half an ocean or more between you and the help you need if you should encounter pirates. Footstep detectors do exactly as their name suggests: they detect each and every footstep. Any time someone new sets foot on the property, the security system is triggered and cameras are immediately trained on the location of the intruder. But since these systems cost around $30,000, they're not expected to show up at your local building superstore any time soon.
Some of these futuristic security devices are already working their way into the consumer market for home security systems, while others may still be years away. But today's monitored home security systems already make great use of technologies like passive infrared motion detection, live streaming surveillance footage that can be viewed on a smartphone, and control panels that are intuitive and easy to use. There's no real need to wait if you have been considering a monitored home security system, because the technology available today provides a strong layer of security between your home and intruders.