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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

The future in home security tech starts with robotics and electronic gadgets


A report released in the U.S. this month documented a stark increase in the number of homeowners investing in home security systems across the state of Ohio. In the report, local law enforcement officers were quoted claiming the increase in home security systems has been so monumental it is changing the way detectives investigate crime, enabling them to identify criminals with greater ease than ever before.

And it makes sense, as we become a more technologically-dependent populace we are increasingly surrounding ourselves with useful if not outrageously over-the-top devices and systems to make our lives easier, more organised, more exciting – and safer. No longer need we depend upon the bark of a dog or the phone call of a worried neighbor to warn us of potentially intruders on our properties – our phones is capable of alerting us automatically before they even notice. And this is a good thing: with violent crime on the rise in the U.S. it’s no wonder people are scrambling to stock up on the latest security protection systems. In recent years, there has been an alarming growth in the number of homicides, robbery and aggravated assault cases seen in the nation’s largest cities, forcing homeowners and families to reconsider whether they are doing enough to protect their homes and children.

Modern home security is also becoming more affordable, easier to install, and accessible across all devices, allowing concerned homeowners to monitor their property 24/7 from afar. But boy are we set to see even bigger and better things in the field of home security tech in coming years.

Already we have the Canary, a security camera so advanced it uses a single piece of hardware to monitor an entire room and alerts the owner to unusual motions or sounds, allowing them to view the footage through a mobile app from a remote location. And then we have Abode, an advanced home security monitoring system that can be controlled with a remote KeyFob. Not only can Abode be integrated with a wide variety of accessories and services including Amazon Echo, but its built-in battery can even keep it running for 10+ hours should there be a power outage. But wait till you hear what else is in the works for home security: the future is upon us, and it’s a little eerie to be perfectly honest.

Kickstarter has seen the launch of Aevena’s Aire – a drone capable of monitoring a property from above, submitting footage to devices all over the world. While this product is yet to hit the market, it is due to do so in December after reaching its target of US$50,000 after just four days of campaigning on the platform.

Alexa, the woman who controls all within the modern home, will also soon be more connected than ever to home security devices. As the smart security market grows so too does Amazon’s interest in getting a piece of the pie, and they are reportedly investing millions in expanding Alexa’s accessories to include those designed to oversee security within the home. Just envision it, “Alexa, I’m leaving, please pop on the alarm system, close the windows and ensure the lights come on at 8pm precisely”. Wow.

The security screen door will also evolve in a big way. While up until now they have largely been defined as anything built of a strong enough material to withstand the efforts of burglars trying to break in, security doors of the future will go a few steps beyond this. Soon they will be equipped with motion-activated cameras that not only are you able to talk through, but that can actually identify the trespasser. That’s right, a device embedded into your front door that subtly scans the retinas of the person seeking to gain entry and automatically cross-checks it with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles as well as local criminal databases. A door that enables facial recognition software but that integrates it as subtly as possible, so that trespassers are unaware they are being examined.

Robotics and AI will quite possibly change the smart security market, with leaders in the industry toying with the idea of designing robots as security guards. Not only would it reduce the risk to humans, but it would guarantee alert, responsive, intelligent security teams designed to launch automated responses to attacks at all hours of the day. This one in particular is yet to be seen in reality, but it makes one wonder what technology is capable of.

What else can they possibly come up with? Voice-controlled alarm systems, laser beam sensors and other high tech sensors, smart door-locks, fingerprint scanners on letterboxes? And virtually everything connected by a broad mix of wireless technologies, including 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. As we continue to see bold advancements in technology there is no doubt we will continue to see the growth and development of smart home security technologies, as they continue to change the way we live and protect ourselves.

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