The Changing Face of Home Security
THE HOME SECURITY INDUSTRY is undergoing a transformation. As intrusion detection merges with “smart home” technology, new markets are opening up. Fully integrated systems not only lock and unlock doors and trigger alarms, but control window shades, lighting and thermostats and monitor for carbon monoxide and fires. “End users” are taking more control of their systems, monitoring them from smartphones and other mobile devices. A proliferation of wireless products is even enabling homeowners to cobble together their own systems.
“For decades, the industry made very incremental changes,” says Stacey Michaels, product marketing manager at Bosch Security Systems. “Now things are starting to move at breakneck speed.” This is creating both challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and security system providers.
A Secure Future
Until recently, a simple residential security system consisted of motion sensors, door and/or window contacts and keypads, and it relied on a telephone line. Now, such systems are going wireless and include cameras and “smart sensors” that monitor and/or control other aspects of the home.
The “intrusion control panel” is the central hardware component of a security system. Since this component is long lived, future-proofing is imperative, says Dennis Caler, senior product manager at Bosch Security Systems. Panels must be flexible enough to accommodate past, present and future technologies, supporting, for example, both wired and wireless devices.
Bosch updated its two lines of intrusion control panels—the G-Series and the B-Series—for greater flexibility and integration. The B-Series panels are appropriate for smaller (including most residential) systems, and can accommodate from eight to 48 security sensors. These panels are compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6, the Internet Protocols that route internet traffic, and include Ethernet and USB ports, as well as a flexible modular communication port that is designed to accommodate current and future communication technologies.
Users can control the panel directly from a keypad or remotely with a smartphone, using Bosch’s mobile app. Increasingly, homeowners want the ability to monitor their own systems, or to have alerts sent directly to them, says Caler. “The keypad is now supplemental, or sometimes, even replaced by the smartphone or tablet.”
With such flexibility, security concerns and convenience are merging; for example, a homeowner might want to be able to unlock a door remotely for a subcontractor, or to check on their kids to make sure they’ve arrived home from school safely.