an era dominated by smart mobile devices, security
systems also are becoming more intelligent.
enable customers to use phones, tablets and computers to
turn alarms off and on from remote locations, as well as
to receive text or other alerts if something is awry in
the residence. People can also use their devices to
control lights, heating and cooling systems, doors and
idea is a system that lets you control your entire home
environment," said Eric Taylor, a vice president
with Bay Alarm, a Pacheco, Calif., alarm company.
Hood, president of Aptos, Calif.-based First Alarm, adds
that the new systems give consumers "real peace of
mind that they are connected to their system from
example, a homeowner might forget to set the alarm
before leaving the house. Or maybe the alarm is set, but
Grandma and Grandpa are coming over and don’t know the
password to turn it off.
that person can pull out a smartphone or tablet, connect
to the alarm system through a secure digital portal, and
operate the security network as if at home punching
numbers on the alarm box. The systems work with Android-
or Apple-based mobile devices, alarm companies say.
of advanced systems also can lock and unlock doors in
their homes, as well as perform numerous other tasks.
alarm systems let you control lights, thermostats, small
appliances," said Sarah Cohn, a spokeswoman for
Florida-based ADT. "We continue to add capabilities
to our platform. You can look in on your home at any
time. You can get text and email notifications."
companies also are using the "cloud" and the
world’s interwoven networks to provide customers with
streaming videos of entry points and other key areas of
their homes. Once they view the video, they can
determine whether the situation warrants action by the
Tchong, founder of San Francisco-based Social
Revolution, which tracks technology trends, has an
advanced alarm system in his residence and describes it
know if you leave the house and you forget to arm the
security system, you can use your phone or tablet to
click ‘arm’ or ‘disarm,’ " he said.
"It will tell you if you left a door open or a
Tom Foremski, a San Francisco-based technology analyst,
cautions that the desire of people to control more
aspects of their lives also means living with less
will be more and more cameras around, more surveillance
in general," he said. "You could have video
phones in your home. More and more devices are recording
new systems typically cost more than a vanilla burglar
system that alerts the alarm company and local police
about a possible break-in.
says its monthly fees for a standard system range from
$30 to $40. The enhanced systems usually cost from $47
alarm companies say they’ve gone to great lengths to
ensure that systems remain secure and hacker-free. That’s
a significant concern, since accessibility through
mobile devices raises the possibility of more points of
entry for digital intruders. People don’t want their
computers hacked, and they also don’t want hackers to
invade and control their alarm systems.
worry is likely to grow as more capabilities are added
to home security systems.
are seeing the rise of the connected home," Cohn
said. "Appliances are talking to each other. This
rises to the level of what people want from their
mobile, connected lifestyles."
that’s not deterring consumers for now; alarm
companies say sales of the advanced systems are hot.
technologies are the ultimate convenience," Tchong
said. "They are going to become prevalent."