DIY surveillance kits for homes
Editor / Provider: Weili Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 10/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics
Ease of use, affordability and smart user experiences drive product developments of the smart home systems. The home DIY surveillance kits are described as combination of smart hardware, software and cloud technology. Software enhancement adds value on home surveillance kits. Video recording plays a crucial role. There are pros and cons toward local and cloud video storage. No doubt, the supporters for secure and complete recorded videos still opt for complete surveillance systems like home surveillance kits or home monitor systems.
DIY home surveillance kits consist of two, four or eight wired or wireless cameras, and a NVR. Other solutions called home monitoring systems come with wireless cameras and portable touch screen displays, offering local storage on a SD card. The mainstream features comprise easy installation, self-explanatory operation, day and night vision, one-way or two-way audio, remote viewing on the smartphone or tablet, motion and sound detection, alert notification and HD video recording. The HD video resolutions are available with 720P, 960P and 1080P. The current offerings include indoor cube, dome and bullet cameras along with IP66 waterproof and vandal-resistant outdoor cameras. Users can add cameras from different locations to one account.
The NVR with a built-in hard drive designed for 24/7 surveillance provides weeks or even months of recorded videos, depending on hard drive capacity and recording resolutions. Users can customize the recording settings to fit their needs like 720p recording resolution or a lower resolution for extended recording time. There are smart designs like automatic frame rate adjustment.
The cameras, with motion detection, maintain low frame rate of 1 fps, and enhance the frame rate up to 25 or 30 fps when detecting any intruder. DIY surveillance kits are widely used for homes and small businesses like small offices and shops.
For smart home use, IP cameras are accepted as the mainstream adoption; wireless kits are gaining popularity. In terms of connectivity, 2.4GHz and Wi-Fi are two major wireless standards. Home DIY users prefer to purchase and setup systems on their own. Wireless connectivity offers clutter-free and hassle-free setup experience for them, whereas wired cameras take their power directly from the mains to avoid the missed crucial moment when the power goes out. Users can just place the cameras in the important outdoor locations without running video cables, and then simply power up the wireless cameras. After setting up the mobile apps, users can start remote monitoring homes by running multiple viewers. Improved networking and cloud computing technologies make home surveillance easy as 123.
The fun for DIY is not just self-installation. Users may take pleasure in customizing the systems on their own. The DIY surveillance kits offer custom settings on motion zones, alert and recording schedules, and bandwidth to match individual's internet speed.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Smart home system is defined to have a smartphone app or a web portal as a user interface. As network infrastructure matures, home surveillance kits are prone to support the cloud platform and apps for remote viewing and operation on mobile devices. Unlike traditional home surveillance systems, today home users can complete setup with smartphones or tablets with ease. For example, user can just scan the QR code to complete setup and view real-time video remotely from smartphones. Easy setup with handheld devices without PCs provides handy surveillance experience. No installation and contract fees are other selling points. Also, users can upload videos and photos to cloud storage media like Dropbox, Google Drive and Baidu Cloud.
In the smart home industry, the revenue generated from hardware sales is relatively small. How to utilize cloud service to achieve a sustainable business model has been a hot topic to discuss. For example, the cloud service from Dropcam delivers a new user experience and business model. It charges for continuous video footage of 7-day cloud recordings.
Cloud storage for video backup is adopted to avoid hard drive failure, and prevents intruders from destroying evidence—security footage. At present, the cloud service is provided by system providers or third-party software companies. Besides, the cloud storage lowers down the retail pricing of the surveillance kit that contains a NVR. However, the profitable business models and operational stability are two challenges to deal with.
Bandwidth availability and invasion of privacy are viewed as a growth inhibitor of cloud storage. Besides, the incomplete uploaded videos may lead to disputes. The adoption of the NVR or home NAS makes users exempt from occupied bandwidth by other applications like online gaming. In addition, cloud storage can only be affordable in the places where network infrastructures are mature like the US.
SMARTER FUNCTION, SAFER HOME
Hardware functionality is limited; software creates more value to the systems. The majority of home surveillance kits are offered by professional surveillance system companies. They offer nearly professional-grade systems with affordable prices to smart home users. The user interface is simple, but the back-end software functionality can be complicated.
Therefore, we can expect more and more intelligent features to be introduced for home surveillance systems, such as auto-tracking, fog-penetration or defog function, anti-glare and Intelligence Video Surveillance (IVS) features. The intelligence video surveillance features include face recognition, perimeter alarm, and multiple intelligent video query functionality like snapshot and smart search. Region of Interest (ROI) face detection let users to track and snapshot moving individuals walking through the viewing region.