Smart home security & safety bringing greater peace of mind

Smart home security & safety bringing greater peace of mind
Home security and safety are the two largest smart home categories at CES this year. There are upgraded versions of cameras,alarm sensors, smart locks, video door bells and safety sensors for fire and flood alarms. Among them, network cameras and smart locks are two popular product lines at the show.

Home cameras with feature upgrades

Regarding home cameras, mainstream features include support for HD720P video resolution and a field of view of around 120 degrees or less. At CES this year, new-generation cameras with features like battery-powered,wire-free, 180-degree viewing angle, and higher-resolution up to 4K QHD are the highlighted features for the new products launched at the show. With the introduction of H.265 format,home monitoring cameras supporting 4K video resolution are expected to become prevalent.

Camera eye-catchers include Swann's new 4K Ultra HD Security System, D-Link DCS-2630L, smanos UFO Panoramic WiFi FHD camera PT-180, Blink, Amaryllo iCamPRO Deluxe and Vivint's Ping. Swann's new 4K Ultra HD Security System includes four 4K and 8 megapixel HD cameras with IR cut filters to capture sharp images at night up to 100 feet. D-Link introduced DCS-2630L, a Full HD 180-degree Wi-Fi camera, supporting de-warping technology to maximize the video quality with less distortion. smanos showcased its new Wi-Fi FHD camera,featuring fish-eye lens and 360-degree coverage. The camera provides 360-degree birds' eye view, an auto corrected 180-degree panoramic view and a 90-degree quad views simultaneously,and two-way conversation at HiFi audio quality.

Blink and Amaryllo iCamPRO Deluxe won 2016 CES Innovation Award. Blink is a compact wire-free 720P HD camera for indoor home monitoring, supporting motion detection and upcoming temperature alerts. iCamPRO Deluxe is a home security robot with a FHD camera and light bulb base, featuring patented technologies in 360-degree auto-tracking and face detection. It supports E26/E27 socket for one-minute quick setup. Vivint'sPing camera features two-way talk camera with one-touch callout. It supports cloud-based Smart Clips service to provide on-demand access to 20-second recorded clips.

In addition to upgrades in functionality, several camera makers are highlighting the full compatibility with multiple communications standards. Oco2 camera supports dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz),and BLE 4.0 for integration to other smart home devices. Swann's security DVR can be functioned as a smart home gateway, which supports up to four protocols, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave.

Beyond hardware enhancements, leading brands are shifting the product portfolios to vertical solutions for better market positions. Smart nursery applications are a good example. Recognized as a camera leader, Binatone launches home care cameras BabyConnect 7 and Baby Connect 5 under the Motorola brand. The cameras come with a 7-inch and 5-inch multi-point touch display respectively and PTZ camera. Equipped with smart analytics, the system supports indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity,noise and activity monitoring and analysis. Besides, the cameras feature two-way audio communication, baby care timer, baby sleep movement and smile detection. The company tries to differentiate itself from other competitors to cope with severe competitions in the home camera market.

Better entry control

The smart video doorbell is a growing and promising category,with lots of new innovations at the show. Some smart lock companies like August and Yale launched new video doorbells to strengthen the lineup of access control. August launched Doorbell Cam; Yale introduced Look Door Viewer, which comes with a smart door bell and 4.3-inch LCD monitor.

Innovating old-fashioned locks is not just about replacing the hardware parts, but also putting more smarts into them through leveraging cloud platforms and software. HomeKit compatibility has been a popular term for smart home devices. With the introduction of Weave, Google's common language for Brillo in mid-2015, we've seen new solutions joining Google's ecosystem this year.

One of the prime examples is Yale's deadbolt that support Google's Brillo and interconnectivity with Weave-enabled devices from different categories and brands. Locks supporting Weave can easily talk to other connected devices and support scenario setting, such as unlocking the door, turning on lights and music when users arrive home.

Other than locks, there is also another array of camera specialists who have noticed the needs for video monitoring indoor entry areas, bringing to the market new products like Ring's Stick Up Cam and Brinno's low-power Wi-Fi camera. The award-winning Netatmo Presence is an outdoor home monitoring camera,which features integration of a floodlight to light up the way at night and also deters any unwanted visitors. Those cameras feature weather-assistance for the outdoor application, and wire-free design for easy installation outside the house.

Wearables can be considered as a new kind of home control device for on-the-go convenience. For example, Yale's Bluetooth smart lock can be controlled wirelessly with a smartphone or Samsung's smart watch; Kevo Convert from Kwikset supports Android Wear devices like Moto360 smart watch. Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt and Kwikset's Premis enable users to control their smart locks via Apple Watch or Siri voice control. Users can create integrated scenes with Premis, such as lighting or heating the rooms when the front door is open. If you don't have a smart watch, you can also control your smart lock with Yale's user-friendly design. With Yale’s “Twist and Go” technology, users can unlock the deadbolt by twisting the smartphone from the vertical position to the 90-degree when approaching the door.

It is estimated that over 70 percent of homeowners enter their home through the garage door. Therefore, smart garage door openers are gaining attention as well. Chamberlain Group works with Nest and has integrated Nest Cam video in Chamberlain and LiftMaster MyQ apps. Users can see live video from their mobile devices when the garage door opens or closes, along with time lapse video clips and event history. Working the Nest thermostat,users can set Home mode or Away mode to turn on and off the heating or cooling when they arrive or leave home.

Sensors for home safety

According to studies, floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States, and water damage causes $9.1 billion in homeowner property losses every year. Burst pipes, leaky toilets,broken water lines and other water-related issues cost American homeowners more than $2,000 for each repair, according to HomeAdvisor. There are new offerings of smart water control for flood and leak warnings, for protection from potential home damages, and to address the concerns with resource conservation.

At CES, plenty of sensor makers offered solutions to address these needs. Nortek Security & Control has expanded its GoControl lineup from the alarms to water safety sensors. The company launched Z-Wave irrigation controller, water flow and flood detectors. Piper launched its Z-Wave water sensor to detect the presence or absence of water, detecting as little as 0.03% of an inch of water. Through connection to Piper through Z-Wave, the sensor can be set to trigger security rules.

First Alert, a leading CO and smoke alarm sensor provider, provides HomeKit compatible Wi-Fi Environment Monitor that monitors both high and low levels of carbon monoxide (CO), along with humidity and temperature. The company will introduce a FHD 1080P camera with built-in multi-sensors that detects CO, humidity and temperature. The camera features non-contact measuring of people's respiration, used as a nursery camera.

Leeo Smart Alert is a Wi-Fi plug-in alarm monitoring device that connects to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It will alert users via the smartphone when triggered. It can also track temperature and humidity levels in the room.

Coming from the professional security background, Tyco Security Products showcase its connected home solutions in its debut appearance at the 2016 CES show with a new glass break sensor With the white noise rejection mechanism,the sensor can avoid false alarm through measuring atmosphere pressure within the room and smart algorithms. Stepping into the smart home market, the security veteran comments simple and intuitivedata analysis is amust-have whenconsumers choose intrusion devicesfor the smart home. A simple and easyto digest data analysis capability, either native to the intrusion device or through integration with a larger system, can give home owners an accurate snapshot of what is happening in the home right from a smartphone.
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