Smart Home Preview
As a product and strategy leader, a critical part of my
role is to look ahead and determine where our industry
will go. Brinks Home™ is one of the largest
providers of home security in North America, and
we take our position seriously. Not only do we protect more than
1 million people, but we also want to help drive change in the
smart home and security industries.
Our mission is to bring peace of mind to our customers by
providing simple, effortless solutions. We combine innovative
technologies and products with a user-centric, seamless experience,
backed by our fast, reliable professional monitoring and support.
To achieve that goal, we are committed to collaboration with
our product and channel partners to bring a shared vision to life.
The future of home security is in smart devices.
BLENDED SOLUTIONS ARE THE FUTURE
The term “connected home” is used all the time, but in order
to have a truly connected home or building, we need to look at
the role product-led smart home innovation plays. There is an
opportunity to increase awareness in the home security category
of what a truly “smart home” can add to a customer’s quality of
life, which allows us to tap into new markets, who may never have
considered security but enjoy the latest in home automation.
We strongly believe that offering blended, or piecemeal
solutions that combine security with automation offer potential
customers a good entry point to a connected home. As people
achieve or approach milestones like moving into a new home;
having a baby; having young children and pets at home while
working remotely themselves; or even hearing about break-ins
in their neighborhood, people are more open to a smart home
solution. Interoperability and an open ecosystem will become
more important and give customers the flexibility to streamline
their lives with connected smart security.
While home security is where we see automation being adopted
quickly, there is also an increasing appetite to automate other buildings.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have adopted
electronic keycards to limit touchpoints on doors or elevators. This is
just the tip of what smart devices can offer. Automated buildings can
include smart lighting, operating on sensors or timers, access control
with face recognition, or even connected HVAC systems to help find
cost savings and efficiencies in heating and cooling.
It is also important to note that the market for connected
homes and buildings is not homogenous. There are varying
degrees of feeling safe and comfortable with home automation.
These are dictated by both location and a customer or company’s
life stage. Understanding what drives customers to desire home
or commercial security and connected home or office products
helps innovate and provide better solutions to meet their unique
needs. We believe more than 40% of broadband households in
the United States own or intend to purchase a security solution,
and 40 percent of that group also desire a more complete solution
that includes smart home products.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS
As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate and
advances in technology make new things possible, we will see
more collaboration between product manufacturers, integrators
and end-users. It is not easy to deliver an end-to-end solution if
you are not a technology giant, especially not at the speed needed
to stay competitive.
A streamlined home or office requires more than just a
product (firmware, software, AI, cloud/edge computing), it
also needs a good purchase experience, strong sales operations,
installation and set-up help, and care services for customers after
the installation is complete.
To achieve this, it’s important to adapt quickly to changing
trends and put together a seamless solution by sourcing bestin-
class product and technology, then continuously evolving for
our customers, as opposed to focusing solely on owning the full
layer of product solutions. In order to achieve a truly connected
home, it’s not enough to empower singular products or service
categories. As an industry, we need to provide more empowered
and connected IoT solutions.
SMART HOME SECURITY PRODUCTS
Home security systems stand to gain a lot from overall
technological advancements in camera and computing power. We see
a case for leveraging AI and computer vision technology to detect a
package at your porch remotely through a doorbell camera, and even
take programmed actions based on video and audio analytics, such as
turning on lights or music, or even having central station dispatchers
speak directly through a device to stop suspicious activities.
Smart cameras and speakers see or listen to collect information,
which is analyzed and used to predict the wants and needs of people
in the home. For example, these smart devices can hear when a smoke
detector or security alarm goes off, and begins recording. They can
provide that information back to the customer and monitoring
company to enable them to take more effective, and immediate, action.
Data privacy will be a top-of-mind concern for companies and
customers. People and companies will need to understand how
their data will be used and stored, and will need to be comfortable
knowing that they have full control over their data.
Biometric capabilities are another area for exciting potential.
While it is not a new technology, people have been unlocking their
smart devices with fingertips, iris scans or facial recognition for years.
There are improvements and refinements being made that will enable
faster, more secure access to homes and security systems. Biometrics
may soon enable us to offer more personalized customer experiences,
based on what AI-backed technology learns about each person in
a connected home. As with camera and speaker developments, the
biggest barrier is privacy concerns. We’re anxious to see what the
future holds for connected devices and smart security.
This article originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Security Today.
Min Kang is the chief product and strategy officer for Brinks Home Security.