Are Smart Cameras the Future of Home Security?
Many industry insiders are predicting a home security revolution that includes increased use of smart cameras and digital surveillance in households. This technology, which previously seemed out of reach in terms of cost, has arrived at a point where sophisticated systems are now available at reasonable prices.
The benefits of using digital surveillance systems for home security are many. For instance, smart cameras can be integrated with existing security systems. Many digital cameras are motion-sensitive and can be programmed to trigger an alarm when suspicious activity is perceived. As a homeowner, rather than putting yourself in immediate danger, you can alert police and view the activity over the internet. Remote monitoring also comes in extremely handy if you're on vacation. With an intelligent surveillance system, you can program cameras to send automated email or text alerts to portable devices such as laptops and cell phones if a potential break-in is spotted. Live digital video feeds can then be viewed via those devices. If a burglary is in-fact taking place, having the visual evidence helps in speeding up police reaction time.
Another major benefit of digital systems is storage. Whereas analog surveillance systems use bulky cassette tapes, digital systems are capable of storing large amounts of footage on hard-drives. And since the cameras can be programmed to operate only when motion is sensed, there's less material to search through when analyzing specific incidents.
In most cases, live video feeds are accessed only by the homeowners themselves. But the technology does exist for security companies and police officers to view home surveillance footage remotely if supplied with network access. Dallas-based company EYESthere is testing a service that would scan footage from homes and businesses, but only after an alarm is signaled. While there are privacy issues concerning such forms of outside access, the eventual goal is to expedite the police-response process.
Besides enhancing security, digital surveillance systems in the home provide parents with the ability to remotely monitor small children and kids at play. They can also check in on babysitters, and can even make sure their kids aren't throwing parties while left alone in the house for the weekend.