Home security has undergone some pretty significant changes over the last 20 years. So much so that many people who think they know everything there is to know about home security actually know very little. The point is clearly demonstrated by a recent piece published by CNET. The piece discusses a number of home security myths that still pervade the industry.
The first myth on their list is the idea that home security is expensive. That may have been true back in the 1980s and ’90s, but it hasn’t been true for a while now. Thanks to cheaper electronics and the DIY movement, complete home security systems are very affordable. Even professionally installed systems are a lot more affordable than they used to be.
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So, why has home security undergone so many changes over the last 20 years? One word: wireless. Prior to wireless technology being a thing, home security systems were wired systems that truly required professional installation. Your average homeowner just did not have the skills to cut into walls, run wires, and install video surveillance cameras. But once wireless came into play, everything changed.
Consumers can now buy complete DIY systems that operate without the need for hard wiring. Some devices plug in to standard wall outlets while others run on batteries. As for communicating, the devices are connected wirelessly to a home automation hub. That hub connects to the outside world through a homeowner’s internet connection.
Wireless changed the game by giving control over home security back to consumers. Once full-service providers realized they had significant competition from the DIY market, they were forced to bring their prices down. Ongoing competition between the DIY and full-service markets helps keep prices in check.
Another substantial change has been the move away from contracts and subscriptions. In the old days, it was pretty common for consumers to have to sign multi-year contracts involving rented equipment and monitoring subscriptions. Those obligations no longer exist. Customers can still sign up for monitoring if they want to, but they don’t have to. DIY systems can be self-installed and monitored. Consumers no longer need to be tethered to full-service providers.
Does that mean that there is no longer a place for the full-service provider? Absolutely not. Customers like Vivint Smart Home still offer professional installation. They are happy to provide monitoring subscriptions at a reasonable monthly cost. Full-service providers still exist because a certain segment of the buying public wants access to their services. The point is that full-service providers are not the only game in town anymore.
The icing on the cake is smart technology. Simply put, home security devices are getting smarter with time. For instance, one of the core components of smart technology is the ability to access it remotely. Anyone with a few wireless video cameras knows exactly what this means. Today’s wireless cameras can be remotely monitored with a smartphone, a companion app, and an internet connection.
Remote access is just the start. Some smart devices have artificial intelligence built in. They are able to self-adjust based on data collected around the clock. It is not hard to imagine a point at which human beings will barely have to interact with their smart devices. Whether it is home security or temperature control, the devices will just take care of things themselves. Home security has changed a lot over the last 20 years. It is likely to change a lot more over the next twenty.