Real Time Communications Featured Article

Smart Homes, Security & Real-Time Communications

April 13, 2016

New technologies take on a special focus when they have the potential to help us achieve what was once impossible. Tools to monitor our heart rates, alert us when we have new incoming communications and allow us to meet with people face to face via video conferences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovation today.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and real time communications are playing their own unique role because they are removing time and distance barriers and allowing machines to connect, communicate and share information. Now things like smart appliances in our homes can keep our heating and electricity bills in check and even brew us a hot cup of coffee when we awake.

One of the popular smart devices that will be in more homes soon is the networked security camera. The reasons make sense. Imagine being able to monitor and capture who is at your home – even if you are not there.

In fact, a new study from Parks Associates shows 20 percent of U.S. Broadband Households have plans to acquire a networked security camera within this year.

The importance of this tool in the home comes not only with the convenience it provides but also the peace of mind it brings for those who travel or have a home business and would like to protect and monitor while on the go.

Not just networked cameras, but also smart door locks are making a splash in the residential security market. Smart door locks are powered by your cell phone or a Web app and come with an array of different features and possibilities – from needing only the tap of your finger to identify and gain access, to offering you a video view of who is standing at your door and the ability to speak to them through the device – even if you are not home.

But there are some notes to be taken. These technologies will not reach full potential if consumers can get them to work properly and integrate effectively into their homes.

"Consumers expect smart home technology to make their lives easier, not complicate them," said Letha McLaren, CMO, Icontrol Networks. "This is an industry issue that should stay behind the scenes. Every player in the industry - from manufacturers to service providers – needs to work together to make adoption simpler for consumers.”

In fact, a survey of 1,000 adults back in January found that at least half were planning on spending at least $60 a year on just smart home services. Across the board these consumers said they were looking for options provided by smart home security solutions. Baby Boomers for example said they want home energy management tools while Millennials said they are in the market for safety and security systems.

This new market that’s opening up has created a prime spot for app makers to innovate and offer the latest “killer app”.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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