Advances In Wireless: Three ways wireless has changed security

Three Ways Wireless has Changed Security

The small square-shaped device represents is the industry’s first wireless sensor that utilizes an accelerometer with integrated Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, the same technology used to deploy automobile airbags. The product easily affixes to valuables such as paintings, flat-screen TVs, jewelry box lids and other surfaces. Upon detecting motion, the sensor transmits signals to alarm panels, which can then alert monitoring stations if valuable objects that should otherwise remain in place are moved.

Southcross has found the sensor to be very effective in preventing the thefts from reoccurring. Currently, about 25 facilities managed by the firm are using the device to protect their flat screens, as well as computers located in their business centers.

“The last 12 months or so has seen a great increase in the number of flat screen TVs in public places,” said Doug Yarger, Southcross president. “It’s a candy store for thieves, which makes this device all the more timely.”

Better Outdoor Reliability

For most people, the thought of using outdoor-motion sensing for security usually evokes images of lighting systems that turn on whenever a car pulls up the driveway, or a small animal scurrying away after it unwittingly trips the device.

Today’ outdoor sensors have come a long way and are enabling far more robust functionality and much better reliability. A critical advancement in this area is the use of passive infrared (PIR) sensors to prevent nuisance alarms. Newer detectors actually use two integrated sensors that both must be tripped in order to declare an alarm. This approach allows the devices to distinguish between animals (both large and small) and humans for improved reliability.

The greater value of these enhanced devices, though, lies in their ability to integrate with the alarm panel. For example, in addition to alerting security personnel to intruders, dealers can program the device to engage CCTV cameras for better awareness. Stringing a series of these devices together also can create a virtual fence line – and at a fraction of the cost of a wired solution, which would require time-consuming trenching. This enhanced functionality makes the total solution ideal for protecting car lots, alleys, loading docks, remote garages, sheds and other structures.

Additionally, weatherproof packaging has expanded the functionality of the overall solution. Homer Creutz, owner of Heartland Security LLC in North Platte, Neb., recently performed an installation for a client needing to protect a large, low-temperature, detached building used to store a tractor. For the solution, Creutz used a weatherproof outdoor PIR device with a temperature range of (-)1 – 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

“There’s no heat in there,” Creutz said. “And, getting a hard wire out there was next to impossible.”

Remote Monitoring

The latest advancements in wireless increase a security system’s overall effectiveness by quite literally extending its reach both inside and outside. But there’s a bigger picture.

Aside from extending the security system’s reach, these devices increase the end user’s awareness of the larger environment. This is primarily due to two reasons: 1) The sensors give the system access to areas that previously were unreachable due to wiring costs and/or logistics, and 2) when tied to digital communications technology, they can feed information directly to the end users themselves, even if they aren’t physically there.

Remote-monitoring solutions such as Honeywell’s Total Connect enable alarm panels to send information to home and business owners through any web browser, including those accessed with mobile devices such as laptops, smart phones such as Blackberrys or iPhones and other cell phones. Adding new wireless technologies to the picture means the system can email alerts to homeowners for specific events such as an asset sensor detecting a jewelry box lid opening. Another scenario: a vacation-home owner using flood detection technology can be alerted from hundreds of miles away if the security system detects water accumulating. A dealer can program the system to send a text message to the owner’s cell phone, in addition to alerting a central monitoring station.

These latest advancements have incrementally improved the standard security system, and therefore also have enhanced the ability to generate additional recurring monthly revenue (RMR). By being able to inexpensively offer add-on devices such as environmental sensors, asset protection devices and outdoor PIRs, dealers have a much easier time increasing the value of each sale.

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