Trends in Security

It has been said that “the only constant is change” and while the author of that quote may have lived more than 2500 years ago, it still holds true today. Change is good; it moves us forward and introduces new things and new ideas to us. When I...


It has been said that “the only constant is change” and while the author of that quote may have lived more than 2500 years ago, it still holds true today. Change is good; it moves us forward and introduces new things and new ideas to us.

When I started in the industry, change seemed to come slowly. Products didn’t change much; we were very comfortable with what we sold and there wasn’t much pressure for new things. Things are different now. Today, end users want to see something new and especially something innovative at regular intervals. Just look at the computer industry. If your computer is more than three years old, it’s probably out of date and the latest software may not even run on it.

In the security industry, change can also be seen as a trend and we see it happening at a greater pace than ever before. So what are the trends in the security products we see right now?

 

Residential

To start, we will examine the trends in the residential sector.

When I started in the business in 1975, deadbolts were the hot item at the shop where I worked. Many homes and apartments had only a cylindrical lock on the door and that lock was often an old wafer-type that was easy to compromise. Adding a deadbolt was considered a major upgrade to security, as was adding a simple lock for the windows and sliding glass doors.

Sometime later, the alarm companies started selling security systems directly to homeowners. Early alarm systems may have added peace of mind but didn’t directly interface with any of the mechanical locks around the home. Alarms and door locks were separate devices and at their best only complimented each other.

Later on, pushbutton locks for residential use were developed and added the convenience of multiple codes for different users and the ability to quickly change codes if one was lost or abused. The ease of use of these locks, especially on doors that connected one part of the house from another like the laundry room or garage, makes them popular choices for security and convenience.

Building on that trend, Schlage has introduced the first lock for residential use that has an audible alarm sensor. The Schlage FE51 Alarm Lock is a grade 2, UL listed lock that has three alarm settings – Activity Alert, Tamper Alert and Forced Entry Alert. Even the sensitivity (level of touch/activity that sets off alarm) can be customized to the specific security needs of the homeowner. Programming is done right at the lock and no wiring is required. Two AAA batteries (included) provide power for up to three years and a low battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to change them. More information can be found at: http://consumer.schlage.com/Innovation/Pages/BuiltInAlarm.aspx.

The Connected Home

Now there is a trend toward the connected home. This means that we are able to access our home, the lock on our front door, the lights, our thermostat and CCTV all via our computer, tablet or smartphone. The ability to monitor what is going on in real time with the Schlage Nexia Home Intelligence systems gives you control of your property that was unheard of just a few years ago. Add to that the ability to actually control these devices from your computer, tablet or smartphone, and you have truly connected home environment.

The way this is accomplished is through Z-wave technology. Z-Wave devices communicate wirelessly with each other and with the Nexia Bridge. The Bridge plugs into your router to connect to your Broadband Internet. You then use the Nexia mobile app or your online Nexia subscription to control various Nexia (Z-Wave-based) devices in your home.

Z-Wave is a wireless technology that uses simple, reliable, low-power radio waves that easily travel through walls, floors and cabinets. Z-Wave control can be added to almost any electronic device in your house, even devices that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as “intelligent,” such as locks, appliances, window shades, thermostats and home lighting. Right now, there are 232 devices compatible with Nexia Home Intelligence. This link below has the complete list: http://www.nexiahome.com/SupportCenter/Pages/compatibility.aspx?page=compatibility&main=1&mod=Compatibility.

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