Home Sweet Home/Home Secure Home

Home Secure Home

Security-system innovations mean someone’s always watching.

Home Sweat Home/Home Secure Home
–Illustration by David Saracino

The days of dial-and-dash are over. It used to be that setting an alarm system meant hustling kids out the door while holding a pet inside the house with one’s foot, or juggling bags and car keys while setting the key code only to make a dash for the door as the beeps got increasingly closer together. No more—the era of the “smart home” has arrived, and with it, major innovations in home security driven by online and cellular technology.

In the old days, most alarms consisted of sensors on doors and windows, perhaps some motion detectors, or even a glass-break sensor. When these were tripped, the alarm company called the house. If no one responded, the police were dispatched.

Now, systems can be customized. Most security providers offer advances like water sensors that can be placed in the basement or near a sump pump to detect flooding, as well as smoke and carbon-monoxide sensors. Depending on the provider, if the smoke or carbon-monoxide sensor goes off, the furnace automatically shuts off so poisonous air doesn’t circulate through the house.

Wireless, infrared cameras can be set up inside and outside the home. When a door sensor is tripped, a 15-second video clip can be sent via text message or e-mail to the homeowner. This is particularly popular with parents who want to be sure children have gotten home safely from school—and to see who may have entered the home in their company.

Most importantly, no one needs to be home to access these services. Rather, a homeowner can watch video on a mobile device and arm or disarm the system online or from a cell phone. (With the ADT “Pulse” system, you’ll soon be able to use voice commands to manage your home system, so you won’t be texting while driving.) For that matter, you don’t have to arm the system at all; some can be set to arm automatically.

But that’s just the beginning. As homes have become “smarter,” security companies have increasingly started to widen their sphere of services into the lifestyle realm. Not only can one turn the lights off and on in the house from a computer, tablet, or cell phone, but, depending on your service and provider, you can get a text alert if the power goes off.

You can also remotely access the settings of the thermostat in your home, so if you’ve been away on summer vacation, for example, the house can be nice and cool by the time you get home from the airport.

Comcast, which is getting in on the home-security wave through its XFINITY Home service, offers something called EcoSaver. When paired with an XFINITY home thermostat, the system learns your home’s heating and cooling abilities as well as your personal temperature preferences and uses an algorithm to adapt the HVAC system to your needs by making small changes, which are designed to save energy.

Perhaps the best defense against an intruder is to simply lock the front door, but how often have you left for work and forgotten if you turned that deadbolt? New innovations allow for remote door locking. Or you can simply do away with the key altogether, says Peter Rogers, co-founder and senior advisor of FrontPoint, a security company based in McLean, VA. FrontPoint offers a slightly different solution than some providers in that theirs is a customized “plug-and-play” system that the DIY homeowner installs on his own.

“We’ve essentially gotten rid of our front-door key because now we have a key-pad door lock, and you can remotely open and close that lock and also set up codes so people can let themselves in and out and we can remove those codes,” says Rogers of his own home. Imagine, no more waiting around for the handyman: Now you can provide him an access code, get a text and a video showing him entering and exiting the home, lock the door when he’s gone, then erase the access code so he cannot enter again. This is also a useful function for owners of rental properties—no more chasing down spare keys or swapping locks.

As telephone landlines have disappeared, alarm companies have increasingly moved to new technology to connect their systems. Comcast’s XFINITY home app is available for both OSX and Android, which replaces the old dial-in pad, and the system works over broadband with a cellular-system backup in the event the Internet goes down.

Some providers, like FrontPoint, are relying solely on built-in cellular so there is no line of any kind that can be cut. Because most providers are producing strictly wireless systems, they can be disassembled and reconnected in a new home and can be used even in older homes.

A monitored home security system has many advantages. If the fire alarm goes off, instead of just making a lot of noise—which isn’t very helpful if the family is overcome by smoke or not home—it will alert the fire department.

And simply having that alarm company sign in the front yard is a deterrent to would-be burglars. For this reason, insurance companies often offer discounts on home policies if a house has a security system.

How much smarter and safer can a home get in the future?

“The home-automation element is at a plateau of sorts, so what’s happening now is enhancements to technology that exists,” explains FrontPoint’s Rogers. He points to geo-sensing as an example. “If you elect to use your phone to track where you are, when you leave home, it will automatically adjust your thermostat when you’re five miles from home or, if you did not arm your alarm system, it will alarm your system for you.”

“It’s adding a level of intelligence and analysis to events that are happening, so you now feel not just protected but more connected to your home,” he states.


If you would like liquidvideotechnologies.com to discuss developing your Home Security System, Networking, Access Control, Fire, IT consultant or PCI Compliance, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at deveren@liquidvideotechnologies.com .
Article provided by Baltimore Magazine

Home Security 101

Home Security 101 -Intuder

Home Security 101… It wasn’t so long ago that when an intruder broke into a home, the home security system would sound an alarm. If it was a monitored system, the central station would call the police to report the intrusion. This assumes, of course, that you armed the system, the batteries were still good and the intruder wasn’t quick enough to disable the system before it sounded the alarm or dialed the central station.

The revolution brought on by wireless technologies, smart phones, and mobile apps have changed all of that. Today, home security systems can still sound alarms, but are much more difficult to forget about or foil. A software-supported security system can send you a text message every time a door or window is opened, whether you’ve armed it or not. It can stream live video or send still images of what’s happening in your garage, living room, backyard or wherever you deploy a security camera. You can even be alerted before the break-in, the moment the burglar pulls into the driveway!

And that’s not all. Home security has teamed up with home automation so the same interactive service can give your home the appearance that someone is home. Lights, TVs and radios can be turned on and off at random intervals, or according to the schedule you choose. Even motorized blinds can be raised or lowered upon your command.

[Thinking about installing a home security system? Click to find a provider now.]

Home Security 101 - wireless driveway alarm

The Mighty Mule wireless driveway alarm.

Home security systems can give you peace of mind in other ways, too. Whether you’re home or away, they can inform you of hazards like fire, elevated carbon monoxide levels, and power outages.  They can alert you if someone is tampering with a safe, a locked tool chest, or a medicine or gun cabinet. You might even use it to check on the safe arrival of a child returning home from school. Or, if you lose sleep wondering whether the water heater is flooding your basement, you can have your system set up to alert you of that as well.

With interactive systems come other benefits as well. Prefer not to hand out house keys to housekeepers, or other service providers? You can unlock a door for them from wherever you are, whether you’re at work or on a trip, with systems such as Kwikset’s SmartCode.

You can also use the system to program your home’s temperature so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling your home unnecessarily. During cool seasons, it can automatically lower settings when you’re sleeping or away—and raise them just before you wake or return home.

If you would like liquidvideotechnologies.com to discuss developing your Home Security System, Networking, Access Control, Fire, IT consultant or PCI Compliance, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at deveren@liquidvideotechnologies.com .
Article provided by Yahoo! Homes

InnoVision Awards

2013 InnoVison Awards Backdrop

Liquid Video Technologies and Mojoe.net, have been chosen to produce the 2013 InnoVision Awards being held on November 14, 2013 at the TD Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

Once again Liquid Video Technologies and Mojoe.netwill be producing the InnoVision Awards Dinner which will include not only producing the show the night of the event, but all pre-production video of all applicants to the InnoVision Awards. The dinner highlights some of the most innovative and forward technology thinking companies in South Carolina.

Check out video from last years InnoVision Awards

InnoVision Awards Program is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2013 InnoVision Awards.

Community Service:  Momentum Bike Clubs;  Network Controls & Electric, Inc., and Taylors Free Medical Clinic

Innovation in Education:  Clemson University, Dept.of Bioengineering; SimuMed, LLC; and VU Room, LLC

Small Enterprise: Sabai Technology;  Southern Measurement Company; and Tarian Orthotics, LLC

Sustainability:  Sage Automotive Interiors; Sensor ElectronicTechnology, Inc.

Technology Application:  3D Systems;  Milliken & Company;  Selah Genomics, Inc.; and Techtronic Industries, Inc.

Technology Development:  Sealed Air Corporation;  Sealevel Systems, Inc.; Sensor ElectronicTechnology, Inc.; VidiStar, LLC; and Wolff Industries, Inc.

About InnoVision Awards Program:  The InnoVision Awards Program, founded by Deloitte in 1999 and presented by McNair Law Firm, P.A., is South Carolina’s premier organization dedicated to the advancement of technology in the state through communication, education and recognition of the spirit of innovation and technological progress.

For 15 years, The InnoVision Awards have become the mark of distinction for outstanding leadership, innovation and technological excellence.  As the only awards program of its kind, InnoVision Awards distinguish businesses, individuals and educators who set new standards for innovation in finding, developing and retaining profitable business.