AN EVER EXPANDING INDUSTRY
When home security systems first hit the scene they made a big impact. Recently, they have become cheaper and more accessible than ever before. Hundreds of companies sell their own kinds of security systems that are available from most major hardware stores. Parks Associates have conducted a study on the rapidly expanding residential security industry, citing that AI has the potential to boost innovation to attract a wide base of customers.
At the moment, the report released by Parks Associates states that only about 30% of US households will have a security system by 2024. The costs have come down significantly but changes need to be made to tap into the other 70% of the market.
THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
Parks Associates found that 23% of the security systems out there are fee based with an average cost of $9 per month. 22% of those also include home control through a phone app. By 2024 the projected monthly cost should drop to about $8.50 according to the report. By that time 34% of security systems will have home control capabilities and various add-on-services.
The overall idea here is that an overwhelming majority of these home security systems on the market lack the innovative services that seem to attract many customers. These so called ‘smart home’ features are primarily responsible for the surge in home security ownership in recent years. Parks Associates’ senior analyst Dina Abdelrazik says: “While smart home features may tip the scales toward acquisition, overall market drivers and inhibitors for home security are roughly the same as they have been for many years.”
Parks Associates claim to believe very strongly in the potential of artificial intelligence and claim that the technology can play a crucial role in boosting innovation in the home security and monitoring market. Abdelrazik also says: “A complete value proposition based on AI benefits would require a full alignment of AI-enabled hardware, system software, and intelligent call center services. Vertically integrated or partially vertically aligned players are in the strongest position to deliver these benefits because they can optimize the whole system, assure quality control and user experience, and monetize each component.”
Recent market research suggests that AI is set to expand the industry by as early as the end of 2019.
THE ROLE OF AI IN HOME SECURITY
Traditional home monitoring systems are handled by actual people in the company headquarters. There is always someone standing by. The idea of a security system monitored by an autonomous AI could save the average homeowner on costs. The newest generation of self-monitored security systems combine motion detectors, sensors, and security cameras with artificial intelligence to assess potential break-ins or other emergencies. AI equipped with voice and facial recognition capabilities can even call emergency services autonomously. Systems like Flare from BuddyGuard come with these features. The accuracy of these systems is only going to become more effective with algorithmic improvements.
Security cameras are also an integral part of a home security system. Modern day facial recognition software allows AI powered devices to “meet” people who visit your home and build a database of known individuals. This makes it much easier to distinguish between an actual intruder and someone who lives in the house but forgot their key or cannot get in for some other reason. The reduction in false alarms will drive more people to invest in these security systems.
The main potential concern comes into play when you combine an AI powered security system with smart home integrated systems. For example, light systems can connect with your security system, turning your lights off in the event of a break-in. There are also smart door locks that allow locking and unlocking straight from your cell phone. Smart home technology is connecting even the most seemingly arbitrary items to the internet so you can control them over an app. This includes things like sprinkler systems and thermostats.
This was taken in 2015. These devices have surged in popularity since then.
This kind of integration leaves people vulnerable to hacking. Once a cyber criminal hacks in to your smart home system they will be able to do all kinds of damage in a relatively short period of time. This means that on top of the AI programs that will aid in monitoring there need to be other AIs that deal with cyber security. This could drive the costs of these monitoring systems back up which would cancel out the growth that Parks Associates projects. It will take some time for this kind of crime to increase in activity of course but the potential is still there.
There is also a serious privacy risk if one uses digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home to control their smart home system. The digital assistant will be able to record data such as when you typically leave your house and when you come home, what temperature you like to keep the house, your daily movements as indicated by your smart lights turning on and off as you move from room to room. This will allow companies like Google or Amazon to build an extremely accurate profile of who you are and what you do. The potential increase in the efficacy of your home security system could be worth it though right? That is for the consumer to decide.