Below are some companies to watch as the industry tackles multiple challenges, not least interoperability and cyber security.
Nest Labs: Google-owned – since 2014 – Nest Labs was the first company in the home automation arena to capture the imagination with its thermostat and smoke alarms. The Silicon Valley company recently announced the launch of a security camera offering full high-definition (1080p) video, enhanced night vision and flexible design that allows twisting and bending or mounting in an inverted position.
SmartThings: Samsung’s SmartThings hub is a router-like device which, apart from offering a capability to undertake wireless protocols, also boasts a powerful processor that lets it efficiently execute video streaming and monitoring tasks. Users also have the option of monitoring live video feeds by connecting a home monitoring camera using the SmartThings mobile app.
Another security feature accessible through the app is the Smart Home Monitor through which users can take immediate action in the event of an unwanted entry, smoke or fire to name a few.
Belkin: Belkin offers unique home security solutions one of which allows for low-voltage electronics devices (based on DC switch with power output of 24v at 1 amp or 24 watts max) to be controlled by adding wi-fi connectivity and monitoring their performance through the WeMo app.
As a result, numerous possibilities for smart home security open up based on unique user needs. Video surveillance solutions are also part of Belkin’s product portfolio, comprising advanced features such as high-definition recording, night vision and the ability to extend wi-fi range of cameras among others.
IControl Networks: This California-based company is behind the IControl One, a universal solution offering HD panoramic video including night vision and an award winning user interface that allows for home monitoring through a single screen 3D view, Z-Wave standard compliance and enterprise-class performance.
iControl Networks also offers premise management services, which include device management, on-boarding, remote access, task scheduling, and video management.
Wink: Wink’s home security suite brings together door-window sensors, a motion detector and siren with flashing light to raise an alarm in the event of home intrusion.
The battery-operated suite is easy to install and requires no monthly fees to be paid. Wink users can also connect third-party smart home sensors and customise ways in which devices communicate with each other and execute a task based on joint data feeds from multiple sensors.
Lutron: Although Lutron primarily offers light control solutions, it also has added a number of safety and security applications to its range of solutions.
In the event of a security breach, Lutron’s light control will automatically switch to a unique lighting response.
Honeywell: For many years a giant in fire safety and security technologies Honeywell has also been a big mover in the nascent smart home market. The company has developed everything from surveillance cameras to thermostats for the automated home.
Honeywell sensors can distinguish the movement of pets from that of human intruders, detect glass breakage through the sound of breaking glass. Environmental sensors can detect leakage, flooding or extreme temperatures, while wireless theft protection sensors can be attached to valuables to guard against theft.
Additional services such as 24-hour monitoring by trained home security professionals located at a central station are also available.
Trane: Security applications offered by Trane as part of its home automation solution Nexia includes allowing home entry from a remote location, assigning up to 19 private four-digit codes for family members who receive texts and email alerts each time these codes are used.
Some other security functionalities offered in Trane solutions lets users add, delete or change user codes remotely, confirming the status of your wireless lock from anywhere.
SimpliSafe: SimpliSafe’s award-winning eponymous home security system was built by a Harvard-educated engineer. It boasts an independent cellular connection that cannot be cut by intruders and alert-only sensors that secretly alerts home owners when anybody attempts to open closets, safes, private drawers, liquor cabinets etc, among other features.
Users are not required to subscribe to any annual contracts. CNET, the respected tech reviews publication, described SimpliSafe as “better, smarter home security” and the US-based company claims to offer “superior protection for less than ½ what traditional companies charge.”
Nexia Home: Nexia Home is a home bridge based on Z-Wave technology – a wireless medium through which regular household products, like lights, door locks and thermostats can ‘talk’ to one another – which monitors multiple smart products, including WiFi security cameras, thermostats, remote control lighting and others. Motion sensors, door and window sensors, and smoke and carbon monoxide sensors help keep the home safe and secure.
Siren and strobe flash lights can raise a loud 105 dB alert tone and bright visual alarm.
August SmartLock: The uniqueness of the security locking application from August SmartLock is that it doesn’t use either keys or codes in its locking technology..Instead it grants the power to control who enters your home via your smartphone.
Home access can further be controlled by setting a time limit for access, useful for granting access to house-keeping staff or home maintenance personnel.
Kwikset’s Kevo Lock: Lock manufacturing company Kwikset is making a transition to the home automation sector by introducing smart locking solutions to the market. Smartphones have replaced traditional keys as part of these new locking solutions. An advanced ANSI Grade 1 980 lock is also part of Kwikset’s product portfolio, which also has safeguards built-in against ‘lock bumping’ – a lock-picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially crafted bump key.
Vera: The security applications available in Vera portfolio has wireless security cameras, digital locks, motion sensor and garage door controller which could be accessed from remote locations. Vera also offers compatibility to several home automation devices but does not include support for home entertainment automation systems.
Creston: The home automation system developed by Creston is not in the league of easy-to-install and cost-effective services but instead is professionally installed with a large network of smart sensors to control all possible functionalities. Creston is also developing solutions for business premises or schools based on their unique automation needs.
Zipato: Zipato is a low-cost home safety and security system that offers carbon monoxide detection, door/window sensors, motion detectors, glass breakage detection and water leakage detection. Video surveillance functionality and night vision cameras are also part of Zipato’s offering under security segment.