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11.22.19 – SSI – 

Features like video verification and video analytics are creating new opportunities to expand use cases and adoption of home security systems.

Editor’s Note: SSI has partnered with Parks Associates for the creation of DIY FYI, a column designed to help dealers keep track of important smart home market developments, what the competition is and whether they want to jump into something they see as a new opportunity.

New features like video verification and surveillance into security systems are creating new opportunities to expand use cases and adoption of home security systems. Additional features driving consumer interest include video analytics in security cameras, sensors enabling increased levels of monitoring in the home, and the integration of voice and biometrics. 60% of security system intenders (those who identified as likely to purchase a security system in the future) indicated a desire to have video verification as part of their system.

Video analytics applications employ artificial intelligence to detect and identify persons, objects, animals, packages, license plates and other subjects of interest visible in video camera feeds. Video analytics can also be fused with other contextual sensor data to validate the meaning and intent of the video subject, a critical issue in security use cases.

Advances in enterprise video analytics are trickling down to consumer applications as chip, sensor and Cloud computing costs become more affordable, but these are still early days with relatively simple applications.

Video processing can occur at the edge device, on an edge or on-premises server, in the Cloud, or a hybrid combination. Consumers are willing to pay for video verification as well. Parks Associates data finds that 50% of current subscribers will purchase add-on video verification for $10 per month.Related:How Technology Partners Are Working With Monitoring Stations to Reduce False Alarms

Moving beyond traditional passive infrared sensors (PIR), companies are emerging to offer sensors that utilize WiFi motion technology. These type of sensors allow for homeowners to map movement in the house using just WiFi and mesh motion sensing without the need of additional devices such as networked cameras.

Aura, a sensor system created by Cognitive Systems, enables home monitoring through the use of wireless signals that create a coverage zone within the home. If a person, animal, or object enters the zone, the wireless signals are disrupted, and a notification is sent to the homeowner to alert him or her of the disruption. This allows for homeowners to maintain privacy in the home while gaining insights into the activities that are happening inside the residence.

Cognitive Systems has also partnered with Plume, Qualcomm Technologies and Stanley Black & Decker to offer its security product called Omni. This product is enabled by Cognitive’s Aura motion technology as well as Qualcomm’s mesh networking platform.

In a move to reduce false alarms for security systems, voice integrations and the use of biometrics are seeing increased use to accurately verify events such as homeowners leaving and returning to the home.Related:Consumers Reveal How They Feel About Home Security

Beyond human voice data, AI applications may incorporate a variety of contextual audio data from the home environment. This audio data may include sounds directly relevant to security situations, such as glass breaking, dogs barking, doors and windows opening, crashing or banging, device alarms, gunshots, and screaming.

Non-security related audio analytics may be applied to safety of property or loved ones, such as oven/stove timers and alarms, smoke/CO alarms, and flushing of toilet. Smart home device owners find audio-related security alerts highly appealing — 77% report a high appeal for glass breaks, 73% for when a loud crash occurs and 73% for when an unusual noise is detected.

Enhancements in biometric technology in areas beyond voice have increased its viability as an authentication method. Sensors for fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scanning and other biometric readings are mainstream in connected devices, and significantly change the way in which users consider authentication and personalization.

Many companies continue to innovate and develop in the residential security services space, including standouts ADT, Deep Sentinel and Resideo. ADT is the leading professional monitoring provider in the industry by a significant margin, with roughly 7.2 million subscribers. Its recent market activity — ending ADT Pulse and adding Command and Control as well as its acquisition of DIY company, LifeShield — points to a shift in revitalizing its competitive edge.

Video surveillance is a key incremental RMR opportunity for security dealers. Deep Sentinel offers a monitored video surveillance solution with a monthly fee of $49. Its in-house, AI-powered camera is paired with a guard service to provide immediate intervention when a person approaches a user’s property.

Having spun off from Honeywell, Resideo enjoys the strength of now being free to prioritize and authorize its own investments, chart its own destiny and realize profits to be reinvested in its core business units. Its introduction of facial recognition in its security panels, acquisition of Whisker Labs to expand its portfolio of smart home comfort solutions and Buoy Labs for water usage and leak presentation illustrate the security companies’ shift to expansion of use cases beyond traditional security.Related:Resideo Connect Conference Emphasizes Whole Home Opportunities

Video verification is becoming an important feature in systems in the U.S. and globally. Video verification pushes a video clip to a central station that is directly associated with a contact ID (alarm signal). The video clip is short in duration, generally 10-20 seconds in length. While many residential security systems include video cameras, most do not push the video images to a central station with a link to the account and the specific alarm.

The Italian market has shown heavy interest in video surveillance products. This interest also creates an opportunity for companies like Nest and Ring to take the traditional security market, which is very small, to a new level. Photo and video verification have a very high priority in Sweden given that guard response is included in the fixed monthly fee and false alarms need to be reduced to the maximum. Overall prices are not very transparent and relatively high for monitored security.

To enable wider appeal of residential security solutions and greater market opportunity, security providers must continue to innovate to create a robust user experience. Nearly 70% of all U.S. broadband households still do not own a security system. These advancements in biometrics, sensors and video analytics help to improve the accuracy and reliability of security systems, in turn generating favorable appeal among consumers.

Dina Abdelrazik joined Parks Associates in 2016 as a part of the connected home team. She has participated in numerous smart home projects and has authored reports on voice assistant technologies, smart home strategies and home security. Dina frequently speaks at industry events and briefs with many industry leaders about company and product developments. She currently studies market trends and consumer behavior, focused on emerging technology products and services.

Dina earned her MS in Marketing, with a concentration in Marketing Analytics, from the University of Texas at Dallas and a BA in Advertising from Southern Methodist University.