Industry Focus: Safety and Security
One of the biggest benefits that smart homes provide is safety. With all the digital advances, securing your home has become easier than ever. Homeowners and families want to feel safe and therefore turn to smart home security systems and cameras. This has brought an increased demand for such devices, leading to emerging companies who deal with smart security. Consequently, job openings in this industry have appeared, giving job seekers an opportunity to prosper.
The dynamic market for interactive security is transforming the traditional residential security business. Nowadays, security systems are offering much more than just a rapid response to intrusion, fire and smoke alarms. Safety systems have found their way into every part of our living, from the kitchen where smart oven and stove controls and monitors heat, to the outside area where connected garage doors can alert you if there is unusual activity. The growing number of security devices enables protection for your family and home.
What Do New Security Systems Bring?
Interactive security systems in the core perform the same tasks traditional security systems do, but they have additional capabilities. Some advances include:
- Routine activity monitoring and notification, instead of only detecting the emergency events
- Remote access to monitor and control devices and systems connected to home security and control networks
- Monitoring and control of door locks, lights, thermostats, video cameras and a variety of sensors that monitor temperature, moisture, etc.
- The ability to establish rules for controlling devices based on time-of-day, events or other conditions
In addition, cloud-based services are incorporated in some systems. Their function is to enhance and extend the capabilities of security features.
Cloud-Based Software System
Interactive security systems require a cloud-based software system to integrate the various capabilities. This system is referred to as a “platform.” Interactive security platforms are a special version of smart home platforms that coordinate interactions among different devices and applications. The benefit of the platform is that it accepts input from users as well as devices and is capable of telling other devices how to behave.
One of the first interactive security platforms in the market was Icontrol. However, in 2016, Icontrol announced that it will be acquired in parts by Alarm.com (reported by StrategyAnalytics). Icontrol was actually a combination of two different platforms: one designed for and licensed to cable TV companies, and the other designed specifically for security firms. There are other platforms designed primarily for self-monitoring and control such as Zonoff’s platform, used originally by Staples and now by Dixons Carphone in the UK.
Interactive Security Systems on the Market
There are a number of new interactive security systems emerging in the market. These new offerings are far less expensive and more flexible than services offered by incumbent security firms. The choices are increasing, with customers having an opportunity to choose a professionally monitored or self-monitored service level and how much they intend to invest in the system. Some of the security systems offered are the following:
SimpliSafe is a self-installed wireless security system with optional professional monitoring, which includes cellular back-up. Also, if they wish, users can receive text and email alerts, as well as remotely control and monitor their security systems from a smartphone or PC.
Leeo provides customers with a circular plastic gadget which works by plugging directly into a wall outlet and listening for alarms from existing smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. If either of these alarm sounds is heard, the owner is notified and can immediately call their local fire department. Leeo first sends a push notification to the phone via its free app and if the customer doesn’t reply to this notification within 45 seconds, Leeo calls them. If they don’t pick up, it calls down a list of emergency contacts that the customer has set up, until someone answers and responds, either dismissing the call or following its prompts to call emergency services.
BeOnHome provides smart security lighting. Their bulbs feature an intriguing mix of security-minded features not found with other smart bulbs. They’ll replay the customer’s typical lighting patterns when they’re away from home, turn on automatically when someone rings the doorbell and continue to work when the power goes out. A modular, upgradeable design could bring even more features down the line.
Ring is a home automation company that makes the Ring Video Doorbell (previously known as Doorbot), a smart doorbell. When the doorbell is pressed, the app begins a VOIP video call to connected smartphones, so that the owner can see and speak with whoever is at the door. It also provides home security since the user can put the camera around their house and access them at any time.
If this field of smart homes sparked your interest, you may also want to inquire about the European universities that offer corresponding education. The following study programs will provide you with an example of the needed background knowledge:
- Eindhoven University of Technology: Electrical Engineering (Netherlands)
- Technische Universität Darmstadt: Information Systems Technology (Germany)
- Vienna University of Technology: Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (Austria)
- Cardiff University: Computer Sciences & Informatics (United Kingdom)
- Aarhus University: Digital Living (Denmark)
- University of Oxford: Software and Systems Security (United Kingdom)
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Embedded Computing Systems (Norway)
- Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC): Advanced Systems and Robotics (France)
If you’d like to pursue a career in this field, we will provide you with the job examples that you may come across.
If you enjoy finding and exploiting vulnerabilities, analyzing malware, and researching exploit techniques and mitigations, this job can be a perfect fit. With access to an unrivaled number of vulnerabilities and public exploits, you’ll be able to hone your unique skillset in the areas of in-depth network packet analysis, file format, and protocol dissection, and advanced regular expression development to identify malicious traffic. Software development experience/proficiency is required.
IT Security Specialist
The IT specialist is responsible for the management, improvement, and maintenance of company’s information technology security infrastructure to protect systems from intentional or inadvertent access or destruction. Qualifications needed include a Bachelor’s degree in technology/computer science or a Diploma in technology plus additional directly related experience.
You will work on the development of security software and contribute to the technology strategy and architecture by suggesting new technologies and solutions. When it comes to key skills, a degree in a technical discipline such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, etc. is preferable.
As the world of cyber security becomes increasingly important, people are seeking to be constantly connected with their homes. These new security systems provide them with just that. People are becoming aware of the advantages they offer and thus, seek assistance with their home security. Interactive security systems provide us with not just the safety of our homes but with new job opportunities and tranquility that our home is protected.
Her responsibilities include growing and nurturing our platforms and, occasionally, taking care of bus tickets for the team. In her free time, she can be found on horseback out in the woods.
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