Saturday, July 18, 2015
Home Security Gadgets You Should Know
About the author:
Neal Bricker is a blogger and tech enthusiast writing on a number of blogs and online publications.
Who doesn't like a good gadget? Consumer electronics have been making some major strides recently, and some of the coolest innovations have come in the form of new home security measures. While “gadget” implies more form than it does function, our personal favorites offer a blend of practicality and out-and-out geek appeal.
Even if you don't pick one of these gorgeous gadgets up, give them a look – many are relatively new, and may well get better and better (and cheaper) as time goes on. In the meantime, feast your eyes on:
The secure smart home has been a pipe dream for some time now, but it looks like it might be finally coming true. Nest is one of the industry's real innovators, and when they acquired Dropcam, we knew it was only a matter of time before we began to see security cameras integrated into Nest's existing framework.
Dropcam is plenty impressive on its own. The easy setup cameras come well-programmed, and are sharp enough to identify human faces and parse a crowded visual scene for signs of a break-in, but the possibilities that their integration with a smart home offers are even more exciting.
The ideal smart home is fully integrated, allowing input from one appliance or system to work on others. In terms of home security, a Dropcam detecting a break-in could alert police, much like a Local ADT system could, but also activate additional in-house security measures.
If we get very, very liberal with the term, then the best home security gadget of all is a large, alert dog. The presence of a territorial pooch can give just about any burglar second thoughts, and it's going to be a long time before we find a technological replacement for a loyal pack member.
But not everyone can take this option. Dogs take time, money, and a lot of love to keep happy, and it's not always easy to provide all of those. For those who are short on any of the above, you may want to consider a barking alarm.
Barking alarms are exactly what you think they are: home security systems that respond to signs of a break in by playing recorded barks at high volume. Like regular home alarms, they'll alert you, and anyone listening that something's afoot. Unlike regular home alarms, they'll give thieves some instant incentive to find another house.
Much in the spirit of the bark alarm, TV simulators give passer-by the attention that there's someone home and ready to respond to break-in. Since unoccupied houses are vastly more appealing to burglars, the late-night light of an active TV is often enough to dissuade potential criminals.
Of course, you probably don't want to just leave your TV on for the duration of a business trip or vacation – it's much too expensive, and can easily damage your big screen.
Instead, consider picking up a TV-imitating set of LEDs. These lights are electricity-sipping, and can work for years before burning out. Once set up, they'll emit flickering light meant to imitate an active television – and fool any burglars into believing that you're still there watching it.
As awesome as these gadgets are, I'd like to wind up with a quick word of warning: it's best not to put too much trust in them. Understand that they're good additions to your overall security system, but they're no replacement for basic best practices.
While I'd heavily recommend scooping up a barking alarm, it's not really a replacement for a real dog. And as good as the Dropcams are, it's much better to have a complete understanding of your neighborhood, and a couple of friendly, watchful neighbors with your best interests at heart.
Stay safe out there!
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