Safe as smart houses: How smart homes could lead the way in home security in the future

Stuart Pritchard explores the transformative potential of IoT and AI in home security, arguing that CIs should push for seamless integration between security and smart home systems for enhanced safety.

Back in 2020 burglary rates across the world plummeted to unprecedented new lows, setting crime-reduction records any national police force would be pleased as punch with. Unfortunately, however, the drastic reduction of reports was nothing to do with policing at all, but rather all down to that damn pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forcing everyone to stay firmly at home, keeping ill-intentioned intruders well and truly out. Naturally, though, once restrictions were lifted, burglars across the globe celebrated by making up for lost time/crime, with 2021 seeing reports of burglary rocket again, before going absolutely sneakthief stratospheric come 2022.

As of 2023, while stats are still in the making, what we can say without much doubt is that Burglar Bill/Brenda is still remorselessly hard at it, trying to part people from their possessions, and their methods of illegal ingress have become ever-more sophisticated in a bid to beat the traditional alarm bell boxes of old, meaning that home security tech has had to stay at least one step ahead.

Now, from a custom installer position, you owe it to your clients to ensure they’re always in the know about the latest smart security options and how those options can enhance their homes. Of course, some clients may then over-confidently consider attempting to install such elements themselves, but while the homeowner-operation of an integrated solution may be simplicity itself, specifying the correct equipment and installing it all to run like IoT-connected clockwork is nothing of the kind. So, again, from a custom installer position, you owe it to your clients to convince them of that.

Need some info-ammo to assist that end? Read on…

Selling smart security

While those aforementioned traditional bell box alarms may still have their place, being better than having no alarm at all and also requiring no monthly monitoring fee, home security technology offers so much more today; it’s smart. How smart? Well imagine a fully integrated home security system which doesn’t require costly third-party monitoring, can be expanded at any time, and which utilises the home’s existing Wi-Fi to connect every element, letting homeowners monitor their home from literally anywhere in the world on any connected device. Now stop imagining because that’s exactly where the tech is at today. But don’t just take our word for it, we spoke to some experts from the smart security field to get the insider intelligence.

Paul Williams, chief product officer at Nice North America: “An integrated smart security system provides homeowners with enhanced home security, convenience, and remote access. The combination of surveillance cameras, sensors, motion detectors and smart locks offer comprehensive protection for homeowners. Real-time monitoring, immediate alerts, and remote access through smartphone apps or web interfaces enables swift responses to potential dangers that significantly improve overall home security and ensure constant awareness and peace of mind.”


Of course, with a smart integrated system, homeowners can also choose to either monitor their home themselves or outsource it to a third-party centre and it can tie in nicely with any other home automation features they may possess over IoT, giving the ultimate in smart control and convenience.

Williams continues: “IoT is revolutionising integrated security systems by improving connectivity, remote monitoring, analytics and integration with other smart devices. This leads to enhanced safety and protection through increased system efficiency and responsiveness. With IoT, security devices can seamlessly communicate and exchange real-time data, improving overall system coordination and efficiency.”

All very reassuring to the installer, but perhaps the chief fear among homeowners is that such systems will be too complicated for them to operate or even comprehend. Fortunately, CEO of Merit Lilin UK, Steve Liddiard, is on-hand to help put anxious minds at rest.

“IoT has provided us with so many new integration opportunities that allow a security system to grow,” says Liddiard. “An integrated security system is not only easier for the homeowner to use, it's more accessible and therefore more likely to be utilised. Gone are the days of locking your NVR in the cupboard under the stairs and not looking at it until there's an incident – you can now have easy, instant access to your camera feeds on your phone, tablet and TV.”

Jan Kapicka of 2N sums up: “Integrated smart systems give users all of the intelligence they need, on the spot. Not only does this ensure faster, better decision-making, it also limits false alarms. The most secure and flexible access control systems are based on IP technology. IP technology also offers more options, advanced features and is easier to configure and install. Old analogue technology can’t compete at all. However, integrators and installers need to be careful to choose devices which are based on open standards or with an open API, as they can easily be integrated with third party technology. That’s the only way to deliver the kind of fully comprehensive security systems that customers are increasingly demanding.”

Making an entrance

The experts at Belgium smart home supplier, Basalte, specialise in intelligent home entry systems – a front-line of domestic security that has become increasingly vital in the battle against brazen would-be burglars who simply ring the doorbell to discern whether homeowners are home. Marketing manager, Eline Bau explains: “Adding security and access control functionalities elevates the homeowner’s comfort and quality of living. When someone calls on our newest luxury door phone Adelante, the homeowner receives the call on their mobile phone or on the touch panels Lena, Ellie or Lisa inside the home. They can see the caller, engage in two-way communication, and decide whether to grant entry or, if a courier, just ask them to leave his package in a safe place.

“With Basalte Home you are and feel in complete control. The homeowner can provide custom access permissions to their family, guests, and staff, further enhancing security and peace of mind. The integrated smart security system by Basalte offers a total solution, combining functionality, design, and customisation to meet the unique needs and preferences of each homeowner.”

The importance of AI

There’s been a lot of talk of AI in the, ahem, ‘popular’ press and online of late, and most of it simply to spread undue panic about job-loss and possible planet-wide extermination of the human race. While one distant day, if AI evolves sufficiently and so chooses, yes, maybe it will opt to rid the world of its problematic bald ape population. Right now, AI is nothing less more than an intelligent tool that is to be exploited to the benefit and betterment of our lives, which is exactly why it is being implemented into smart home security systems.

“Currently, AI is most widely used to enhance video capabilities,” says Paul Williams from Nice North America. “We leverage AI in our 2GIG panels for face recognition, so homeowners have a hands-free method to disarm their security systems. In our Linear products, we also use AI to identify objects and events that would trigger motion sensors.

“AI has a lot to offer in shaping the future of smart home technology. Current smart home solutions don’t have the capabilities to adapt as the customer’s needs and behaviours change in the home. With AI, we can look at how we can customise and optimise solutions to evolve as their habits and preferences change to create a truly connected and automated whole home experience.”


So, what that means to current integrated smart security is easier access for the homeowner and fewer false alarms. With AI in cameras, their ability to differentiate a moving figure as being human and, therefore, a potential threat to the property, from a stray animal passing by eliminates erroneous alerts, making detection infinitely more efficient for both the homeowner and anyone employed to monitor the system.

Lilliard elucidates: “The use of AI in smart homes will continue to grow, continuously improving motion detection capabilities. From the first built-in motion detection that would be triggered by trees, cats or plastic bags, AI has refined these detections to the stage where we can now set reactions only if a camera sees a human cross into a defined alarm zone.”

Kapicka also foresees AI as playing a vital role in the future: “We expect AI tools to speed up the product development process – so therefore accelerate the innovation cycle. AI should also enhance Edge Analytics, improving the detection and evaluation of sounds and images. This will help users assess whether or not there is a potential threat.”

But AI’s use in home security also has the potential to go way beyond detecting generic ‘humans’ on your property, it can also help personalise protection by identifying specific individuals, as Derek Webb, product manager at Snap One, explains.


“AI has started to make a real impact in the home security market. It is helping security hardware manufacturers develop sophisticated algorithms that impact how a system will detect and respond to evolving threats or take that information to provide a more personalised security experience. AI enabled video surveillance to know if the object is a human and, in some cases, if that human is authorised to be in or around your home.”

Picking perfect products

With such a staggering volume of options available in the smart integrated home security sphere, it can be tough for custom installers to know what to specify. A lot of this will come down to the client’s requirements/wish-list and their budget, of course, but for expert advice and proven products, we already have a few recommendations…

“Nice offers a wide range of smart security products with unmatched marketing and sales assistance,” concludes Paul Williams at Nice North America. “We have dedicated teams that deliver exceptional support to our partners to help them identify the products that are best suited for their needs. As well, our specialised programs, such as the CTA award-winning Builder Program, provides value-added sales and marketing collateral and dedicated support for builders and integrators for their unique projects.”

Lilin’s security camera range is the stuff of legend, so Lilliard also gives guidance for confused custom installers. “We know that we have a huge range of products, so we're always trying to make it easier for our installers to choose which camera to use and when. We have a few specification tools on our website, but if you're looking for the first time, it can be tricky to know where to start. This is where the Lilin UK sales team get to shine. We're always happy to help installers walk through a project, whether over the phone, via Zoom call, or having one of our external reps visit the site itself for a walk-through. We can also offer personalised training sessions at the Lilin UK or one of our distribution partners' offices, or we can travel to you.”

But if you’re still confused as to where to start when it comes to approaching product for a client’s needs, Webb at Snap One has a foolproof five-point plan:


  • Start by understanding the client's needs

What are the client's concerns about security? What are their budget constraints? Once the installer understands the client's needs, they can start to recommend specific products.


  • Consider the client's lifestyle

How often are they away from home? Do they have pets? Do they have children? By understanding the client's lifestyle, the installer can recommend products that will be most effective for them.


  • Consider the future

What new technologies are on the horizon? By considering the future, the installer can help the client choose products that will be relevant for years to come.


  • Do your research

It’s important to do your research before making recommendations. Read reviews, compare prices, and talk to other installers to get their recommendations.


  • Be honest and transparent

Be honest about the pros and cons of different products, and don't try to push a particular product just because you make a commission on it.

Locking it all down

Home security has come on leaps and bounds since the days of the box-standard bell and box alarm system. Third-party monitored systems are a massive improvement but can prove costly and be prone to false alarms. A fully smart solution, however, ties all aspects, such as surveillance cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, door and window sensors, internal lights, external security lights, smoke detectors, voice assistants and even the door locks themselves, seamlessly together, integrating them with other elements of home automation over the Internet of Things and giving the owner complete control like never before.

What’s more, with many manufacturers working to bring AI firmly into the equation, these systems will only get smarter over time and evolve into an all-encompassing home security system for impassable property protection, no matter how criminally cunning the earlier mentioned Burglar Bill/Brenda get. As such, what you’re selling to your clients is not so much a smart, integrated system, but rather absolute peace of mind that their property is fully protected, alongside an enviable approach to home security that can be as hands-on or as hands-off as they require or desire.

Whether your client already uses home automation or not, making a home more intelligent through the implementation of integrated smart security simply makes sense. You want your clients to stay safe; they want themselves to stay safe; and now, with a touch of the latest tech, they can stay as safe as smart houses.

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