Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home Security Gets A Web Makeover

Today, "about 27% of all households in the United States have some kind of security system, and 21% of all households have a security system that's professionally monitored," said Bill Ablondi, director of home systems research at Dallas-based research firm Parks Associates.

"The average dealer-installed security system in 2008 was about $770-$800," said Ablondi. Whereas for DIY, "it's about $180 for the average security controller," and while that doesn't include the sensors, adding a grab-bag of wireless sensors and a motion detector should still keep the bill under $400. Of course, "if you have a large home with 37 rooms and you're putting window monitors on all of that," he said, expect to pay more.

Monitoring for the absence of expected activities can also be quite useful. For example, Ablondi said such a system could monitor the home of an elderly relative, with a notification set to alert you if the motion detector doesn't detect any movement in the home by noon. "It could be comforting for people who are concerned about elderly parents, and perhaps let them live in the home a little longer and not need so much care," he notes.

What else might next-generation security systems offer? One trend to watch, said Ablondi, is more remote-control security for the home, such as the new Z-Wave lock made by Schlage.

Beyond remote locks, Ablondi said his research finds that 12-15% of households are interested in remotely controlling the temperature or lighting in their home, and remote-controlled thermostats are likewise on the way.

From the article, "Home Security Gets A Web Makeover " by Mathew Schwartz

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