As technology continues to evolve our everyday life more closely resembles the vision of what sci-fi of the 60s thought the future would look like. Self-driving cars? Check. Handheld computers? Call them smartphones, but check. Alarms and cameras that are voice activated? Of course we have those! Thanks to home automation and smart technology, our life cannot be more convenient.
But do we actually need to fit all these security products with microphones? Does sound activation actually improve the performance of a camera, or can other features — like motion detection — do the job just as well?
Learning Algorithms Promise Enhanced Protection
The concept of adding ‘ears’ to cameras and sensors is an award-winning concept on paper, but the technology struggles with a few bugbears, with false alarms being the hairiest one of them all. Similar to a device with overly sensitive motion detection, a sound-activated camera will most likely produce countless notifications because it is triggered by noise coming from the streets or a branch banging on a window. However, cranking down the sensitivity would defeat the whole purpose of such a security unit.
Crosslinking app functions, machine learning and advanced AI could be the answer for this particular problem. With the help of IFTT, home security companies have already started to extend the capabilities of their hardware, allowing homeowners to give specific instructions to their devices. For example, it’s possible to command your sound-activated camera to only take snapshots if another alarm was triggered at the same time. As for machine learning, this helps alarms better understand sound patterns, effectively reducing the number of false alarms.
Hidden Cameras Could Be the Way
Sound-activated filming is often associated with hidden cameras. In these cases the built-in microphone not only works as a trigger but also a recorder that eavesdrops on any trespassers’ conversations. Since such cameras can easily be hidden in plain sight, you don’t need to worry about poor audio quality either. Over time we expect that more and more internet-enabled spy cameras will pop up, streaming both audio and video to your phone after hearing a suspicious noise.
On the downside, hidden cameras also come with inherent privacy-related issues. You might find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you record a conversation without your guests’ consent. And to make matters worse, hackers can exploit flaws in the security system to intercept the camera’s signal and turn your own device against your family.
Integrating Smart Speakers With Sound-Enabled Security
Despite some of the issues we’ve addressed, sound-enabled cameras and security products are going to be the pillars of a modern house. Home automation is heading towards a future where all devices are connected to a voice-control hub that grants hands-free remote access for the residents. Whether it is Alexa, Siri, Cortana or any other voice recognition system, they all benefit from a unit that has ears. Just think about it, by installing cameras and alarms that are equipped with built-in microphones you can avoid the purchase of any additional voice extensions, so that the likes of Alexa can hear you at the other end of the house perfectly. If all these problems are ironed out, smart homes will be definitely an area where this kind of technology shines.
Best Home Security Systems of 2018
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