Property news: Drones and hidden cameras: the future of home security

Drones could be used to help with home security.
Drones could be used to help with home security.
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Burglar alarms in the future will be able to identify intruders in your home and address them by their own name, predicts a new report.

Advances in home security technology mean that by 2025 burglars could also find themselves being sprayed by indelible chemical markers as they break into properties, according to the study by future trends experts Futurizon.

And even if they manage to take off with your valuables, low-flying overhead drones launched from your roof will follow the criminals as they get away until the police are able to take over.

The report, commissioned by leading home security firm ADT, also predicts that tiny, hidden cameras soon to be commonplace around homes and residential streets could even stop burglaries before they happen, by using face recognition software to spot known criminals and sound the alarm.

And it foresees the birth of an ‘automated Neighbourhood Watch’, where the new generation of intelligent alarm systems installed in homes will communicate with each other, collecting details of the behaviour of a suspicious stranger on the street or alerting others to danger.

Meanwhile, a new survey of homeowners has found that only four out of ten people (42.1%) feel safe being home alone, while one in ten (10.3%) believe that their home is at greater risk today than it was only five years ago.

Fifteen per cent of respondents said that cuts to their local police force had made them worry more about being a victim of a break-in themselves.

Gail Hunter, a spokesperson for ADT, said: “People today feel more uneasy in their own homes than ever before. Technology is already evolving to help give homeowners peace of mind and more control of their home security, and over the next few decades this will continue to advance.”

ADT is about to launch its own state-of–the- art smart home technology product, ADT Smart Home, which will bring homeowners peace of mind knowing that they can monitor their properties, family members, pets and their personal possessions remotely from wherever they are in the world from a smartphone, tablet or PC, and can even operate lights and electrical devices. The system, which allows homeowners to view live footage from inside their homes, switch lights, alarms and motion sensors on and off and sends alerts to owners when security devices have been set off, also provides round-the-clock ADT monitoring and maintenance through UK-based centres which investigate alarms and action the police.

According to ADT’s Future of Home Security report, in less than ten years’ time physical doors and window locks will be replaced with electronic entry systems, including biometric access, meaning that the key could also become a thing of the past. Video doorbells linking to smart phones, allowing owners to talk to visitors and let them in, even if they are not at home will be part of the mainstream.

Face recognition will also feature prominently in tomorrow’s security systems, with cameras able to recognise friends and family and inform owners of their arrival through smartphone alerts.

urglar alarms and motion detectors will also be very different to today, with systems installed inside homes able to emit a low frequency sound or high intensity strobe lightening to disorientate intruders and force them to leave empty-handed.

The report adds: “Directional sound could deliver personalised warnings to burglars that they are being recorded and authorities aware. If they are known criminals, warnings could even address them by name.”

Meanwhile, smart “polymers” on fences would trigger alarms by detecting pressure from anyone trying to climb over, while smart water pistols in gardens could mark any intruders with hard-to-remove chemical markers, easily enabling police to later identify the culprits.

The study also predicts that by 2025 most homes will have security drones fitted to rooftops, which home security companies will be able to action and control once an alarm in triggered.

The low-flying drones will be able to follow the criminals as they make their get-away, capture video evidence and even spray chemical identifiers onto burglars or any vehicles they use to escape.

The importance of using technological advancements to protect homes is reinforced by the results of ADT’s survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, also released today.

A third of respondents (35.6%) said having a burglar alarm would make them feel safer in their homes, while 18.7 per cent said they would get peace of mind by having a system which monitors their home around-the-clock even when the house is empty.

Another 27 per cent said having outdoor lights with sensors would deter burglars, while one in five people (19.6) said they would feel safer if they were part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Gail Hunter, a spokesperson for ADT, said: “New technology is providing homeowners with ways to control and monitor their home security from wherever they are in the world to help reduce the risk of burglary.”

“As technology continues to develop and become available, everyone will be able to make their homes almost impenetrable, without feeling like they’re living in a fortress.”

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