Using a key to open the door to your house might become old fashioned, as a new trend of smart locks rises in urban houses and the meaning of surveillance reaches a new level. Large companies and startups alike have been competing to make new devices the only intruder in our homes. From keyless door locks to rolling cameras, in this feature, we tap into the latest trends of urban home security.

Smart Locks

One of the latest smart locks introduced to the home security market is Kwikset’s Kevo, a lock that only requires a smartphone to operate.

“The app is used for initial setup, sending, disabling and deleting eKeys, viewing history of lock activity, and setting up other configurable features and options,” the company says, explaining that “the Kevo App runs in the background on your device so there is no need to open the app to enter your home.”

The smartphone allows the user to open the door with a finger print instead of a key. The smart lock also comes with a plastic fob that allows other family members to access the house without smartphones.

Brinks’ Array, another smart lock, comes with similar features to Kevo. However, Brinks can operate on solar power, making them an environmentally friendly home security option.  The locks can be used with any smart mobile device, including phones and tablets. Through a wireless connection, the lock can be locked and unlocked remotely.

Another smart lock is Lark-Wi’s Bluegard, which allows users to lock their door by clicking on their phones, and notifies users when someone else locks or unlocks it.

Cameras Everywhere

Gone are the days when you stare at giant cameras that visibly stare back at you. Today’s cameras are small and smart, and are usually hung, rolled up or even flown.

Instead of ringing a doorbell, visitors can now ring your phone.  Ring’s Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell Pro allow you to see and speak with visitors. The device has smart motion detectors and permits owners to record and monitor those who visit their home while they are away, helping them spot unwanted intruders and thieves.

“Optional Video Recording captures every activity detected by the Video Doorbell motion sensors, including doorbell button presses. HD video is recorded and securely stored in Ring’s cloud,” the company says. “Footage can be reviewed instantly using the Ring App or on your computer, and can be shared with family or friends.”

Natatmo’s Welcome, on the other hand, is a pen-like micro indoor camera that has facial recognition features. The camera is placed facing the house’s main door and notifies the user when someone enters.

“Welcome sends the names of the people it sees directly to your smartphone. Be notified when your children or elderly parents are home. The security camera also alerts you when it sees a stranger,” Natatmo says.

Welcome also has an alarm detection feature, which allows it to recognize sounds like smoke alarms and security alarms. If an alarm is heard, the device notifies the user through the mobile application.

Orbii is another ball-shaped camera that can be rolled around the house using a smartphone. The camera features sensors that can detect unusual temperatures, sounds, gas leaks and smoke.  The ball has microphone, a speaker and allows wireless charging.

Another trend that is reflecting global interest in green and clean energy is solar managed security systems. Unlike the regular Video Doorbell, Ring created another wire-free outdoors security camera that runs on solar energy named Stick-up camera. Using a smartphone application, the camera can be set up and monitored through your mobile device.

The camera comes with a mini solar panel for charging. The panel should be exposed to direct light for two to three hours daily. The panel should remain connected to the security camera through a USB cable. Just like Video doorbell, the Stick-up camera has a cloud recording option.

Sensors, Sensors and More Sensors

As you might have guessed, the trend of smart camera usage is accompanied with an increased use in sensors that can make up for ancient home safety such as loud smoke alarms.

Roost created a five-year battery smoke detector that sends its owners notifications on their smartphones. The hand-sized device doesn’t just look out for smoke, but also checks for toxic fire, carbon monoxide and natural gas.

Birdi, another tech-company, has come up with a similar product. The company developed a 10-year battery-backup smoke detector that can monitor air quality as well as smoke and carbon monoxide.

“We’ve gotten rid of false alarms, low battery alerts at 2AM, annoying buttons and so much more. We’ve invented custom sensors to ensure the highest precision in smoke detection with the fewest false alarms,” the company says, adding that that it installed “air quality sensing [to] improve your life every day, not just warn you in case there’s an emergency.”

The Birdi detector notifies users about pollen spikes, allergen outbreaks and harsh UV. It can also forecast rain and snow.

Two other recently introduced smart detectors are Halo and Halo+, devices that provide natural disaster alerts inside and outside one’s home, whether it’s slow or fast burning fires, carbon monoxide or tornadoes.

Smart detectors have advanced beyond smoke, though. Wally produced a water detector to help eliminate water related problems in households which connects to Wifi and can be monitored through a smartphone application. The device comes with sensors that can be attached to any location in the house where there might be water leakage and increased humidity. “When Wally detects moisture, it lets you and the people on your alert list know right away so you can take immediate action,” the company says.

Another water safety related product is the Smart Water and Freeze Detector, also developed by Roost and introduced in July. Connected to Wifi, the device detects water leaks and humidity as well as freezing and high temperature issues. The device’s batteries can last for up to three years and are replaceable. The device can be places under sinks, fish tanks, water heaters, toilets or anywhere near a source of water.

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