Here at FrontPoint we talk a lot about wireless home security systems because we know they’re safer and simpler than the standard wired home security. For more detail on those aspects of wireless alarms, we have some great videos on our website: many cover wireless (cellular) safety; others explain the ease of installing wireless alarm equipment.
But what’s new in wireless alarm system technology? The popularity of wireless home security has exploded since FrontPoint introduced our first 100% wireless alarm system back in 2007. Even industry old-fogeys like ADT eventually decided to join the wireless club. Now wireless innovation enhances homeowners’ lives and peace of mind, every day.
Wireless alarm systems with “geo services”
GPS technology makes it easier to get around these days. You can find detailed maps and directions online, or right on your mobile phone. A satellite tracks the location of your cell signal and tells you where to turn, to reach your destination. Recently this kind of “geo tracking” has gone to work in home alarm systems. Now that’s a smart alarm system!
The most innovative of today’s wireless alarm systems are now incorporating these “geo services.” You can program customized commands, based on how far you are from home. First, establish a “geo fence” – sort of like the invisible fence pet-owners use, but with no zapping! You set the desired distance for your virtual fence perimeter, perhaps a mile from your house. Your pre-programmed alarm system commands kick in as you travel outside (or inside) your geo fence – with notification for you to arm or disarm your alarm system.
The most common application for geo services is getting alerts to arm of your alarm system, as soon as you pass outside your geo-fence – and alerts to disarm when you return. You can also receive reminders for situations such as forgetting to shut the garage door. In the future, your alarm system will also be able to automatically turn on lights – or adjust the thermostat – as you near the house.
If you don’t want your alarm system to track your location, don’t worry – it’s totally optional!
Wireless Alarm Systems that Automate Your Utilities
Home automation is another hot new trend in wireless home security. If your alarm system has the level of sophistication of a FrontPoint system, it can automate your lights, heat, AC and even appliances, such as the coffee-maker. The home security system integrates with a wireless technology called “Z-Wave,” which enables all the home components to talk to each other.
Your alarm system now functions as your home “control center.” Use it to turn lights on or off, turn heat up or down, or unlock the automated front door lock. The system also enables you to set a schedule for these components, using your Control Panel.
Home automation has countless applications for convenience and added security. Picture a chilly winter day, already dark by the time you get home. Communicating through your alarm system, you can kick the heat up a few degrees, 30 minutes before you get there. And turn the kitchen light on, right before you enter the house. When you’re out of town, you may want the lights to pop on and off at different times, so the house appears occupied. You can also turn the heat down, to save on utilities, but schedule a comfy warm-up before your return.
The key to all these wondrous new capabilities of a wireless home alarm system is the interactive technology. As you’ve seen in the applications described above, today’s alarm systems interact with you, following your commands and providing the information you need.
You may have noticed that many home alarm system ads show a person holding a cell phone. Mobile interaction with your wireless alarm system gives you the freedom to communicate with your home, no matter where you are. At any time of day. The best wireless home security companies now offer these “mobile apps” for free.
True peace of mind is possible only if you know what’s going on. A smart alarm system keeps you in the loop. Of course it can tell you if a security sensor is triggered, but the communication doesn’t stop there. You’ll know if your power goes out. If your college kid came home unexpectedly. If your babysitter’s late. Or if your elderly father is stumbling around the house in the middle of the night.
Interactivity means communication goes both ways. Mobility means you don’t have to be there in person to make things happen. Just log onto your alarm system portal and enter a command, such as: “Arm my system” or “Cancel Henry’s access code.”