IoT’s killer app is home security

I live in San Francisco, and I have a raccoon problem.

If you’re a Bay Area local, chances are you’ve had a run-in with these not-so-small four-legged monsters. When I moved into my house, raccoons would run wild in my front yard almost every night, tipping over trash cans and scaring my dog. Being an IoT enthusiast, I decided to create a device to secure my yard. The result was a motion-detecting squirt gun, capable of sensing and scaring off the invaders.

My raccoon problem was solved, my garden secured, almost immediately after setting up the device. The experience got me thinking about the relationship between IoT and security. Is there something more there?

IoT is most well-known as a quirky way of automating your home, like some fancy clapper or talking fridge. By and large, IoT has yet to have its “killer app” moment and become a mainstream success — mostly because people don’t recognize the tangible value in having a home full of connected devices. Then it struck me — perhaps IoT’s killer app is home security.

Full disclosure: I’m a bit of a mad scientist for security. I specifically chose my house because it has two flights of stairs to the front door. It’s a nuisance for me, but, more importantly, it’s a nuisance for any would-be robber. Just try carrying a tv down two flights of stairs — it’s awful. On top of that, I have embraced IoT platforms as my go-to for securing my home, inside and out.

Inside, I’ve outfitted my entire home with the iSmart home security system, complete with window and door trips, wireless motion sensors and cameras. Outside, I created a license plate reader capable of recognizing unfamiliar cars and sending me a text whenever a strange vehicle drives by. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m a bit of a security fanatic.

Home security will pave the way for the mainstream adoption of IoT devices.

Installing these systems, I came to the revelation that home security is a fantastic vehicle for the mainstream adoption of IoT. The addressable market is massive: Everybody wants to secure the things that matter most. And the benefits of an IoT home security system rival those of more traditional options; a state-of-the-art home security system built upon IoT devices costs as low as $199.99. It’s not chump change, but it’s a price point many families can afford.

Unlike their counterparts, new IoT security platforms don’t require any wiring thanks to their reliance on Wi-Fi. The setup is as easy as placing the device in the room you want to secure and connecting it to the home’s routers. Then you can conveniently use an iPhone app to manage the settings and arm/disarm the system.

If you’re looking for one, make sure to get one without a monthly subscription. The best IoT systems have made decentralized home security possible. There’s no longer a need for hundreds of security agents waiting by their phones, ready for an alarm. Now we homeowners can get alerted by our devices directly and take the necessary course of action. It’s innovations like these that make home security more accessible for the everyday person, as well as more innovative than prior solutions.

As more people see the benefit in adopting IoT-driven home security systems, they will surely be interested in other IoT platforms, like home automation and media centers. Because the devices are interconnected, they benefit from the networking effect. The more devices you have in your home, the more useful they are to you. For example: When used in isolation, Amazon’s Echo is nothing more than a fancy music box you can talk to, but when synced with IoT devices around the home, it becomes a central point of communication between the user and their networked devices.

Home security will pave the way for the mainstream adoption of IoT devices. The logic is simple: Every person values their security, and IoT is giving them the means in an innovative, low-cost way. Additionally, the future for development of these technologies is wide open. I wouldn’t be surprised if new systems offer emergency drone support or even connecting Fido, our original home protector, to security systems through devices like the on-demand pet location tracker.

Secure your home, automate your lifestyle and live a richer, more interconnected life. That’s the IoT promise, and something I truly believe in. Now, if only IoT could build a moat around my home…