The latest AI-powered home security technology is smarter than ever before, but can you really trust a robot with your family’s security? Privacy is the main concern for most people, so doing your homework on a home security system before you trust it to protect your kids is essential. Luckily, the best AI home security systems have features and safeguards to keep your family safe and secure while integrating seamlessly with your wired-in lifestyle.
What is AI-powered home security?
Even the best home security systems aren’t quite sentient yet, which may be good news for humanity if you watch a lot of sci-fi movies. Still, the use of basic artificial intelligence systems is opening up new frontiers in home security. The latest systems incorporate machine learning to adjust for your habits and schedules or track unfamiliar noises and events. Next-generation systems like the Flare from BuddyGuard even use facial recognition algorithms to track visitors to your home.
Artificial intelligence takes some of the uncertainty out of a home security system. A smart home security system can turn on automatically based on your schedule, so you can’t forget to arm it. Smart features and event logs can help distinguish between actual threats and the family dog. And above all, the newest systems leverage artificial intelligence to protect you if something serious occurs like a break-in.
The real utility of these smart systems isn’t restricted to the unlikely event of a break-in; smart home security systems can help with everyday peace of mind, letting you keep up with the arrival of a housekeeper, your kids, or your in-laws. They make great dog monitors, too, and most AI-powered systems can distinguish your pets from your human family members. Family-friendly artificial intelligence might be an AI plot to take over humanity, but the trend is growing quickly in tech-savvy households.
What to look for in an AI-powered security system
Several of the best features are ubiquitous across most manufacturers, but some systems stand out. Here’s what to look for in the search for the ideal home security system for you and your kids.
A good camera is the backbone of a home security system. AI-powered systems sometimes use an HD camera to identify threats, but at a base level, a security camera can at least provide footage of a would-be burglar so that you can seek restitution. Studies also show that the mere presence of a security camera can dissuade 40 percent of potential burglars from even attempting a break-in.
When your home isn’t being broken into, these cameras are still invaluable for checking up on your kids or pets while you’re away, providing additional peace of mind. Systems like the Flare also politely close the camera when you walk in the front door, in case you worry about too much of your private life being recorded.
Audio sensors and recording
Smart systems like the newly released Lighthouse almost always include a microphone that can record during an emergency. If your intelligent system detects any anomalous activity, a microphone can let you determine whether it’s a criminal sneaking into your home or just a rebellious teenager. The best systems can even detect breaking glass.
Facial recognition algorithms
Using AI-powered algorithms, the latest generation of smart security systems integrate facial recognition, 3D sensors, and geofencing to track and identify different friends and family as they enter your home. Developed by the same DARPA-funded tech wizards that developed the self-driving car, these systems can rapidly distinguish between individuals and even your pets.
These sensors can be especially useful for families with kids, since you can set the systems to notify your smartphone if your kids come home late from school or if you want to make sure any visitors are not strangers. The potential uses of facial recognition software are staggering, if a little creepy at first.
Encryption and privacy settings
Backup features like cloud storage protect video footage if the security system is destroyed, which may be essential in a critical event like a fire. Some systems even come with LTE connections and backup batteries in case of a power outage.
Encryptions and backup features help keep your family’s personal information safe and out of the hands of anyone else. Cloud storage also allows you to access footage from anywhere if you need another way to check in on your kids. Some systems automatically purge old files after 30 days to minimize the effects of hacking.
Smart home integration
If you’ve already dipped your toes into the smart home, some security systems will integrate smoothly with your existing tech. The latest AI-powered systems still tend to be standalone and won’t integrate with your lights or thermostats (though some do), but many security products like smart locks, doorbell cameras, and smart bulbs integrate just fine with digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.
Smart locks can keep your home secure without locking your kids out after school, and smart bulbs can mimic your lighting habits when you’re on vacation to discourage burglars. Doorbell cameras are especially useful for kids because they allow them to see and speak with whoever is at the door without opening it.
Will AI make human-powered security obsolete?
When it comes to the well-being of you and your family, the ultimate protection used to come from a monitoring service, where live security experts stand by 24/7 in case of an emergency. In the face of rapidly advancing AI technology, these costly plans could be on their way out.
AI-powered systems like Flare can autonomously notify emergency services if they detect suspicious sounds, a first for DIY home security systems. This feature adds a layer of home security that may rival the response time of even the best monitoring services.
With smart home integration on the way, the next generation of AI tech promises immersive, whole-home defense. If you can stomach the big brother implications of AI-powered systems, they might just be the best protection you and your family can get.
Sage Singleton is a freelance writer for multiple publications including Daily Worth, Today.com Parenting, and Babble.