The home security market has seen significant growth in recent years thanks to the emergence of wireless technologies. We have gone from just a small number of prominent players to dozens of home security providers offering everything from high-end systems with professional installation to entry-level DIY systems. Best of all, growth potential seems pretty strong right now.
Whenever an industry demonstrates a penchant for growth, it is important to pay attention to trends. Trends tell customers what to look for in the short term. They tell vendors how to position themselves for the long-term. Needless to say there are some interesting trends emerging in the home security market.
Here are the top five trends to look for over the next 10 to 12 months:
1. Demand for Cyber Security
The rise of wireless home security has also given rise to legitimate concerns over the security of the security systems themselves. In other words, anything operating on a wireless network can be hacked. This is no secret. In recent months we have seen plenty of news stories detailing how wireless video cameras have been compromised by people who think it’s funny to spy on children and speak to them when they are alone in their rooms.
The New York Times reported one such story this past December. The incident involved a family with three young daughters in Mississippi. Wanting a bit of extra security, mom and dad decided to install a wireless video camera in the girls’ bedroom. Just days after installation it was hacked. The hacker taunted one of the little girls by using the built-in speaker to call her names while claiming he was Santa Claus.
To put it kindly, consumers are fed up. They are now demanding that equipment manufacturers improve their cyber security standards. They want devices that they can be reasonably assured are secure against hacking. And until their demands are met, some of them will not venture into the home security market.
2. More Smart Home Integration
Installing a home security system is just a starting point for some consumers. According to Forbes contributor Bernard Marr, 2020 will be the year of smarter homes. And why not? Artificial intelligence and other technologies are making smart home devices smarter than they have ever been before. If that technology can make a thermostat smarter, why can it not do the same thing for a home security system?
Expect equipment manufacturers to put a greater emphasis on artificial intelligence and deep learning in 2020. Expect them to start releasing equipment capable of learning a family’s lifestyle patterns so as to automatically adjust security systems accordingly. The goal is to eventually come up with a security system that takes care of itself for the most part.
3. Greater Provider Collaboration
In order to make home security systems and smart home equipment as smart as possible, equipment manufacturers will have to leave behind some of their proprietary leanings in favor of collaborating with others. We are already starting to see that happen.
A Vivint Smart Home Review from Bloggers Ideas demonstrates as much. The review looks at many of the aspects of investing in a new Vivint smart home system. The review also reveals that Vivint equipment is fully compatible with smart speakers from Google and Amazon. Customers can buy a Vivint hub to power their systems, but they don’t have to. They can use their Google or Amazon smart speakers instead.
Why such close collaboration in a highly competitive market? Because equipment manufacturers have decided they do not want to make the same mistakes that their tech company predecessors made 30 years ago.
If you are not sure what that means, do a bit of historical research on the development of the personal computer. You will find out that there were at least half-a-dozen tech companies that destroyed themselves by clinging to proprietary strategies. The market eventually surrendered to Microsoft and, to a lesser extent, Apple.
4. Greater Competition for Monitoring
Monitoring contracts are where much of the money in home security lies. As such, expect to see greater competition for monitoring services in the coming months. The biggest companies are competing against one another – and the consumers they are trying to bring into the fold.
Prior to the advent of DIY home security, customers would purchase hardware and a monitoring package together. A security system without monitoring was nothing more than a noise-making machine. As such, providers were at a distinct advantage in as much as they would automatically sell a monitoring contract with every new system.
Things have changed in the DIY era. Customers can now install their own wireless systems and self-monitor if they choose. Self-monitoring can be equally effective if approached in the right way but monitoring companies obviously do not want customers doing that. They want customers buying monitoring services from them.
5. Greater Emphasis on Health Monitoring
One last trend to look for in 2020 is a greater emphasis on health monitoring. The truth is that there is only so much home security companies can do with video cameras, motion sensors, and fire and carbon monoxide detectors. The one area that hasn’t seen a ton of investment thus far is health monitoring.
Expect to see some equipment manufacturers collaborating with partners to integrate wearable technology with home monitoring. Such collaboration will take older health monitoring technology to the next level. Instead of just having a pendant around the neck for alerting the authorities in the event of a health emergency, wearables will provide real-time monitoring connected directly to a home’s security hub.
This new technology might not necessarily be released in 2020 but expect equipment manufacturers to start working on it. Health monitoring is the next big area of growth for home security. Ignoring it would be a mistake.
The next 10 to 12 months should be interesting ones for the home security industry. As technologies get smarter, home security systems get better. And better systems make American homes safer, more comfortable, and more efficient.