Home Security Gets Smarter, More Affordable in a Connected World

In an age when mobile computing promises almost endless possibilities, the idea of the wired home security system is simply outdated. Wireless technologies have unlocked a lot more than just the mobility of phones and computer connectivity. With the sophistication now built into devices, you can connect them on your wireless network and control them with your smart phone. The Wi-Fi network and smart phone are giving birth to the smart home era.

No more wires

The capabilities of yesterday’s wired security systems pale in comparison. The necessity of a time-consuming (and expensive) professional installation–plus pricey monthly service fees–has gone out the window. These systems only offered the basic capabilities of sounding an alarm and notifying the police. But the alarms are often false, and the systems offer no remote monitoring capability for the property owner.

Today’s home security products are much more sophisticated, made for what’s called the Internet of things (IoT). Plus, they’re very affordable. You already pay for your phone and internet services. Maybe you’re locked into a multi-year contract with one or both of them. Why take on a security service bill on top of that, possibly requiring yet another contracted commitment, when your existing wireless network and phone can provide unparalleled security, with the simple addition of low-cost devices? You do it on your terms: Setting up a system that’s tailored perfectly for your home, for just the one-time up-front cost of buying the devices to record and transmit video, monitor entry points, and sound an alarm. No monthly fees.

No False Alarms

The video feed from your smart home camera is the best guard against false alarms. You’re smarter than a sensor. A quick look at the video will tell you if your cat rather than a burglar has triggered a false positive. That peace of mind will reach you no matter where you are. And, it’ll save you the embarrassment of the police making a trip to your home. Most traditional security system alarms are false, and some local governments levy a fine for false alarms.


It is also tremendously convenient. Using the SkyBell HD video doorbell allows you to answer your door from your smartphone – without opening your door or even being home. It also means you don’t have to interrupt a very important task, just to receive a package. There are still plenty of door-to-door salesmen and solicitors roaming the streets, poised to disrupt a mother nursing her infant or a family dinner. Speaking of small children, SkyBell’s silent mode turns off the indoor chime so they don’t get rudely awakened from their nap.

Smarter Security

Connecting your phone to intelligent IoT devices lets you monitor your home, making it more efficient and more secure. Your smartphone’s processing power is on a par with that of an old supercomputer. With all of that power at your fingertips, why not unlock the almost limitless possibilities these intelligent devices offer?

IoT devices can monitor and control everything from the lights to the thermostat and appliances. At the forefront of tomorrow’s smart home is the security system. By putting intelligence in security components–video cameras and entry-point sensors–you can connect them a la carte to create a custom security system you control with your phone. With a SkyBell in your entryway, you get live video streamed to your phone, no matter where you are. SkyBell can also tell other devices in your home when someone is at the door, creating a whole ecosystem of connected devices.

Convenience and Flexibility

Being able to answer your door using only your phone is more than just convenient. It’s also safer. And, because SkyBell lets you answer the door while you’re away, it adds another layer of security by giving a potential burglar the impression that someone is at home. SkyBell keeps tabs on your home even you don’t. It has a built-in motion sensor, which will trigger an alert if someone is in your doorway but doesn’t ring the doorbell. The built-in microphone and speaker allow you to hear and speak to anyone at your door, no matter where you are.

The Internet of things offers tremendous flexibility. For example, SkyBell works with the Nest Cam indoor camera. While SkyBell watches your front doorway, Nest can keep dibs on the living room or other interior. When connected to the SkyBell HD, you can control your Nest Cam whenever you begin watching a live video feed from the SkyBell app. You also can set up SkyBell to automatically record video whenever Nest Cam detects sound or movement when you’re in “away’ mode.

More Connected

By interconnecting IoT devices, you do more than just protect your property and family. You create a connection that’s more than a watchdog–it’s a communication channel as well. One parent reports that his favorite feature of the SkyBell is hearing from his kindergartner every afternoon after school, and seeing he has reached home safely. By ringing the SkyBell, the two of them have a little chat every school day afternoon, no matter where dad has to be for work. In addition to being fully prepared to prevent a worst-case scenario, in the mean time he gets to also enjoy a regular dose of best-case scenario.


Author: Andrew Thomas, co-founder
Twitter: @apthomas

Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas (@apthomas) is a co-founder of SkyBell - a smart home security company that is making homes and neighborhoods safer – starting with the front door. The SkyBell Video Doorbell allows homeowners to see, hear and speak to the visitor at their door from a smartphone. Learn more: www.skybell.com

SkyBell has raised millions in funding, was named as a 2014 CES Innovations Award Nominee and is sold via Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot. Andrew is responsible for SkyBell’s strategy, partnerships and business development – leading SkyBell’s integration plans with Honeywell, Nest, Alarm.com, Amazon Echo, Apple, Comcast and IFTTT.

Before SkyBell, Andrew directed web and mobile development projects for clients after beginning his career as a member of Google’s search engine team and later providing SEO services. A sense of adventure led him to Shanghai, China where he managed web development projects for a large Chinese video game company. Andrew graduated from USC with a BBA in Finance.

Andrew shares his experience and expertise by writing and speaking. His articles have appeared on Forbes, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com and Huffington Post – covering topics including startups, the Internet of Things, crowdfunding and personal growth. Andrew has been interviewed on national TV, print and industry podcasts. He is regarded as a top IoT expert and one of the rising stars in the smart home space.