Home security systems of the past were expensive and a little ridiculous. Typically, you'd hire a company to come out and physically wire all your doors and windows. If someone tried to break in, an alarm would sound and the company would try to reach you by phone, but would not automatically dispatch the police, because they had no way to know if the alarm was triggered by accident, which was often the case. Naturally, you had to pay a monthly fee for this service...forever. And the systems were not available to renters, the people most likely to be burglarized.

Those companies are still around, but the IoT has altered the landscape of the industry. Home security options like this digital doorbell by Nortek Security & Control are becoming the norm, for many reasons. They are easy to install on your own and connect to your smartphone. You can use them to monitor the activity at your house no matter where you are, and make an instant decision about whether there is an emergency situation, without waiting for an explanation from a third party who can only let you know the alarm has gone off.

These new devices put the consumer in complete control, have no monthly fee, and can be installed even by apartment dwellers.

The tidal wave of IoT security devices ranges in scope from GPS tags to keep track of your stuff and your pets, to motion sensitive interior cameras (with night vision) that can alert you if smoke or carbon monoxide alarm goes off.

The Buzz Around Home Security

At ISC West this year, a lot of discussion centered on integration of smart home devices with security solutions. Companies are forming partnerships to dovetail connected smart home devices with their security systems for a more robust experience.

With the growing number of interconnected devices, cybersecurity has rapidly become a major security concern, and we're already seeing a whole new industry spring up to keep IoT devices safe and up-to-date.

This may seem strange but there isn't a lot of buzz around electronic IoT gatekeepers. We see commercials every day for devices you can access via your phone. According to commercials, you can turn your car on and start the heater when your plane lands, lock the garage while you're on your way out of town, or unlock your front door to let your parents in to water the plants. You can turn lights on and off, and even let your appliances order their own refills, or ask Alexa to order stuff.

Have you ever seen a commercial about a product that stops other people from doing all that? Security and IT professionals are discussing it, but the public may be blissfully unaware.

Future Innovation

The big takeaway discussed throughout the conference by the security community was innovation. Providing basic services are no longer good enough. Security companies need to innovate - to provide meaningful solutions to real problems. And not workaround solutions that ultimately provide no more than the illusion of security.

One interesting example of real innovation is AI capability. Many of today's surveillance cameras are equipped with the ability to analyze and asses a situation and to register data.

In the future as these capabilities become more sophisticated, home security systems may send an alert in situations where, for example, a person comes to your door and does something suspicious, like peer in a window, or a car drives slowly up and down the street several times. Or even turn the sprinkler system on if a raccoon sniffs around your garbage can. That would truly be a security system built to answer real-life problems of homeowners across the country.