It used to be that if you needed a security system at home or at the office, you’d call an alarm company.
They would provide the full package:
- Provide and install a security system, complete with a console and sensors and the wires that connected everything
- Monitor the system from their office, and notify the police or fire department if something bad happened
- You would enable and disable the system using a key or keypad on the console, but the alarm company took care of the rest
That model served a lot of people for several decades, and there is no shortage of companies offering that kind of service today. (In some markets, you’ll encounter ads for security systems several times daily on radio, TV, and other media.)
As the sensors and other technology became more available and less expensive, do-it-yourself kits became more attractive for some. You installed the sensors, ran the wires, and put decals on the window to warn-away the bad guys. Later systems offered versions connecting the sensors to the console using radio signals, so you didn’t even need to run wires.
Of course if the system never triggers (or triggers by itself on a regular basis), you’re responsible for dealing with it. Some municipalities will send you a bill for false alarms or nuisance alarms, which may affect your DIY cost calculations.
More recently, you have access to most of the same technology as a security monitoring service, and you can keep an eye on it from anywhere your smart phone has a good signal. Crowdfunding allows the smallest company – or even an individual – to propose a product to the world. If you’re interested, you can contribute to the project. If you’re really interested, you can contribute enough so you’ll receive one of the resulting items as a perk.
Two of the big names in crowdfunding are Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and the latter promoted a project called the Canary. The team that organized the project dubbed it “The first smart home security device for everyone” There is apparently a lot of demand for that kind of product, since their goal was to raise one hundred thousand dollars (US), and they ultimately raised nearly two million dollars.
Would You Trust Yourself to Monitor Your Own Security System?
With all of the latest sensor technology built into the Canary, the Piper, and other high-tech self-monitored systems, one could argue that you become the weakest link. What do you think of systems like these, or more importantly: Would you use one?