Smartphones have grown in popularity, and most home security system manufactures have responded in kind by developing their own smartphone applications with growing levels of sophistication.
What should you look for in terms of smartphone functionality in your home security system? Here are the top features you’ll want to have access to.
Text messages and/or push notifications are really important in any home security phone application; because you want to be alerted immediately when there is problem at home and you’re not there. A good system allows you to configure the system on when to notify you and when to also alert the police. More sophisticated configurations can notify you when someone accesses the system, such as a child arriving home from school, and can even tell you specifically where the system has had a warning triggered perhaps you were expecting someone to pick up items from the garage, which explains the motion detector warning, but you weren’t expecting your bedroom window to be opened.
What good is a remote application if you can’t take action? One of the best features of these apps is the ability to detect if the home alarm is on – and if it isn’t, remotely enable it. Some phones take this to the next level, allowing you to lock and unlock doors, adjust lighting, turn TVs on and off. The level of features and functions will vary depending on your lifestyle and living situation, but at a minimum, you want to be able to remotely turn the system on and off.
A good mobile security app will allow you to view footage from your home security cameras; while some apps do have limitations on real-time live shots, you should be able to at least get a quick snapshot – this is particularly important if your phone has door lock/unlock features as mentioned above. While you probably will not have months of archived camera video access, you should be able to access the most recent feeds to see if something happened earlier in the day to trigger the alarm. See ADT Home Security products for more information.
Alarm Trigger & Police Trigger
If your phone has alerted you to a potential threat and you believe the treat is real, your phone should allow you to trigger an audible alarm, if you have one, and also alert the police to investigate. Good home security systems have seamless integration with local police systems and can give them a file of information about what triggered the alarm, allowing the arriving officer to investigate with all the background information as to what triggered the alarm and quickly determine if there is someone in the home.
Last but certainly not least in our list of useful smartphone functionality is a historical view of events and triggers from your home security system. If you’re traveling or in business meetings and missed several notifications, or perhaps your partner or another family member reacted to the alarm before you were notified, a history view allows you to see what happened so you can check-in if needed. This can also be useful for insurance company or police investigation purposes, giving you additional peace of mind that your security system isn’t going to miss a thing.