Current home security gadgets look like something out of James Bond or The Jetsons. We’ve got motion–triggered cameras, pet-immune sensors, and systems that let you control your thermostat, lighting, and door locks from a smartphone. That got me to thinking just how cool stuff could get in the future, so here’s some hopes and dreams that I have for the future of home security.

1. Door-screening process

A lot of theft would be eliminated if every person who knocked on your door or rang your doorbell had to provide proper identification. The security industry already has motion-activated cameras, and even ones that you can speak through, but sometimes cameras fail to properly identify suspects, especially if the thieves are wearing a mask or disguise. In the future, it would be nice to have system where a visitor had to provide more information about themselves at the door, whether that’s providing a fingerprint or having their retinas scanned. This may seem overkill, but I would love it if my door took people’s fingerprints and would announce who’s at the door while I sat on the couch and avoided solicitors. Plus, the technology already exists and just needs to be effectively implemented into widespread and cost-efficient home security systems.

2. Facial recognition software

Along the same lines of getting proper identification at the door, it would be cool to have cameras with built-in facial recognition software. That way, not only could your camera take footage of an intruder, but it could cross-reference that face with Facebook and Google+ profiles and police mug shots to instantly identify the culprit. It’s not too far off from an article in “The New York Times” that describes a burglar who was caught on video and then positively identified with help from the pictures on his Facebook profile.

3. Smart refrigerator

Okay, a smart refrigerator wouldn’t necessarily be for home safety as much as convenience. But hey, lots of home security systems now involve home automation, such as lights, locks, and thermostats that you can control from your smartphone, so it’s not just about safety—it’s about comfort, convenience, and peace of mind. So, I feel perfectly justified saying that I want a device on my fridge that detects when I’m getting low on basic food staples, such as milk, eggs, and coffee creamer. If it alerted me when my husband was about to eat the last of the cookie dough without me, that would be nice, too. According to CNN, this very technology exists: Samsung has dished out a smart refrigerator that can detect what you have in your fridge and give you recipe suggestions. I’d love to whip out my smartphone and check what’s in my fridge before leaving work, so I’d know if I needed to stop at the store on my way home. Think of the time, gas, and mental bandwidth you’d save.

4. Motion sensors that know you

There are already pet-immune motion sensors that can tell the difference between an intruder and your pet, based on the amount of heat each entity radiates. But wouldn’t it be awesome if your motion detectors could not only tell the difference between an intruder and your pet, but also the difference between individual members of your family? Maybe you want to be notified when your child opens a medicine cabinet, but you don’t want to be bothered with an alert if your spouse opens it. If sensors could actually identify individual people, then you could save a lot of stress and false alarms.

5. Defense robot

If we’re dreaming big here, I would love to have a defense robot who hangs out by the front door and karate chops any intruders (or dinner guests bringing bad side dishes). Any intruder would be dazed, confused, and scared of a robot with ninja skills. And while we’re at it, maybe the robot could also cook dinner and rub my feet.

6. Advanced trigger technology

Security systems can already be programmed and controlled remotely through a smartphone to do so much. Lots of cameras can be programmed to automatically record or take photos when motion is detected, and immediately notify you via text message or email. Through a smartphone, you can communicate with an intruder through an intercom, turn your lights on or off, and even view a live camera feed. But why stop there? If motion were detected, your home could be programmed to do anything. Theoretically, your security system could turn on a television upstairs to make it sound like someone’s home or it could turn on all your lights before taking a photo to make sure you get a crisp shot. It could automatically play a recording of a conversation to make it sound like someone’s home. The sky’s the limit, really.

Home security has come a long way in a short amount of time. With technology getting better and better all the time, I hope someday security systems are 100% burglar-proof with zero false alarms. I’m sure there are so many good ideas for the future of home security beyond my little dreams, and I’d love to hear about yours in the comments!

Photo courtesy of ell brown on Flickr.com.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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