June 19, 2018

Burglary stats show smart homes need 360-degree security

Burglary and household theft is a global problem backed by unsettling statistics which make you want to stay home, lock your doors and set traps that Kevin McCallister would be proud of.

Having been burgled myself, the fact that someone chooses to invade your personal space (sometimes whilst you are in the property) and takes your personal possessions leaves you feeling unsafe and frustrated that the perpetrators got away with it. In recent years we’ve seen a plethora of DIY home security devices enter the market which give consumers the welcome opportunity to remove that sense of helplessness and provide peace of mind..

A look at some of the statistics from the UK and USA reinforces that burglary is a big problem. 2016 saw over 15 million property-related crimes in the USA and 1.2 million in the UK. Once inside, thieves tend to steal jewellery, purses, wallets, bank cards, video/media entertainment equipment, portable electronic equipment and even pets.

There’s no wonder then that security and safety are two applications driving the fast-growing smart home market. With Nest’s Secure alarm system and the recent announcement of Ring’s Alarm home security system, we are starting to see major brands bring out suites of integrated products to offer deeper protection for your home. It started with a camera and has evolved from there as consumer appetite grows. Ring calls it “whole-home security” and Nest refers to “security from front to back and everywhere in between”. The proposition that both companies are selling to consumers is the same, albeit in their own special way.

Both companies offer indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells and door/window sensors, as well as central alarm keypads. Through their parent companies, they also have millions of smart speakers, which – as we blogged about last month – could help boost security further by filling in the gaps around the home.

We believe that sound recognition is an essential component in whole-home, 360-degree security because it gives all of these devices (and more in the future) a sense of hearing, which isn’t limited by line of sight, enabling manufacturers to deliver on their promise of full protection and greater peace of mind.

The stats around breaking and entering highlight just why 360-degree protection is so important.

  • Entry via window: The data varies per country, but at least 30% of break-ins occur by breaking/smashing a window or finding a window unlocked
  • Entry via door:  Around 70% of burglaries occur via forced or unforced entry through a door or entry point e.g. garage, basement door, hatches etc.

In the USA, 30% of all burglaries are through an open or unlocked window or door, where minimal force is required to enter the property (e.g. a window/door is left ajar or require minimal effort to get in, such as lock bumping).

With so many possible entry points into a home (and opportunities for weak spots or lapses in security), it is important that modern smart home security devices can use a variety of ‘senses’ to detect possible threats throughout the property. This is where artificial intelligence plays a key role, analysing the various inputs and correctly identifying a potential intruder at the earliest opportunity, enabling the smart home to scare them away as well as alerting homeowners.

Ultimately this brings us back to the point that 360-degree coverage is essential for consumers seeking peace of mind. Plus, for smart home brands and retailers, this presents a great opportunity to sell multiple products that address a real emotional need. To illustrate this last point about the size of the opportunity, analyst firm Ovum has forecast that 3.5 billion home security products will be installed globally in around 417m homes by 2022, with security sales reaching $954m in 2022 alone. In addition to device sales, Ovum forecasts that the market for security services will reach over $20bn in 2022.

Last month we announced our speech detection sound profile which is part of our suite of security and safety sound profiles (glass break, dog bark, smoke/CO alarm and anomaly detection). The wide range of sounds we offer taps into both consumer demand for greater home security and the needs of tech brands looking to deliver intelligent, accurate products that deliver peace of mind.

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About Audio Analytic

Audio Analytic is the pioneer of AI sound recognition software. The company is on a mission to map the world of sounds, offering our sense of hearing to consumer technology. By transferring our sense of hearing to consumer products and digital personal assistants we give them the ability to react to the world around us, helping satisfy our entertainment, safety, security, wellbeing and communication needs.

Audio Analytic’s ai3™ sound recognition software enables device manufacturers and chip companies to equip products with Artificial Audio Intelligence, recognizing and automatically responding to our growing list of sound profiles.

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