HUNTINGTON - It was simply fantasy in 1962 when Rosie the Robot puttered around the Jetsons' home. It was a novelty in 2002 when the first Roombas began roaming the floors, and was a curious, touch-free Swiss Army knife of information in 2011 when Siri moved into everyone's iPhone.
But it 2019, automation around the home has become a common, if not ubiquitous, part of American life. Just ask Alexa.
The concept of a "smart home" changes every facet of daily domestic routine it touches- whether that's a time-sensitive thermostat, or a voice-controlled music playlist chiming through the home's stereo system.
Naturally, home security - and the ability to quickly, effortlessly, and seamlessly integrated it with modern options - have likewise woven itself into the smart home model. And while the principals of home security are generally the same, the home environment surrounding it has evolved over the past ten years, said Ginny Morgan, president and co-owner 1 Touch Technology Solutions, a Chesapeake-based firm providing automated smart tech for residential and commercial properties in the Tri-State for now nine years.
"It is no longer about keeping a thief out," Morgan said. "Today's ecosystem can include life safety, such as fire and carbon monoxide detection, making sure doors and windows are closed, or even knowing when your children have arrived home, to name a few."
The introduction of mobile device control, chiefly smartphones and tablets, has allowed homeowners to integrate and control gadgets like smart door looks, video doorbells, and voice controls - to name a few-into their home security framework.
"In the past, we didn't have the Internet of Things-type of devices for integration," Morgan said. "Today people want further convenience. They want devices with dual purpose. They want to be connected to their home or business 24/7, no matter where they are located."
The Morgan family's own home is a model of what a smart home can be- her husband, Brad, co-owns 1 Touch and handles to tech aspects of the business. On a touchscreen mounted on their wall, a simple tap on "Going to bed" launches several actions at once the thermostat is adjusted, the lights dim, the security system arms and the garage door is closed.
In the morning, the "Going to work" button arms the security system, cools down the house and turns off the hot water pump while they're away. Even when they're away, a few pecks on their iPad can turn on the lights remotely, one at a time if needed - as if someone was home when they are not.
1 Touch receives their equipment from HAI, a leading manufacturer of integrated automation and security products.
HAI's products, all of which can be controlled via the Internet. Each handle various aspects of home or business life, all with touch screens. In terms of safety, that covers motion detection, surveillance, vehicle detection and security systems. Lighting can be controlled for energy management, mood and convenience.
When the Morgans come home, for example, their hallway chandelier - connected to the detection system that recognizes the door has opened - automatically turns on for 10 minutes.
"For us, we use home security to further enhance smart home solutions," Morgan said. "We can use security devices to trigger automation processes of the smart home.
"For example, opening a door that has a security contact for the alarm, can allow us to trigger lighting control, music control, window shade control, and even temperature adjustments."
One of the newest concerns in home security is protecting packages left on their porch while the homeowners are away - easy prey for petty thieves.
One solution for customers, Morgan said, is to have two-way communication with delivery people was video doorbells, which can be accessed through a smartphone app. Customers could also remotely unlock and open a door to their home or business, all from their smartphone, to allow the deliveries inside. Even a simple motion-detecting camera can be a deterrent as well.
Traditional home security systems, such as ADT and Brinks, are still extremely effective. They all typically function and look the same, she added, and have been established in the market for quite a while.
One advantage traditional systems over newer, do-it-yourself tech security is at while newer, piece-by piece smart home is more stylish and customizable, it's not typically professionally monitored like a traditional system.
1 Touch offers month-by-month monitoring contracts and maintenance packages, Morgan added, and will design their automation and security models to the specific needs of their client, installed in properties from f 1,500 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
"Our advice to home or business owners is to work with a licensed company, who as a team of people to help support them to ensure their security needs are taken seriously," Morgan said.