As we put 2020 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to what 2021 might have in store for us. While we wouldn’t dare hazard to guess as how this year will compare to last year overall, there are a few specific things about our industry—the home security business—that we can predict with a fair amount of confidence. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the top home security trends we believe will affect the industry this year.
Privacy concerns are driving some consumers towards local home security providers and away from solutions driven by “big tech”.
In 2020, a survey found that a whopping 86% of American consumers were worried about how big tech companies like Facebook and Google were using their personal information. A majority of people (69%) also said that they were very concerned about their privacy when using smart devices, including smart home speakers.
That survey is difficult to square with the fact that the development of “smart home speakers” have been driven primarily by three big tech companies—Google, Amazon, and Apple. Those same companies have been involved in numerous privacy violation scandals related to their smart home systems & products:
- Apple had to apologize after it was revealed that Apple employees were listening to private conversations recorded by the company’s smart home speaker, Siri, in an effort to “improve the product”.
- Amazon, the owner of the Ring product line of DIY home security equipment, was the subject of a Senate investigation into its “egregiously lax privacy policies”, as well as scrutiny from civil rights activists over its partnerships with police departments.
- Google had to fix a flaw in its Nest camera product that allowed a previous owner of the camera to continue to see images captured by the camera after being sold to a new owner, even after following the published reset procedure.
As some of these scandals came to light in 2020, top execs from these same companies were called to appear before various congressional committees on multiple occasions to testify about subjects related to privacy concerns.
Will all of these facts combined cause increasing numbers of consumers to decide in 2021 that trusting their home security to “big tech” is not a good idea? That remains to be seen, but Dynamark Security stands ready to help those who arrive at that conclusion with our independent home security solutions.
Video analytics gets even better and more widely adopted.
Home security cameras have been a high-demand item for some time now, and that is reflected in the number of options available to consumers when purchasing a camera.
Along with the cameras themselves, we’ve also seen the development of video analytics software (such as the software from Dynamark Security partner Alarm.com) which can analyze images captured by a camera.
The software can not only distinguish between people and animals (or tree branches blowing in the wind, for that matter), but also between people who you might not consider a threat (such as a mailman quickly walking up to your door and leaving) and more suspicious activity (like someone lingering around your porch).
As cameras become more ubiquitous, demand for software like this will likely increase as well, and more companies will publish competing products. This competition would be good for consumers, who would benefit from lower prices and increased options.
DIY home security solutions will continue to generate bad headlines
The last home security trend we will predict for 2021 is that do-it-yourself home security solutions will continue to generate bad headlines, just as they have for the past few years.
What kind of headlines are we talking about? Here’s a quick sample:
- “Dozens sue Amazon’s Ring after camera hack leads to threats and racial slurs”—from The Guardian
- “Researchers used a laser to hack Alexa and other voice assistants”—from CNN
- “Google Calls Hidden Microphone in Its Nest Home Security Devices an ‘Error’ ”—from Popular Mechanics
- “Ring recalls 350,000 smart video doorbells for potential fire hazard after 23 devices caused property damage”—USA Today
We could offer up many more examples (especially when it comes to Ring products), but you get the idea.
There are three main reasons we can make this prediction. The first is that due to the nature of DIY solutions, people using these products will continue to, in some cases, disregard instructions from the manufacturers and do things that cause the products to malfunction in some way. “Simple” is not always that simple.
The second reason is that, as we point out earlier in this article, many of these DIY products are made by big tech companies who have a terrible record when it comes to protecting consumer’s privacy. Despite their promises, we predict that these companies will not be able to keep their hands out of the data cookie jar, and will continue to violate consumer’s trust in some way that involves home security products.
Third, because of the intense competition in the DIY home security market, manufacturers of this equipment will be pressured to get their prices as low as possible, which will lead to use of cheaper materials and cutting corners wherever possible.
Dynamark Security will continue to provide outstanding customer service
On that note, we would actually like to make one more prediction for 2021. We predict—no, we promise–that we will continue to provide all our customers with personal, reliable, trustworthy service, just like we have for the past 30 years. It’s why we are one of the top-rated alarm companies in the Richmond area and have an A+ rating with the BBB.
If you’re a homeowner worried about security and would like to experience the quality of our service for yourself, contact us today to request a quote.