by Rene Ritchie, Daniel Rubino, Kevin Michaluk, Phil Nickinson
During security week we established that that there's a perpetual tension between protection and convenience. The more secure something was - longer passwords, more factors, - the more annoying it was to deal with. Home security can be an exception to that rule. When you make your home more secure with mobile, it can also become more convenient.
Traditional key locks work fine. You stick a specially shaped piece of metal into a slot, everything lines up perfectly, you turn and open the door. But physical objects like keys have limitations. And if they’re lost or compromised, the only solution is to replace the entire mechanism, keys and lock.
If your keys lost or compromised, the only solution is to replace the entire mechanism, keys and lock.
Mobile entry offers more options. The lock gets replaced by a number pad or even touchscreen. The key by a combination of mobile device and/or your finger. You can simply have a phone in your possession (something you have) or enter a code or pattern (something you know) or enable biometrics (something you are) or a combination of those.
You can generate an entry code for yourself, and codes for everyone in your family. If someone loses their phone, they can hop on the web and generate a temporary key instead of breaking a window. You can generate a temporary keys whether you're across town or across the globe. If the whole family is away, you can generate a temporary key that only works during certain time periods for a friend or family member to feed the plants, water the pets, and check that you did turn off the stove.
Beyond keys, modern security systems can tie into mobile so you can monitor your alarms and security sensors and check in on security cameras. What once was locally stored surveillance footage is now loaded into the cloud.
Since safety transcends security, it’s not difficult to imagine the next generation of mobile devices, the ones with biometric sensors, will be able to tie into systems to monitor your health and set off the right kinds of alarms if they detect anything from an accident to a medical emergency.
There’s potential for abuse, for government intrusion, hacking, and mischief to be certain. But that’s true with everything. The potential for mobile to make us safer and more secure at home, however, far exceeds any risks real or imagined.
Just, um, tape over any cameras pointed in the general direction of the bedroom, okay?