Video Doorbell Home Security

July 7th, 2021 Video Surveillance

Since the predictions of George Orwell in his novel “1984”, the world has long been skeptical of cameras and the people who watch them. Often, people have wondered, ‘Who is allowed to place a camera in a public space? Do the people who pass by the camera have to give consent? How is the footage from the camera allowed to be used? These questions are even more common today, as more and more of today’s homeowners install affordable front door cameras like Ring, Arlo and Google Nest Hello

These easy-to-install smart home security cameras are inexpensive and can be found in millions of locations to remotely link you to your home or office. They can add another layer of security to enhance existing alarm systems or can provide basic monitoring service to notify of changes in the environment from movement or noise within a protected area. Since most of these cameras offer high-definition video and integrated microphones, it is no wonder people are choosing to protect their homes this way. 

This technology is invaluable for monitoring on a real-time basis what is happening at home with kids, pets, parents, and even the environment. These smart home security cameras can be accessed via phones, tablets and computers, which makes monitoring the security of your home easy and accessible right at your fingertips. When it comes to seamless integration of these video recording apps, Ring has the most ‘intuitively designed app,’ according to Inspire, the Clean Energy giant. ‘When the sensors (on the camera) pick up motion and the 720p (1080p for the Pro version) video recording is activated, an alert gets sent to your phone. Tapping the notification takes you straight into the live camera feed. That’s it. No sign-ins. No ads to close out. One click and you’re in. Done and done. Peace of mind achieved.’ 

Encouraging the use of this cloud-based technology, the company, Ring, offers their users a platform to connect, share footage and report crimes through the “Neighbors” Portal on the Ring App. Users are anonymous, so no one's footage gets tracked back to their estate, and only offers a suggested radial distance from their neighborhood, to another user in the same network. As the rise of porch-pirates  continues to grow, forums like this help neighbors warn each other when there is a thief in the area, taking the Neighborhood Watch to a virtual level. According to an article in The New York Times, in New York City alone 90,000 packages go missing daily, up 20 percent from four years ago. Between Amazon Delivery Updates and intel from the ‘Neighbors’ portal on the Ring App, you are armed with real time information to prevent these thefts from happening and having the intel you need if they do.

There is, however, a potentially darker side to this technology because not only can you watch, but you can also listen to what is going on within proximity of one or more cameras. That means these devices can be used for an unintended purpose (and in violation of end-user license agreements) which can be illegal under federal and state criminal laws as well as subjecting abusers to civil liability. Another big issue people have with these cameras is that they don't believe consent is being given by the public to have themselves be recorded. Recently, Washington D.C.’s local station WAMU NPR aired a segment by A1 host Avery Klienman, regarding exactly these issues. They reported that a study was done on kids walking from a D.C. charter school, and how the kids were recorded by at least 13 front door cameras.

Integrating front door cameras with whole home automation has become the standard of convenience when it comes to personal property protection. With the combination of a smart lock, homeowners are able to see who is at their door, and unlock for their guests with a quick command on their phone. This is great for bigger estates or multi-level townhomes. Having the ability to monitor your front stoop for packages, unexpected guests, or simply being able to watch your kids play out front with the sitter while you are stuck at work late, are only some of the features our clients love about their smart home security cameras. The benefits of being able to tap open an app and review the happenings of your home in real time continue to grow and it will be exciting to see the next generation of smart home devices that are designed to integrate with these cameras, offering consistent peace of mind to all of its customers.