A Brief History of Home Security
The Stone Age
Parents have always been concerned about keeping their kids and homes safe. It’s not a new concept! The Stone Age was a bit of a challenge, but where there’s a will there’s a way!
Guarding your castle against unwanted visitors required a lot of real estate in the Medieval Times.
For many people, building a community home with removable access worked very well.
Wild Wild West
In the Wild Wild West, campfires, circled wagons and a couple of guards were the preferred (but not always reliable) protection methods.
18th Century Security Alarm
Then life got more complicated as villages became cities. Fast forward to the 18th century, when the first security alarm systems were invented. People felt safer, but a tripped alarm in the middle of the night could be quite annoying.
Post WWI Door Shaker System
Post WWI, a cheaper option was to hire a “door shaker,” a night watchman who would vigorously shake a subscriber’s door each night to make sure it was locked. This was sometimes scarier than a real burglar!
1960s: The Breakthrough!
It took Marie to get us onto the road of modern home video security systems. In the 1960s, an African-American woman, Marie Van Brittan Brown, invented and patented the first system – with a little help from her engineer husband. She was a nurse who was concerned about her safety when having to work odd hours.Her system included a two-way microphone, remote door locks, and alarm triggers – all part of today’s systems. Marie completely revolutionized home security!
1990s: NANNY CAM REVOLUTION!
You’ve Come A Long Way Baby! “Nanny Cams” became popular in the 1990s. By then, cameras were smaller and technology allowed for higher-resolution surveillance. Some were virtually undetectable, hidden inside toys and clocks.
Professional Home Security Takes Off
Once again women’s use of technology led to a development boom! Protecting their home was key. In-home use of digital video cameras soared as home-security companies popped up everywhere.
But, Who’s in Control?
The only catch was these were definitely not DIY systems. A truckload of men and equipment arrived to set up your cameras and wires. The company, not you, monitored the videos. If there was a YouTube-worthy moment, you would never have known about it, and you’d never see it. Who knows what they were looking at?
Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Modern-Day System
Choosing the right home security system is tough because they come in all sizes and shapes, features vary widely, and technology is constantly changing. Here are a few things to look for.
Capture the Moment…Only That Moment!
You don’t want to have to record 24-7 to capture one particular moment. That’ll fill up your storage capacity real fast! With motion detection, recording only occurs when something moves.
Audio Detection Saves the Night
This might be more important than motion detection because you don’t have to wait for action. Think about your newborn in her crib, who suddenly starts to cry for a midnight feeding while you’re snoozing.
The Power of Communication
With 2-way audio, you can communicate with a person knocking on your door – whether you’re at home or away. Tell a possible interloper you’ve called the police, and that a camera is recording him. He’ll be gone in a flash!
It’s All In Your Perspective
A camera with a narrow field of view will capture less, but provides greater detail because it will appear closer to the subject (you can almost smell that pizza!). A wider angle allows you to see more without having to reposition or rotate the view.
No Squinting Necessary!
Security cameras used to produce choppy, pixelated video with slow refresh rates. Now cameras offer at least 720p resolution, and some 1080p. Note: Don’t get 1080p unless you know your home Internet connection bandwidth can handle it without crashing the system!
Battery vs. Plug-In
You want to be plugged in, not on battery. Who wants to be constantly changing batteries? And a battery-powered unit is much easier to steal or tamper with. The ideal system would function either way – but then you’re talking about really big money.
Night Vision Goggles Required!
Think night-vision goggles like in the movies – only better. And much more attractive. Built into the camera, this feature allows you to clearly see things recorded after dark. But quality can vary, so check the ratings for your camera before buying.
Choose Storage Wisely
Your video camera is pretty useless if you don’t have a way to save or record what it captures. Local storage is great, as long as you have enough capacity on the storage device. Cloud storage might be a better option, but depending upon the related fees, you might have to offload footage quickly in order to have more storage space in your account. Do the math before you buy.