I wrote a piece for Forbes on the need to start thinking about home security in a different way, and by how utilizing a combination of IoT technology and neighborhood watch we could probably have much safer neighborhoods, faster response times and less false alarms going to local police.
As it turns out, the National Neighborhood Watch, an organization that is owned and run by the National Sheriff's Organization, is thinking along the same lines. In response to my article, a spokesperson for the organization reached out to me to give me a head's up about a forthcoming new system that the organization will be deploying, offering it to member neighborhoods and individuals who want to use technology as a way to collectively monitor their neighborhoods and homes.
Here are the details per the National Sheriff's Organization:
What is it?
The basic NNW Safety System consists of a small hub that plugs into an internet router and a wireless SAF-T Cam. The INDOOR SAF-T Cam is a wireless camera/sensor the size of a salt shaker while the OUTDOOR version is the size of a coffee cup. Because they are wireless and battery-powered, the SAF-T Cams can be self-installed anywhere they are needed - with no power cable. The Safety System can accommodate up to 24 additional SAF-T Cams for increased protection where it is most needed, inside or out. This is not Wi-Fi. Instead of Wi-Fi’s power cords and limited range, cordless SAF-T Cams send encrypted alerts over the same 900 MHz frequencies used by First Responder radios for the same reason – reliable wireless communication through walls and doors with maximum range inside and outside buildings. This same video alarm technology that secures critical infrastructure like substations and cell towers can now protect a home and neighborhood.
How does it work?
A standard smartphone controls the system to arm/disarm, review videos and dispatch alerts with the push of a button. The SAF-T Cam sensor detects movement and sends a short video alert of the event to the user(s) smartphone with three options for action:
1. DISPATCH button to send the video alarm to the Central Monitoring Station for police response.
2. DISARM button to turn the system “off” and stop additional alerts.
3. DISMISS button to archive the video but leave the system “on” and allow additional alerts.
Because the user reviews and filters every alarm, the Safety System reduces law enforcement resources currently wasted responding to false alarms. Video verification of real crimes-in-progress means greater deterrence, more arrests and less crime – for an individual and the neighborhood. Outdoor SAF-T Cams can be installed in neighborhood hot spots, creating a shared “neighborhood system” that can send video alerts on outdoor activity to specific members for review; preventing crime before it happens.
The system will be distributed through the National Neighbor Watch website. At this point it is unknown (to me) who the technology provider is or what the cost is, but I am following up on those details. The system will be launched at the National Sheriff's Conference in June.