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The Timeline of Home Security Technologies Evolution

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It’s 7:30 on a Tuesday night, you’re running late coming home from work. You’re on the train when all of a sudden your phone begins to buzz furiously. Who in the world could be calling you right now? Picking up the phone, you realize it’s your home security system; someone has broken in. Thankfully 911 has already been called to the scene to catch the intruder. How could we survive in a world without such technology? The Mesopotamian age did. Let’s take a second to reflect back and see what it took for the world to come to this point.

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When one thinks about the world today and its necessities, the first thing that comes to mind probably would not be security systems, but think again. Without these simple inventions in our lives, there would be no sense of protection for our homes, personal items, cars, even phones. Innovation, defined as “the means by which the entrepreneur either creates new wealth-producing resources or endows existing resources with enhanced potential for creating wealth” couldn’t relate more to this topic. Related systems are changing from mechanical to electronic, becoming more interconnected than ever. As the systems are changing, exponential growth of innovation continues. In the words of Estes (2015), “This change (mechanical to electronic) is one of the most extreme innovations in security since the invention of the wooden pin lock in Mesopotamia, some 6,000 years ago”. Specifically, innovation is the constant growth by the solving of problems of a certain idea or product, like the one relating to security the world faces today.

Taking a timeline approach begins with the very first idea of the ‘home security system’: the lock and key. Archaeologists discovered what seemed to be the first locking device, dating back to 4000 BC or rather the Mesopotamian age. The contraption was simple but very convenient. It was known as the pin lock, meaning the wooden pins would only move if the correct key was inserted. This major improvement allowed for ideas to begin flowing and innovation to begin prospering. The lock and key progressed and eventually spread throughout the world. From Greece to the Roman Empire, only changing somewhat but giving people enough of an idea to begin the process of new security. It took until the middle ages for real progression to happen. The first all metal lock and key was made. Similar to the wooden pin lock, only the correct key would unlock that specific door. Although they did have a few downfalls. It was quite easy to file down one key to fit the shape of another, and eventually fit into all of the doors necessary. While they weren’t perfect, it did bring about new jobs for metalworkers and locksmiths. This meant that new innovation ideas were bound to happen and fix the ongoing issue of lock picking.

As we continue, “In 1784, Joseph Bramah patented a high-security lock that’s still manufactured and sold in London today”. This was the lock to create the most uproar. It took the role of being ‘unbeatable’. A challenge was created specifically to see if one could come up with a better innovated lock, beginning the fight of better innovation when relating to home security. This motivated designers to come up with more resourceful ideas. As the ages progressed, locks continued to stay in use but eventually reached a more stabilized rate of creation until Walter Schlage patented something very unique. Schlage gave truth that locks shouldn’t only be used for one standard action, but many. He came up with a door lock that could turn the lights on and off. Being able to understand that one product did not have to do only one specific thing was the beginning of a new enlightenment era for home security. This prospered and ultimately brought us to where we are today. Technology within this aspect is advancing and solving any problems that were thought to be happening whether it may be the new version of ‘lock picking’ or technology being unreachable. Artificial Intelligence has been a huge help with these types of products.

Artificial Intelligence according to Heath is “any task performed by a program or a machine that, if a human carried out the same activity, we would say the human had to apply intelligence to accomplish the task.” This means that this program can help assess and analyze situations related to security. This is very beneficial in certain situations. It can track when you go in and out of the house, to make sure any intruder isn’t disrupting the pattern. It is now that innovation has taken off in this area and more technological advancements are in the works. The technology that is used nowadays, such as smartphones, allows for multiple opportunities for prospiring innovation. Apps are the most successful and useful tool for users because of their constant options and convenience of always being at the tip of your fingers. Home security systems have been in place for quite some time but not until recently have apps been able to pair with these systems. This is where artificial intelligence comes into play and begins to help out. Artificial intelligence was first introduced to help out with the new apps produced. These new apps that are connected to home security systems allow for communities to feel safe even if they’re hundreds of miles away from home. It’ll alert them if anything suspicious is going on such as turning the sprinklers on if it believes someone is lurking close to the home. Or even alerting when an unknown car pulls into the driveway for a prolonged amount of time. Facial recognition can now be used in place of the lock and key system when entering. The sound of one’s voice can even open your doors.

Thanks to all of these new resources, new advancements are still in the works and continue to progress home security. New knowledge plays a key part in this innovation because without the previous technological knowledge, app creators wouldn’t have been able to come together and pull this off. “Security companies need to innovate – to provide meaningful solutions to real problems”. This may be one of the most meaningful solutions yet for home security systems. The problem of not always having unlimited access to your home was solved and diminished. Coming back to the timeline approach of home security, we start with the simplest of inventions and grow to reach the most complex to date. This is due to the inside work of innovation. Some may not notice its progression but in reality it never stops. Security will continue to grow within several aspects and technological advancements will continue to keep the human race safe.

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