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00 at Pros: Easy to install. Works with numerous third party devices. Supports multiple wireless protocols. Cons: No professional monitoring. No backup battery. Cannot trigger camera recordings. Bottom Line: The Wink Lookout starter kit gives you everything you need to start monitoring your home using your smartphone. Read ReviewFrontpoint Home Security System ReviewMSRP: $374. 00 at Pros: Easy to install. Responsive sensors. Wide selection of accessories.

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What’s even more interesting are the potential side applications here. Michael Wolf, author of the aforementioned NextMarket Insights piece, previously wrote an article for Forbes that brings up some intriguing use case scenarios for a smarter Neighborhood Watch. For example, what if residents could opt in to receive alerts from these cameras?If they’re away from home and are alerted to suspicious activity in their neighborhood, they could tap into their smart home infrastructure to turn on the lights and/or television to make it seem like someone is inside. Or if they’re already home, an alert could prompt all doors to lock. BUILDING A SECURITY SYSTEM Smart systems consist of hardware that doesn’t look a lot different than it did twenty five years ago. There are some specialized sensors and video cameras that weren’t common in the past and window and door contact switches have gotten a lot smaller, but the basics are the same: a control panel or console, magnetic contact switches, motion sensors, a siren. The new systems may also be connected to central monitoring stations, as do many old style security systems. The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first.