The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword in the industry for a number of years now, but it has yet to see the “killer app” that’s going to take it to the next level. Smart home security may well be that killer app.

By Simon Campbell-Young

All sorts of home devices are becoming hyper connected, and developers are bringing out generic connectivity apps which are useable across multiple platforms. This is opening up new opportunities for smart homes in general, and home security specifically – for consumers and the channel alike.

The fact that Amazon purchased IoT security company is proof of the potential of connected security, and it looks like we are heading for a three-way fight for ownership of the IoT space, as Apple, Google and Amazon continue to invest in the space.

Home security has been a massive industry in South Africa for many years, but it’s now one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide. This is partly due to the fact that criminals target unprotected homes, but mainly as a result of the growing availability of cheaper, smarter systems.

Gone are the days when you had to spend a lot of money for a good security system. These days, you can pick up a system at your local hardware store for a reasonable price, install it yourself, and use any of a multitude of apps to control the system from your phone.

Traditional security companies are also embracing IoT and the growing demand for advanced smart home security. At the end of 2015, security stalwart Yale launched a smart lock and in 2016 launched a series of smart burglar alarms. The Yale Assure app uses a digital key ring that’s swiped to easily scan through keys, so users can access their home via bluetooth. ADT also entered the IoT space last year with a smart home app.

Not only does the merging landscape of IoT and home security open up new business models, it provides opportunities to integrate existing offerings in completely new ways. For example, as our homes become smarter, they’re also becoming more vulnerable. Software security for connected devices is going to create another huge uplift in the industry.

As more stories about hacked IoT technologies make the news, the world will become more aware of the potential dangers that come with connected devices. Even though the number of smart homes is growing across the globe, few people are likely to have evaluated the security of their home IoT ecosystem. Scary real-life instances of hacked nanny cams and connected door locks should be raising the alarm for smart home security.

Thanks to the IoT, home security looks almost nothing like it used to, and the future is sure to bring even more smart, user-friendly devices. According to a recent forecast study by Berg Insight, there will be 73-million smart homes in North America alone by 2021, equalling 55% of all homes in that country.

By the end of 2016, more than 21,8-million smart homes had already been connected. Clearly, there is a massive opportunity here as homeowners around the world continue to make their homes smarter.

Simon Campbell-Young is the MD of Intact Software Distribution