Technologies like drones are becoming more visible these days. Previously confined to movie sets to capture sweeping vistas for cinematography, these flying machines are now used for more extensive home security purposes. Think of them as a fancier brethren of standard surveillance cameras since they can be manipulated to appear anywhere with the help of remote controls.
The increased usage of drones as security cameras is inevitable, but in order to understand why it’s such a big deal, it’s best to understand how the technology has developed throughout the years and transformed into sustainable home security. Join us as we travel through the evolution of home security systems over the years.
During the ancient times, people have used every trick in the book to ward off the unwanted. They used moats, drawbridges, thick walls, cricket floors, and step wells to secure their property. The earliest accounts of the use of actual lock and key that we are now familiar with must have stemmed from the Romans, who created intricate metal locks. They borrowed the pin tumbler locks created by the Egyptians and modernized them. The wooden parts were replaced with metal and steel springs.
Also worth noting is the creation of lever tumbler locks in Europe, which first appeared during the 18th century. The levers prevent the bolt from moving in the lock. In 1778, double-acting lever locks were invented by Robert Barron. The deadbolt lock that we still use today owes its origins to these lever locks.
The anti-burglary system that we are more acquainted with was designed by Augustus Pope in 1853. His patented home alarm system was made of a series of electromagnets wired to a vibrating bell. For this to work, magnets are attached to the door so that when someone opens it, a circuit will close and trigger the bell. Of course, it was still imperfect in design so he sold the patent to Edwin Holmes, who is known as “The Father of the Modern Security Industry.” He made improvements on the design and mass-produced the new versions. He ended up establishing central alarm monitoring stations in New York City and Boston.
The first monitored fire and burglar alarms were established by E.A. Calahan in 1871. Using advanced telegraph signals, he developed a central monitoring station to keep tabs on alarms. This is considered primitive compared to what we have today – systems that can be monitored via smartphones and internet connection – but Calahan’s system served as the inspiration for today’s sophisticated security.
Marie Brown’s CCTV System
The first CCTV surveillance system is nothing like the modern security cameras that we have today. It goes way back to 1966, courtesy of Marie Brown’s bare bones system. She used a series of peepholes and a mechanized track to hide the camera. The images that the camera will pick up are transmitted to a video monitor. This invention didn’t exactly fly since it was very costly during that time, but Marie Brown became widely recognized for her vision.
The Reign of Wireless Monitoring
Now everyone can afford to install automated smart security systems in their homes to trigger alarms as long as they have internet connection and a PC or smartphone to use for controls. Sophisticated sensors can detect not just intruders but also temperature change. People can now monitor and control their systems through mobile phones, which makes it handy for those who are away for extended periods of time. Video surveillance cameras have become so affordable that they are installed at various points in a lot of homes. People can monitor the comings and goings of those in the household and grant access to the front door with just a touch or a swipe of the mobile screen.
Enter the Drones
Drones get their energy from docking stations that are usually positioned on rooftops. In case of home security drones, these are equipped with built-in HD cameras that can record, zoom, and pan shots. A remote control is used to manipulate the drone’s activity. The basic movement of a drone is to circle around the spot; the height of its flight should comply with government regulations. The camera will give you a bird’s eye view of the area, with feeds that can be watched on your smartphone. Once it’s done with the job, the drone is directed to the docking station for charging.
As if this is not enough, the market has developed drone home security that can operate without remote control. This autonomous drone also has a security camera and can actually call the police. In the presence of intruders, the drone can record a break-in attempt and can make judgment calls on whether the police should be alerted or not.
What about a drone that can actually attack intruders? A Texas firm recently introduced a drone equipped with a stun gun, which can zap an intruder with 80,000 volts. Thankfully, this drone is human controlled, because the idea of a fully autonomous drone that has a stun gun is a very unsettling concept (Skynet anyone?). CUPID, which stands for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, is controlled using a smart app. According to the firm, they are developing another version of the drone that will use pepper spray balls on intruders.
The Future of Drone Security
The evolution of these technologies will not stop anytime soon and people will think of more ways to increase security to feel safer in their homes. Of course, there are always concerns about technology such as drones. Some feel that drones can destroy privacy, especially if anyone can purchase them for their personal use. We can only hope that smarter and firmer regulations will go along with innovation so that drones can be used without abuse.