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The revolution brought on by wireless technologies, smart phones, and mobile apps have changed all of that. Today, home security systems can still sound alarms, but are much more difficult to forget about or foil. A software supported security system can send you a text message every time a door or window is opened, whether you’ve armed it or not. It can stream live video or send still images of what’s happening in your garage, living room, backyard or wherever you deploy a security camera. You can even be alerted before the break in, the moment the burglar pulls into the driveway!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.

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Sky is an AI assistant that is built into the app, and it uses machine learning to automate and manage your smart home for you. If you program it to, Sky can make decisions for your home based on sensors, geolocation, and history. Using the geolocation feature on your phone, the Element thermostat learns your preferred temperature settings and then auto adjusts when you arrive home. When your home is empty, the thermostat readjusts to conserve energy. ADT is one of the most recognized names in the home security business. The company was founded in 1874 as the first home security system network.