As homes get smarter, home security needs an update

    Norway’s Viva Labs has been pushing a whitelabel Smarthome experience for a few months now with all the fun stuff, such as a NEST-like thermostat that learns from how you use it, and smart plugs that recognize that you’ve left the house – helping you make sure you don’t leave that coffee maker on.

    But according to Viva Labs CEO Henrik Holen the energy effeciency and smart control are only two parts of the equation: safety and home security might be one of the more important things in a smart home that we haven’t seen many companies work on.

    So building up their platform further, Viva is also moving in the home security space by doing something like Dropcam, or what home security should look like if it were invented today. The recording system automatically knows through your phone’s GPS when you’ve left the house, and if the system notices something though their platform connected motion sensing cameras, they’ll get in touch with you through a push notification, text message, or then then automatic phone call if they notice you haven’t checked out the potential issue.

    The whole call-center based home security system made sense back in 1980 when landlines were the only way to get in touch with anyone, but after looking at the live recording or video in the cloud, you can then call the police and say “hey, there’s someone in my house” rather than going through the unnecessary step of alarm company.

    “Here in Norway you see 15-20% [of the population] has burglar alarms and they pay a fortune for it – something like €40 a month. Despite that, only 50% set alarms regularly. The alarm company has no incentive to get you to use the service – they only have costs associated with alarms being set,” says Holen.

    For sales Viva Labs has been pursuing the white-label path, and is expecting to roll out its solution in Norway in January/Feb, targeting broadband companies and utilities as customers.

    Now that I think about it, home security is probably the best way to get smarthome systems to the masses because it’s felt like a “need” to a decent amount of the world. Most of today’s smarthome solutions are more for engineers by engineers, but in the coming years as the technology gets more user friendly we’ll see more people pulling out their phones to control their homes.