5G is a new generation of wireless technology—the fifth generation. 5G is capable of faster transmissions and the increased capacity to carry massive amounts of data.
Internet-enabled devices, known as IoT devices, connect to the internet and include all sorts of consumer goods, such as self-driving cars, front-door locks, baby monitors, and even refrigerators.
The expanded capacity of 5G enables more IoT devices to connect simultaneously, which opens the door for more technological advances. In 2017, Gartner predicted 95% of electronic products in our homes would be IoT enabled by 2020.
Home security using connected sensors predates IoT. Mechanical locks, for instance, were augmented with corresponding sensors. These sensors were components of alert and response security systems.
As 5G increases capacity and IoT technology advances, consumers will benefit from reduced power consumption, smaller size, and less cost. Additionally, newer devices will perform increasingly complex tasks.
Monitor and receive notifications
5G devices can monitor the activities inside and outside the home and even provide live views using mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet. IoT alarm systems are more intelligent. Using cameras, they detect objects and people that enter a defined area and differentiate between interaction with public space and the private area of a homeowner’s or business owner’s property, and sends alerts. This type of differentiation is especially important when living in multi-unit housing.
Some types of security cameras include facial recognition, which means they can distinguish between known and unknown persons. When configured, the device sends an alert if a stranger approaches the front door.
Users can configure alerts for other situations as well, such as an open garage door open, the sound of breaking glass, fire hazards, water leaks, or changes in temperature that might indicate potential damage.
Control the environment
As important as monitoring is to home safety, there’s more. IoT devices enable the property owner to participate actively in security. If the garage door is left open, it can be closed remotely. An IoT door lock can allow a trusted person to enter the house without a key, which is ideal for allowing a delivery person to leave a package inside or kids to enter when they return from school.
Security systems also log activity and provide reports. If an unauthorized breach is detected (or for other reasons), the user can activate sirens and flashlights, turn on IoT lights, or program random lighting sequences to give the appearance of an occupied building.
In 2019, Australia had 173,344 victims of unlawful entry with intent, a 3% increase (5,294 victims) over the previous year, but lack of evidence means most home burglaries go unsolved. With IoT devices, cameras record the entry and activities conducted by the criminal and are often used by police to find the person and at trial to convict them. The presence and use of cameras also serve as a deterrent to would-be home invaders.
Aside from home invasions, IoT devices improve safety throughout the house on many levels. A system can perform tasks that, while seemingly simple, protect the property
when residents are home and when they are not. For example, an IoT device can shut off stoves and notify owners if a smoke detector sends an alert about smoke in the house or smoke outside and downwind of the device. Leaks can be detected by smart pipes and meters, which could save thousands of dollars on water-damage repairs.
The very capability that makes IoT devices useful to property owners also makes them susceptible to hackers. Many IoT products are lacking security features, making them vulnerable to outside interference and malware injections. IoT device makers need to focus more on how to protect the homeowner that chooses their product. Increased security for users is possible but not a priority for many manufacturers. Homeowners can improve products by demanding and only purchasing those with adequate internal security features.
Home safe home
5G offers increased capacity to handle the demands of internet-enabled devices. The ability to support the data of millions of IoT devices fosters innovation and leads to demand for new products to help property owners secure their investment. Inherently, these devices are susceptible to attack, and consumers should demand high-level security for their purchase.