Homes of the future are going to be smarter, more connected and capable of offering a level of comfort previously only possible in science fiction, but what good will it be without a robust security system that can protect properties from unwanted visitors? We caught up with ERA Security’s Tania Tams to find out what the company is offering housebuilders to bring their home security systems into the 21st Century and beyond.
Homeowners expect the homes they buy to be smarter and more interconnected. This includes home security, which needs to be easily accessible whilst also robust. What products can ERA offer to aid this?
This is a great example of why we have recently launched ERA Protect. Previously, we had great smart systems, but they worked alone. The HomeGuard, DoorCam and Cameras, work brilliantly to secure a home, but they work independently and as your question suggests, people today want systems to be seamless and integrated for ease of use. The new ERA Protect is an alarm system, with fully integrated outdoor cameras and floodlight cameras and soon there will be more to add the portfolio of security products, with a video doorbell and an indoor camera; all working together with one, easy-to-use smartphone app.
Can you tell us more about the technology involved?
ERA Protect operates on Bank Grade encryption and is one of the first to successfully pass the Internet of Things IOT Kitemark. The system communicates wirelessly between the hub, sensors and cameras and you can extend it or reduce it at any time by adding or removing accessories. The alarm hub is backed up with a built-in roaming SIM card which enables data from the alarm and camera to be uploaded and alerts to continue, even if the internet goes down.
Can you explain how preinstalling and preprogramming ERA’s hardware might enable a developer to offer the “wow” factor to a potential buyer?
Setting up everything in advance is easy to do and then the homeowner can be given access when they move in, with everything pre-programmed and done for them. They simply log in, change the password and then the system wholly belongs to them. What more of a wow can the customer get than being handed immediate access to a fully integrated security system which includes discrete floodlight cameras, outdoor cameras, video doorbells and an alarm.
The system does come with a small one-off or monthly paid subscription which can be purchased by the developer at the point of purchase and then passed on to the homeowner or given as a value-added benefit to the homeowner. The owner will receive app notifications when it is time to renew the subscription.
What are some of the features included?
The system can be armed and disarmed using Alexa and includes features such as built-in SIM back up, a floodcam which lights to 950 lumens whilst discreetly recording and Home Arm functionality which allows you to set/unset varied sensors for moving around the home freely whilst still protected. This system is also available with a Professional Monitoring subscription which means your customer could benefit from an around the clock Professional Monitoring package.
The system is all controlled via an easy to use smartphone app. It is intuitive and easy to follow, making installation a fairly quick process, especially when you have fitted a few. The pairing of accessories is easy, simply by pressing a + button and then scanning a code on the back of the sensor which pairs the sensor to the hub.
What reassurances can you offer that the security products you provide are reliable and safe?
The system has undergone vigorous testing by the BSI Institute of Things, which is a new certification to show that the system is safe and secure. ERA have been securing Britain’s homes for 180 years and are experts in security hardware, this is simply the next step in security, combining technology with time served knowhow.
What are some of the measures taken to inhibit bypassing of the security systems? For instance from vandalism?
The hub, whilst powered by plug, is backed up by a long life battery which means the alarm will continue to work even if the power is cut. In addition, the outdoor camera and floodlight camera have protection to ensure no wiring is exposed, again, making it impossible for vandals to cut wires. Finally, the video doorbell is registered only to the owner. On removal, it cannot be reused unless a code is obtained from us directly, rendering it useless to anyone other than the owner and therefore worthless… Not to mention they risk being spotted as they get up close to the camera to steal it.
Finally, all data is stored in the cloud, so if camera footage has been recorded, no amount of damage to cameras will erase any footage as it is safely stored away in the cloud and not the camera itself.
Lastly, is the system charged on a one off basis or as a subscription?
The system has a one-off cost, depending on what you buy – you can make it as big or as small as you would like and then yes, to action the full range of features you would have to pay a small subscription depending on what features you want. For example, you can opt for the basic protect coverage which enables SIM back up and 30 day video storage, or you could opt for the affordable 24hr Professional monitoring package which is where the property is monitored by a professional company for the length of the subscription. It is worth noting that differently to other providers, our subscriptions can be flexible so you can opt in or out – great for the darker months when having extra protection gives homeowners added peace of mind.