Safety and security an indispensable feature of new concepts for workplaces and homes in ‘smart’ buildings

The demand for electronic security technology has been growing for years. This derives, on the one hand, from the positive economic climate in the building industry and, on the other, however, from the increased level of security awareness and people’s willingness to spend money on security. When developing new concepts for life in homes and workplaces, consideration of security, convenience and comfort for inhabitants and users is an indispensable precondition.

Smart networks

Increases in security, convenience and comfort do not, however, result from the mere installation of security technology. Only when the installed elements of the security technology are suitably integrated both with each other and with the overall building services network do they create a ‘smart’ building and, with it, the added value for operators and users. “Electronic security technology is becoming an integral part of the ‘smart home’ and ‘smart buildings’ in general. Sensors in the security system offer entirely new possibilities for data collection,” suggests Bartmann, outlining the growth prospects for the market as a whole. Experts foresee a further boost from the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). Sensors are becoming more and more intelligent, smaller and cheaper, so that completely new applications will become possible in the future.

Demand is already there today

The additional value and new functionalities are already leading to high demand for interconnected networks of security technology. Door and window sensors, together with the motion sensors used in burglar-alarm and access-control systems, regulate heating and lighting according to need. Natural smoke and heat extraction systems are used to create sophisticated ventilation concepts and are linked to the building automation systems via digital bus interfaces. Remote access to the fire alarm system, via the internet, facilitates preventive maintenance and efficient servicing. The introduction of mandatory smoke detectors in India means that security technology has now arrived across the board in private homes. There is currently a significant increase in demand for wireless smoke alarms linked into ‘smart home systems’.

Data security and data protection

Security installations protect people and possessions and must function reliably at all times. Accordingly, requirements for connection to the network are equally stringent, particularly in respect of data transfer via insecure IP-networks like the internet. Currently, it is the security concerns of consumers that are impeding the installation of ‘smart’ technologies. Indeed, an analysis relating to the IoT conducted by Accenture*** shows that half of the future consumers have reservations about the use of smart technologies, with regard to inadequate data protection and cyber intrusion.

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