Security Systems

The Evolution of Security Systems

Technology and security systems are constantly changing and improving. iTHINK reveals the history of security systems, and how they help protect our homes and businesses, and aid in forensic investigations.

Technological advances means that we can protect ourselves from cybercrime. There has been a great deal of research and experiments into the benefits of AI technology.

The evolution of security systems and advances in technology are ever-evolving and changing. Years ago the only security systems that were in place were guard dogs or you protected your home yourself. However today there are many high-tech ways to protect your home or business.

This article will look at the history of security systems and see where they are at now. So who invented security systems? What are the advances in these systems? And how can they help solve crimes?

The History of Security Systems

Security Systems

Marie Van Brittan Brown was an African-American inventor, and working alongside her husband Albert Brown, is credited as the inventor of the first home security systems. In 1966 the first one was produced and their patent request was granted in 1969.

Brown was worried about how long it might take the police to arrive at her house if there was an emergency, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. The system had three peepholes, along with a camera attached to the door that could slide up and down, thereby allowing the person to see through the hole.

It was a fairly advanced system as it could also allow the homeowner to monitor and observe what was occurring outside their property on their television, via a radio-controlled wireless system.

It is thanks to the Browns that many of us feel safer in our homes today. Even though the system was designed with domestic use in mind, lots of businesses caught on and decided to make use of the invention.

Today we still use a version of their system, except technology has advanced so much that we can both use and watch video surveillance from anywhere in the world.

Similarly to CCTV cameras, a burglar alarm is another way of protecting your home or business. Edwin Holmes is credited with commercialising the electromagnetic burglar alarm and with establishing the first burglar alarm networks.

It was originally patented by Reverend Augustus Russell Pope in 1853, but Holmes attained the rights in 1857. Before this invention people simply relied on guard dogs or their own hearing to detect whether there was an intruder in their home or on their property.

By 1905 The American Telephone and Telegraph Company had bought Holmes’s company and were using it as a means of contacting emergency services.

Today the technology keeps evolving; ABUS Security-Center explains modern wireless alarm technology as managing “to integrate a combination of mechanical and electronic protection in just one single alarm system.Any attempts at intrusion are averted with high mechanical resistance force and detected electronically at the same time.” This means that if a burglar is detected they will be physically prevented from entering the home.

The Future of Security Systems

As of 2019, we are advancing in the fields of technology that can be used to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Unsurprisingly CCTV is used extensively for security, and recently CCTV technology is linked to internet based systems.

In addition to this, alarms and locks have advanced and now have the ability to connect and work together. For example the Elecpro US:E Smart Lock has a built-in camera along with facial recognition. This means that it builds up a database of trusted people that it will allow into your house or business.

Another advance is the Altro Smart Lock. It responds to voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant and offers a CCTV doorbell and smart lock in one piece of technology. It also has the ability to auto-lock the house when the owners are inside, thereby providing extra safety precautions.

If you link it to your phone then you are able to see who is at your door and talk to them if you wish to, even if you aren’t at home; you could even be in another country and still be able to access it.

How security systems aid forensic science

Security Systems

Security systems can aid forensic science and assist in solving crimes. For example, CCTV has been utilised in London, and up to six crimes are solved each day through CCTV footage.

A report published in 2015 entitled ‘Forensic Image Comparison and Interpretation Evidence: Guidance for Prosecutors and Investigator,’ explains that video and still images that are generated from technology such as smartphones, webcams and CCTV can help the police.

They write that “Image based evidence can provide a number of investigative opportunities and potential for expert forensic interpretation.”

It can help them identify suspects or victims through a variety of ways, such as gait analysis, facial image comparison and vehicle registration identification.

Technological advances means that we can protect ourselves from cybercrime. There has been a great deal of research and experiments into the benefits of AI technology.

For example, in 2016 ForAllSecure created the winning security bot in the competition Cyber Grand Challenge. Their creation AEG (automatic exploit generation) is able to detect viruses and bugs, which in turn can prevent security breaches and hacks into personal data.

The advancement of security systems shows no sign of slowing down. For example, burglar alarm systems could soon be directly linked to a criminal database that can administer face recognition software.

This would give you the ability to identify the criminal and bring them to justice. For more reassurance, you could have polymer-coated fences installed around your house, as they are advanced enough to detect if someone tries to climb over them, which then signals the rest of the security system into action.

This can be taken further in the form of drone security; soon drones will have the ability to disperse sprays that will halt potential criminals. The drones will then follow, and gain video evidence of the intruder, aiding in their capture.

Work is also currently being carried out in the area of biometric technology, for example in relation to voice printing and signature verification.

A report from the South China Morning Post details information about the use of new facial recognition system for security checks, particularly at airports and while commuting. Most of the time the verification of identity is done manually, with physical checks taking place in subway stations where people are patted down and have their bags X-ray screened.

China is an advanced country when it comes to technology and security systems and, as the report reads, “the growing use of facial recognition in security applications in China, part of the nation’s wider push to lead the world in artificial intelligence and a desire by the central government to improve public safety through surveillance of citizens.”

The technologies we have discovered could only once be imagined or in your favourite science fiction movie, but now they are a reality. The benefits of inter-connected technology, in particular the alarms and CCTV, make us feel even safer in our own homes. With even more changes and improvements around the corner, we could not be living in safer times in terms of our ability to protect our homes and businesses.

As we have discovered, security systems have the power to help in forensic investigations, particularly when it comes to CCTV and image recognition.

The future of technology is exciting – who knows where we will be in 20 years’ time and what we will have accomplished.

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