Home security drones could be the next big thing in protecting loved ones and property from intruders.
Alarm.com is developing a home security system that will link the cameras on fully-automated drones to your smartphone, according to CNET‘s Ry Crist.
“Alarm.com has a big, bold idea for how to smarten up your home security: camera-equipped drones capable of flying through your home to investigate unexpected activity,” Crist writes.
“The subscription-based home security provider tells us that it’s partnering with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight Drone Platform to develop the technology to make it happen. The idea is for the drones to be totally autonomous, meaning that they could find their way to the specific location of a tripped motion sensor or a sudden noise, then send video of the disturbance right to your smart phone.”
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These aren’t just standard drones either. They rely on smart technology that will help them distinguish between normal and unusual sounds and activities within a household, allowing owners to take preventative measures beyond simply sending a drone into their leaving room to see what just went bump in the night.
“For example, if you typically lock your door every weekday around 7:00 PM, but then don’t, it’ll send you a notification, complete with the option to lock the door remotely from your phone,” Crist explains.
Qualcomm is proud to be working with Alarm.com and sees considerable potential in the partnership.
“The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight platform pushes the boundaries of the drone industry and has led to many new form factors and use cases,” Hugo Swart, the senior director of product management for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., told CNET.
“Alarm.com, with its security expertise, is taking commercial and residential security systems to the next level by integrating intelligent and cutting edge drones to its solutions.”
Snapdragon Flight is a “highly integrated board that’s smaller than a credit card (58x40mm) and targets consumer drones and robotics applications” according to the page promoting the board on Qualcomm’s official website.
— Koyaua (@koyaua) January 4, 2017
“Harnessing the power of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, it features robust connectivity, advanced software and development tools, along with cutting-edge mobile technologies that is designed to allow developers to create a new class of consumer drones,” the page continues.
“Snapdragon Flight brings together photography, navigation, and communication technologies in a compact and efficient package that fits on a single board. This helps reduce the size, weight, and power consumption of drones that use the board, which in turn supports longer flight times, safety, and easy-to-use form factors for consumers.”
That’s a whole lot of smart technology in a really small space. You can see details of the Snapdragon board’s specs here.
Integrating Alarm.com’s home security system with the Snapdragon board could provide other opportunities for tying it into smart home technologies and other technologies down the road. It is not too far-fetched to imagine a drone sending audio and video clips to law enforcement officers or uploading them to a cloud or other digital storage space for additional security.
The drones could, at least theoretically, also be modified to actually defend against intruders. After all, General Robotics’ DOGO tactical combat robot, which is about the size of a toy remote-controlled car, packs a Glock pistol as well as non-lethal armaments such as pepper spray and a “dazzler” light that can temporarily blind a person from 5 to 10 meters away, according to Defense Update.
You probably would not want a bunch of little drones wielding Glocks flying around your home, but ones armed with pepper spray and a dazzler could come in handy in a pinch. Maybe.
Alarm.com has not announced a specific date for when the home security drones might become available, but it could be as soon as this year, according to the CNET article.