Along with the rise of wearables and the death of TV as we know it, there’s one big takeaway from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show: smart cameras are primed to run home security companies like ADT out of business. Brinks’ home security division went bust a couple years ago, after all. It stands to reason. Home security cameras are to subscription-based security systems as HBO GO is to cable: why shell out a lot for something that you’ll only use 1 percent of the time when you can pay a fraction of that for something specific? Maybe people are realizing that the most useful part of subscription-based security services is that little sign you get to stick in your lawn, the one that says “Warning: This house is protected by such-and-such.” You can get those for free, anyway.
Where traditional home security blankets potential households with standard coverage, the new generation of smart surveillance cameras offers options. There are cameras perfect for a modern nuclear family smarthome, complete with door and window sensors that render subscription services redundant. For minimalists in studio apartments, there are less robust camera setups, some equipped with intruder-deterring sirens. The diversification of security options, along with increasingly robust smartphone notification systems, means you don’t need to become a Gone Girl-level control freak to sensibly guard your property. These smart cameras make home security more inviting and more powerful at the same time. That’s a hell of a balancing act. Now you get to walk your own tightrope: which one to buy?