Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: Drone Up to Protect Your Home

The sky’s the limit in the latest high-tech devices to guard you and your valuables.

BY April 20, 2016


So, you’re living the dream here in Southwest Florida. You’ve got a beautiful home and it’s filled with beautiful stuff. Well guess what? There’s a decent chance that I’m going to come over and try to rob you. I know it’s awful, and I feel bad about it. But that thing you’ve got hidden in the wall safe is just too tempting. And, honestly, journalism pays poorly. (To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran, if it doesn’t rhyme, there was no crime.)

However, in an effort to ease my conscience, I’m willing to give you at least a fighting chance by recommending the latest in home security features designed to keep you and your home safe from people like me. Sure, you can have panic rooms and guard dogs and trip wires, but that’s old-school and passé. This is the future, so let’s act like it. (OK, technically it’s the present even though I wrote this in the past—arg! Ice cream brain freeze.)


It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Nope.

Chances are you already have yourself a fancy home security system that announces if a door or window opens. Or maybe it calls someone if it hears glass break. But what you need is the Galileo Alpha Security Drone. In what is clearly the first tangible step toward a functioning Skynet, the Alpha is like the Roomba vacuum of your personal air space. Thanks to motion sensors placed at various locations on your property, it wakes up from its rooftop (or wherever) self-charging pad and flies off autonomously to get a look at what’s happening. If it detects activity, it alerts you and sends your smartphone live video, audio and 3-D data—even at night, thanks to its infrared camera. It can even track the suspect. That’s right: You’ll have an autonomous drone guarding your home. Once the excitement is over, it flies back to its nest to recharge. Pure awesome. galileousa.com


Living, Breathing Muscle

Even though there are drones being developed that shoot pepper spray and can send 80,000 volts of electricity through someone via Taser (truly), sometimes you just need a human. Naples-based Drago Protective Services is one of the world’s top protection agencies, having guarded everyone from international bankers to Middle Eastern royal families. (If that’s you, call me. We should hang out.) So, let’s say you’ve decided to throw a masquerade ball at your villa and several guests will be spending the night with their jewels. However, a devilishly charming semi-retired cat burglar lives nearby and your insurance company is nervous. You’d want to call Drago. They’d protect you. You’d also want to watch To Catch a Thief, because that’s basically the entire plot. dragoprotectiveservices.com


Smart Rock

So your doors are locked and you’ve got your own personal drones keeping guard 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, even with those precautions, your most sensitive information might just be sitting there for the taking—right out from under your nose. Dojo-Labs, an Israeli start-up now based in Silicon Valley, has introduced Dojo, a piece of technology that looks like a well-worn river rock but is, in fact, a sentinel for all of your technology. It constantly scans all of your connected home devices (TVs, computers, tablets, cell phones, printers, networks, routers, gaming consoles, appliances, etc.) for malware, viruses and cyber attacks and keeps them from getting hacked. It glows to let you know there are issues you need to be aware of and sends alerts to your phone. You probably need this more than you think. dojo-labs.com


Lights! Camera! Action! (OK, Just Lights and Action)

Maybe you don’t have a giant mansion that requires a moat, two dozen rottweilers and armed snipers on the roof. Maybe you just have a small condo in an older building that you’d like to be automated. Then you need Sony’s new Multifunctional Light. Yes, that’s the actual name. Currently available only in Japan (but expect it here soon), it does everything but iron your clothes. It’s not only a smart light that can be controlled remotely and change colors to suit your mood. It’s also a multifunction hub with myriad sensors that sits within the light and connects via Wi-Fi to other devices such as your AC or television—so, conceivably, you can set it to turn stuff on when you walk into the room. It also has sensors for motion, lighting, temperature and humidity, not to mention an infrared controller, speaker, microphone and microSD slot. How does this help your security? Other than the motion sensor alerting you than I’m in your home stealing it, not much. I just thought it was cool. sony.co.jp


Clean This Place Up

My mother always jokes that if her home were ever robbed she’d never know it because the place is so messy. If this sounds like you, kill two birds with one stone with LG’s new Hom-Bot Square Turbo+ robotic vacuum. Not only does it do a perfectly fine job cleaning your floors autonomously (or with you directing it with your smartphone in an effort to entertain guests), it also comes equipped with cameras and motion sensors. That means it can monitor for activity and take pictures of what’s happening (it sends them immediately to your phone). So if you get an alert and video confirmation that I’m in your home stealing your Japanese Multifunctional Light, you can direct your vacuum via remote control to follow me and take video evidence. But you will want to save those videos because I’m stealing this thing, too. lg.com


Front Doors Come First

I wanted to give you the latest information on bulletproof doors, but an awful lot of what I found ultimately described them as “bullet-resistant,” which doesn’t instill the kind of confidence you might like when stuff hits the fan. So let’s focus on door-related items. For example, consider replacing your doorbell with Doorbird, a motion-sensitive device that features an ultra-wide-angle high-definition camera (with night vision infrared LEDs), speaker and microphone that interacts with your phone. And yes, it even rings when someone pushes the button. Couple that with the Kwikset SmartScan deadbolt, which uses a biometric system to store the fingerprints of those who are allowed access. Of course, if you’re like me and have already filed off your fingerprints, you may prefer the Schlage Sense. It works with Apple’s HomeKit and allows you to control your lock with Siri voice commands. It can also be programed for up to 30 different access codes (you know, for your housekeeper, dog walker, personal assistant, bodyguard, houseguests and drone maintenance person) and allows you to see who’s coming and going. doorbird.com, kwikset.com, schlage.com


Sleep on It

I don’t trust banks. It’s probably because I’m friends with an inordinate amount of bankers, but it’s also because banks get robbed every day. Is that a place you’d want to keep your money? Think about it; every time you turn on the news Kellie Burns is talking about some bank being robbed (or a Subway—but I wouldn’t keep my money there, either). No, you want to keep your valuables close—really close. You want to sleep on that cash. And you can with the BedBunker, a vault that replaces your useless box spring. Top-of-the-line BedBunkers feature his and her vault doors with six 1-inch pins and weigh 300 pounds each. (Hydraulics help you open them.) Best of all, besides keeping your cash and jewels safe, it comes with rifle racks capable of holding 64 rifles in a double stack configuration. And there’ll still be room for pistols and ammo. Yep, you’ll finally be able to sleep easy (because I’m not coming to your house if you have one of these). bedgunsafe.com/bedbunkers


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