X
Get all access to the world's best video surveillance information.
Logo
680-70-2015-free-banner

Should You Use Twitter for Security Monitoring?

by John Honovich, IPVM posted on May 23, 2009 About John Contact John

Internet luminary Kevin Rose suggests that we cut out alarm monitoring companies through the use of low cost devices and sharing alerts via Twitter. Friends and neighbors can then monitor those alerts and respond appropriately. [Watch Kevin Rose's video explaining the concept.]

Certainly, Kevin taps into 3 compelling concerns:

  • Alarm monitoring services are expensive - $500-$1000 USD per year
  • They often sell based on fear
  • The Internet makes monitoring much less expensive and more sophisticated

However, 3 operational issues make a free, pure crowdsourcing approach to be unattractive for most:
  • Alarm monitoring companies provide extensive coverage indoors and outdoors that makes sure that the house is well protected; a DIY approach would likely leave major gaps in coverage
  • Handling false alerts would likely overwhelm people responding (ie., "the Boy who Cried Wolf") since most alerts are false
  • It's often hard to determine if an alert is an intruder or simply a friend, relative, etc. Responders at alarm monitoring companies have numbers/contacts and procedures to verify and assess such issues

Because of this, most people benefit from having some centralized organization that verifies alarms and provides quality control/support.

That being said, I think the idea has merit:
  • The idea can be implemented today with $100 IP cameras that use motion detection and support SMS/email. A moderately technical person could do this now and could deploy a poor man's 'alarm monitoring system'
  • While free, crowdsourcing has problems, today's technology should easily generate new competition from much lower cost providers that use the Internet and self-monitoring to reduce costs yet provide some support and verification.

Ill-will towards the monitoring companies is common and with the high prices of systems, they are ripe for disruption. While free and open source may not be enough for most today, new technologies do point the way to less expensive alternatives.





Most Recent Industry Reports

ioimage HD Analytic Camera Tested on Jan 29, 2015
Four years after acquiring ioimage, DVTel has released new HD analytic cameras, with the promise of higher probability of detection and lower false alarm rates.   Now, the question ...

Testing Integrated IR Cameras In Snow on Jan 28, 2015
'Snowmaggedon 2015' gave us an oppportunity to test cameras in heavy snow conditions. Integrated IR has gained in popularity, improving low light images even in low cost cameras. However,&nbs...

2015 Video Surveillance Guide on Jan 27, 2015
The 250+ page, 2015 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covering the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available. Table of Contents How To Get It There are 3 ...

How to Hack an ADT Alarm System on Jan 26, 2015
This report explains the key steps in hacking an alarm system, like ADT, as was presented in a Defcon 22 presentation. The risk of such a hack has become major news as a class action lawsuit was f...

Simplicam Facial Recognition Tested on Jan 23, 2015
Facial recognition, available for $150? That's the offer from a startup, Simplicam, who has not only cloned Dropcam setup and user interface but has added in facial detection and recognition....

Bosch 4K Tested on Jan 21, 2015
4K promises more pixels but does it undermine WDR and low light performance? We tested the Axis 4K camera and there were certainly issues. Now, we tested the Bosch 4K camera, the Dinion IP Ultra ...

Largest New Video Surveillance Projects on Jan 19, 2015
140 video surveillance professionals, including integrators and manufacturers, shared the largest video surveillance projects that they have seen in the past year. Key Patterns The survey results...

IP Networking Course - Last Day Save $50 on Jan 18, 2015
[Today is the last day to save $50 - register now.] This is the first networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals. IPVM is launching an IP Networking for Video Su...

Bosch Buys $190 Million Integrator on Jan 16, 2015
The big deals continue. This time, Bosch has bought a US integrator, Climatec, that did ~$190 million in 2014 revenue.

Testing $50 Mini NVR on Jan 14, 2015
As an NVR, this performed very really badly. But, as a member suggested to us, could a $50 mini NVR be used as an IP / HD spot monitor? Adding a spot monitor or public view display in an IP sur...