Should You Use Twitter for Security Monitoring?

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 23, 2009

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.

Related Reports on Monitoring

No Marketing Gimmick, Sharp Security Robot Targets Professional Market on Oct 17, 2016
Security robots are getting a lot of attention. Unfortunately, this is often for wrong reasons, most spectacularly highlighted by the Knightscope...
Pelco Optera 270° Camera Tested on Sep 06, 2016
Multi-imager cameras are typically 180° or 360°. Pelco has released a fixed 270° versions of their Optera intended to cover exterior building...
Ex-Microsoft Exec Surveillance Startup Nepoware on Sep 02, 2016
Former Microsoft executive Richard Ang says he wanted to build an IoT device, and so he has spent 3 years developing what he says is a more...
Viakoo Health Monitoring Examined on Aug 26, 2016
Viakoo, the company of ex-Intransa leaders, says they have created a monitoring tool for security networks that is easy to deploy and offers...
Axxon Next VMS 4.0 Tested on Aug 24, 2016
AxxonSoft is one of the biggest VMS vendors (reporting 263,000 channels sold in 2015), especially strong in their home market of Russia, but not...
Bosch Intrusion Detection Profile on Aug 10, 2016
This is a first in a new IPVM series profiling intrusion detection / alarm offerings. In this series, starting with Bosch, we examine: Key...
Something TERRIBLY WRONG In The Home Security Industry on Aug 08, 2016
Who is terribly wrong? The $57 million Silicon Valley funded startup, SimpliSafe or the security trade magazine that is 'mad as...
Logipix 20MP, 140MP and 200MP Cameras Examined on Jul 20, 2016
Looking for an Avigilon alternative? Logipix, based in Hungary, has created their own super high resolution end-to-end solution, featuring 20MP -...
Feenics Hosted Access Control Tested on Jul 07, 2016
In the access market, new entrants are uncommon. Because of that, newcomer hosted access vendor Feenics has gained the curiosity of many. A...
Set-Top Box DIY Alarm System Sage on Jul 05, 2016
A multi-billion dollar corporation has gotten into the DIY alarm system space. And they are dropping the wall-based panel that most every alarm...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Pelco Favorability Results on Dec 02, 2016
This is the first in a series of studies of manufacturer favorability. 100+ integrators rated and explained their views of each manufacturer. We...
Hikvision CEO Declares 'We Do Not Cut Rates" on Dec 02, 2016
Hikvision has led another press trip to China, and this time Hikvision's CEO is sharing insights into their competitive strategy, including...
Network Security Audit App (March Networks) Examined on Dec 01, 2016
Verifying one's video surveillance devices are locked down against common cybersecurity vulnerabilities is increasing important, as hacks using...
FLIR Acquires Drone Manufacturer For $134M on Dec 01, 2016
FLIR has acquired Prox Dynamics, a Norwegian maker of small military-grade drones, for $134M.  FLIR president Andy Teich provided additional...
Down to $50 IP Cameras From Honeywell on Dec 01, 2016
$100 IP cameras are literally old news. And you do not need to buy from spam email vendors anymore to get $50 ones. [premium_content] You can...
Distributor Offers Local Job Site Delivery on Nov 30, 2016
Local distribution branches are a big differentiator for many integrators, as they facilitate quickly picking up supplies locally without having to...
Dump Axis and Hikvision, Arecont Will Pay You on Nov 30, 2016
Do you want to get rid of your Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Hanwha Samsung, Hikvision, Pelco or Sony cameras? Now, Arecont will pay you to dump them for...
CODEC Guide 2016 on Nov 30, 2016
CODECs are core to surveillance, with names like H.264, H.265, and MJPEG commonly cited. How do they work? Why should you use them? What issues may...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards on Nov 29, 2016
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed books and pdf downloads costing hundreds or thousands. However, a...
Selecting Wood Drill Bits For Installers on Nov 29, 2016
Running cables through studs is common for roughing in residential and some older commercial installs. To do this, you will need to drill holes in...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact