According to an IHS Markit study, voice-operated alarm systems are expected to grow at a seven per cent CAGR through 2022.
Globally, 92 per cent of intruder alarm systems sold in 2017 were operated by keypad or key fob, but this is expected to fall to 81 per cent by 2022, IHS says.
In 2017, 21 per cent of residential professionally monitored intruder alarm systems had additional connectivity and functionality beyond primary alarm signalling, which will reach 35 per cent by 2022, the report adds.
This is because home assistants developed by Amazon, Google and others are changing how consumers interact with connected home devices, including intruder alarms. More alarm systems now offer a voice-command option, allowing users to use Alexa and other smart assistants to arm and disarm their alarm systems.
IoT technologies have influenced the way consumers select home security systems, leading to increased connectivity and integration with voice assistants and other smart devices, reports IHS.
Voice is here to stay
Voice commands eliminate the need to physically interact with the alarm system, (i.e. locating a key fob or typing a pin code into a keypad). Voice features can also be useful when a keypad or smartphone malfunctions or the key fob is misplaced.
According to the research, currently available voice features in intruder alarms offer a basic level of interaction. The user speaks a predetermined command to disarm the system, and the voice assistant then asks for a security password or pin code.
This process could be improved with the use of advanced voice-recognition technologies, which would eliminate the need for dedicated passwords. The system would instead use voice biometrics to verify the user’s identity.
But a number of challenges prevent voice from becoming a more popular way of using intruder alarms. For example, the need to use pin codes prolongs the process.
“Some non-tech-savvy users might also struggle to communicate with voice assistants, as they require the use of specific commands for the device to listen,” the report says.
Privacy concerns arise with voice recognition in home alarm systems, including where the voice samples are stored — in the cloud or on local servers operated by alarm companies.
“As more intruder alarm manufacturers integrate voice assistants into their offerings, adding a smart device to an intruder-alarm package may create an additional incentive to purchasing an alarm system,” IHS concludes.
But manufacturers could also acquire companies that specialize in voice recognition software or partner with providers to speed the introduction of advanced video features.
However, IHS says many current users of intruder alarm systems are reluctant to test voice interaction or connect smart devices to intruder alarm systems.
Installers will need to focus on changing these perceptions by explaining how smart devices can simplify interactions with alarm systems. One way is to bundle products with smart devices and offer the necessary configuration support to facilitate a transition to connected systems.