Home Security – Jargon Buster
The use of electronics and internet connection to complete various household tasks.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the catch-all term given to the growing number of household appliances that use the Internet to enhance functionality and enable remote control. With more and more of us carrying smartphones with apps, accessing devices has become immediate and convenient.
IFTTT stands for ‘If this then that’. With IFTTT, you can connect all your devices together so that tasks are automatically completed. Essentially, if an event happens (this) in one application, it will trigger an action (that) within another one.
The central technology which each smart home device communicates wirelessly with.
The cloud is a network of servers that offer online storage of data. This can be accessed at any time using an Internet connection.
A wireless protocol used to allow devices to ‘talk’ to each other if they are both fitted with a Z-wave module. Z-Wave avoids interference with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the crowded 2.4GHz band.
Useful for transmitting data up to 100 metres between devices that require long battery life, ZigBee is a simpler spec for wireless networks than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
IP stands for Internet Protocol. Unlike analogue closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), IP cameras send and receive data via a computer network and the internet. These are most commonly used internally.
DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. This simultaneously monitors and records video footage from a number of cameras connected to a recording device. Video images captured are recorded and stored to a hard disc located inside the DVR. This can be easily displayed on a standard television or monitor.
A Hybrid DVR is a recording device that can accept more than one type of video signal input. The advantage of having a Hybrid DVR is the ability to use analogue cameras, while adding IP megapixel cameras to areas that need more detailed monitoring through better image quality.
Infrared (IR) night vision allows your CCTV camera to see in the dark for 24-hour surveillance.
Bullet cameras are designed to be aimed at a fixed specific location, such as a door, driveway, or garage. Many fixed bullet cameras are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Dome cameras are more discrete than an ordinary bullet camera. Dome cameras are designed for ceiling and mainly indoor use. Dome cameras make it hard to work out which direction the camera is pointing.
Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
PTZ are motorised cameras that can be moved via a DVR or smartphone app. They aren’t limited to monitoring in the area they are pointing at. Instead, they can be rotated 360 degrees, tilt up and down and zoom in and out to provide maximum coverage.
DNR stands for dynamic noise reduction. This reduces the noise introduced by transmission of signals if any are present.
It is a device which displays the views from two different cameras on a single screen simultaneously. The split can be set horizontally, vertically or where one image is placed into another.
Frames per second (FPS)
The number of images a device can record or display every second. ‘Real-time’ frame rate, as seen on TV displays, is 25fps. Depending on the type of surveillance, CCTV tends to be lower than this. Home surveillance, for example, is recommended at 16fps.
When an alarm system is armed, it is on and actively monitoring for triggers. A disarmed alarm system turns off monitors and allows users to move about the home freely.
A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic device used to detect motion.
Areas within the home that are protected by a motion sensor.
A panel that receives transmissions from alarm sensors and communicates data to the monitoring centre.
Power switch / smart plug
A power socket adaptor that enables switching an appliance on and off remotely using your smartphone or tablet.
The use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology used to operate your smart door lock, using radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to allow the transfer of data to objects without making physical contact.
Bluetooth Low Energy
Bluetooth Low Energy is a useful wireless protocol for connecting portable devices in the same room. In its fourth generation, it requires very little power to function.