Is it time to upgrade your company’s surveillance system?

Technology is always changing. We’ve seen some huge changes in the way our mobile devices work in the last ten years. In the last five years, we’ve seen streaming video come to our TVs in a big way. And now, it’s all about “smart home.” Smart home is just the overall idea that you can control things with voice or with an app that you couldn’t control before. All of a sudden, people all over the world are adding new outlets and light switches, talking to devices like Alexa and Google Home. The world of the future we were promised is finally here.

Smart Home isn’t just for home anymore

Sure we’ve all seen smart doorbells and app-enabled cameras for home, but what about for business? There’s a whole new generation of devices that can make businesses as smart as homes. One of the biggest jumps has been in surveillance.

Generation 1 systems

Before the 1980s the only way to stay secure was a dumb alarm. You hooked up a system and hoped it was loud enough to attract the police’s attention. Most businesses didn’t have the money to put in anything other than that. Toward the end of the 1980s you started to see devices that could call the police for you, but that still didn’t help you catch the guy who grabbed something and ran.

Generation 2 systems

Reasonably priced security and surveillance systems started popping up through the 1980s and 1990s, based on the availability of cheap VCRs. These systems adapted off-the-shelf video recorders to connect to multiple cameras. Sometimes one camera at a time would record, sometimes several. This was a good system for a long time and if you put some sort of camera system in, this was probably it.

Generation 3 systems

As computers gained popularity and got cheaper toward the end of the 1990s, digital systems started to take hold. Cameras started going wireless or using network wiring, and instead of tapes, DVRs started popping up. This kind of system got better and better as HD camera technology got cheaper, but it was still essentially a “dumb” system. Certain events could trigger a phone call or alarm, but for the most part the goal here was to identify the criminal after the crime took place.

Today’s smart surveillance systems

Surveillance systems today do more than ever. They can respond to motion, saving images of what’s happening so you don’t have to go looking for it. You can see what’s going on anywhere in the world using an app. You can even talk back to a criminal if need be. In the case of some of the fancier systems, an event in the security system can trigger lights to turn on, doors to lock, and other events that will make your business seem like Fort Knox.

Best of all, they work with Alexa and Google Home just like you expect so there isn’t a big learning curve.

Take a look for example at this system from EZVIS. You get everything you need including a hard-drive based DVR that can respond to Alexa or Google Home or be part of complex scenes that you create. While these cameras are stationary, other systems use cameras that can move and track suspects by themselves. This system uses complex motion detection to make sure that you don’t spend all day trying to find that moment when something happened.

A world of possibilities.

Check out the many security system options you can find at You can get the system you really want by building it yourself, or choose from a wide variety of packages designed to give you everything you need to make your business safer than ever. It’s less expensive than you would ever think, and it’s easier than ever to install by yourself.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.