How Home Automation and Security Can Work Together

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Integrating our security management system into home automation is one of the most fascinating aspects of what we do at FBS. That might sound strange considering that we make custom security doors for affluent clients all around the world — that work in and of itself is interesting enough. 

We’re a little biased, but we believe our security doors and windows are gorgeous. They’re hand-crafted by skilled artisans in Italy and are customizable to your unique style preferences and aesthetics. Each piece they make is a work of art specifically created for you. While the windows may resemble each other in their outward appearance, no one else in the world will have a door like the one they make for you.

But the way we can integrate those elegant pieces of art into your home automation and security systems is another beast altogether. Since all of our clients have luxury smart homes, it only made sense for us to develop a way to fully integrate with them. 

Here’s how we can help you build the best home automation and security system you’ve ever seen.

Why Our Clients Need Home Automation

Our clients have a very unique problem: they have homes so large that they could be commercial spaces. And when you have a home that big with that many doors and windows, managing it manually is impossible. Going around to turn every single light on or off is completely unrealistic — they need some kind of system that allows them to do it all in one place.

The same goes for our Sanctuary Management System. We created a program so that our clients could control all of their doors from one place. Over time, it simply made sense to connect our program to our clients’ home automation and security systems. 

A photo of two glass security doors leading out to a patio.

Integration with Alarms and Security Systems

First things first: let’s discuss your security system.

One of the biggest complaints about home security systems is that they’re a huge pain to use, and because they’re a pain, people tend to use them incorrectly. 

Home alarms and security systems boast the ability to set up zones so residents can move about the house freely when they’re home — perhaps one zone is the back half of the first floor so they can eat dinner and watch TV, another is the entire first floor, and yet another is the second floor where the bedrooms are so that kids don’t set the alarm off in the middle of the night if they get up to use the restroom. 

But what if one of the kids wants to go downstairs to get a glass of water? Now you have to take the alarm out of that zone so someone can walk down the stairs — and chances are, they’re waking you up to do it because they can’t do it themselves. 

While helpful in theory, zones are difficult to set up and very frustrating to maintain, which is why many homeowners simply opt to shut off the alarm when they’re home. They typically turn the alarm on when they’re leaving the house for the day, or when they go on vacation.

Unfortunately, that means your alarm is only protecting your stuff. It’s not protecting you.

Call us crazy, but isn’t your alarm system supposed to be making sure you’re secure?

Simple, Useful Solutions

Therefore, our high security doors equipped with the stealth closer and the motorized lock default to the closed and locked position. We made this decision because it’s how you’re the safest at home — it eliminates the possibility of user error. There’s no way you can forget to close the door, or not push it hard enough, or forget to lock it. It closes and it locks on its own. You’re in the house, safe and sound.

Likewise, our Sanctuary Management System is designed with security in mind, but we’re adamant that home automation technology should be completely customizable to work with your security system and your lifestyle, as opposed to against it. So we built in features that allow you to make changes for your unique situation.

For example, one of our favorite features is a very simple, but extraordinarily helpful tool called Day Mode. Because our doors automatically close and automatically lock, having a party at your house can suddenly become a bit annoying. If someone gets locked out of the house every time they go out to the pool, you’re spending all your time unlocking a door for guests instead of enjoying yourself.  A photo of a luxury home with a large pool and multiple lounge chairs awaiting party guests.

This is an easy enough fix with technology. We created an alternate setting that allows the door to close automatically, but not lock, so your guests are free to go in and out of the house as they’d expect to be able to. This can all be done through our Sanctuary Management System — there’s no need to go to every single door and flip a switch or touch a button (though you can do it at the door, if you’d like). You simply pull up the app on your tablet or your phone, tap the door on your floor plan, and flip it into Day Mode.

At night, when everyone is gone, you tap the door on the floor plan again and take it out of Day Mode. It resumes its typical default function. It’s that easy. 

Taking our doors out of the equation, what do you do with your alarm system when you have a party? Do you turn it off? What if someone slips through the front door unnoticed because everyone is in the back of the house? You could turn on your zones so the front of the house is secured, but what if a guest wanders into the front entrance to look at the new painting you bought?

We’re not saying you shouldn’t have an alarm in place. We’re just saying there’s a better way to have it work with your lifestyle.

Maximizing Your Home Automation ROI

When we discuss home automation with our clients, we’re typically discussing it in conjunction with our security doors and windows. It simply makes sense for us to tie all of our products into one system so our clients can manage their entire security system from the comfort of… well, wherever they are. 

They might be out of town on business and want to make sure everything looks alright on the home front. They might be in the middle of a movie and can’t remember if they took the sliding door out of day mode when they had people over that day. 

Furthermore, it’s expected at this point that people should be able to view their security cameras from anywhere. With the prevalence of the cheap doorbell systems, it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation that higher quality systems should offer the same services — but with better security, of course. 

For safety reasons, we limit the capabilities of the mobile app. If you pull it up at a restaurant to check on the kids, you’ll be able to perform functions that only tighten security, such as arming the alarm, locking doors, or taking doors out of day mode. Clients cannot use it to unlock a door or disable an alarm. 

Collaborating with Third-Party Home Automation Systems

Our technology can work with many popular home automation platforms, such as Crestron, Savant, RTI, AMX, Elan, and Control4. Our Sanctuary Management System is on a Crestron base, but it can communicate with any of these systems. 

If you use one of these companies (among some others) for your home automation system, we can send data from our Sanctuary Management System to theirs so you can view the status of each door or window, or see your security cameras.

An image featuring tablets and smartphones displaying the FBS Sanctuary Management System and how it can be incorporated into home security systems.

We maintain a strict one-way communication policy between our Sanctuary Management System and home automation and security systems. It’s quite literally a matter of our clients’ personal safety. We cannot allow another system to manipulate any settings on our security doors and windows.  

However, there are a few installers that we have worked with on many occasions and have properly vetted. If you work with one of those installers, we may be able to open up the lines of communication a little bit further so the systems are more closely integrated. Because this is a case-by-case situation, be sure to ask us about it if you’re interested.

Integrating with Facial Recognition

There are many amazing features of our doors — from the custom, extravagant finishes to the keyless entry technology to the hidden compartments we can build into them. But one of the most useful features is the seamless integration between facial recognition, your smart home automation, and your home security system. 

On a very basic level, our facial recognition technology allows you to enter your home without carrying a key. It’s the most secure way to enter your home because of its accuracy. The bone structure around your eyes doesn’t change from adolescence onward — even if you have plastic surgery, this part of your face remains the same. In order to enter your home, you have to be present.

Another way facial recognition can make your household run more smoothly is by setting up your Sanctuary Management System to allow certain people access at certain times. For example, if your housekeeper comes on Mondays and Thursdays at 11:00am, you can set it to allow them access at those exact times. You’ll be notified when they enter, and also if they try to enter at an unapproved time.

Taking it up a notch, facial recognition technology can work with your smart home, customizing your home to exactly how you like it the moment you walk through the door. 

Let’s say you have a smart home preset called “Work Mode” that adjusts the shades, the temperature, and the music to the settings that help you be more productive.

When the facial recognition on your security door confirms that you’re home at 2:00pm for your regularly scheduled afternoon of working from home, your smart home kicks into “Work Mode.” It adjusts the thermostat down a couple degrees because you prefer the temperature just a little bit lower in the afternoon when the sun beats through the windows.An image rendering of FBS facial recognition software confirming the identity of a resident allowed in the home.

The sound system puts on your “Afternoon Productivity” playlist — and at the perfect volume — because it helps you focus. The shades in your office adjust to 50% down so it blocks the glare coming through the window onto your laptop screen. 

Just about the only thing it can’t do for you is pour you a drink when you’re done working for the day. That, you’ll have to take care of yourself. (For now.)

But the ways facial recognition technology can help you don’t end there. Provided it’s armed, your alarm system is designed to go off the moment a door or window opens. As long as you shut it off in a designated period of time, the system doesn’t call the alarm management company. Hopefully, you can enter that code quickly enough, don’t accidentally enter the wrong one, or enter it incorrectly.

However, if you have facial recognition keyless entry, your verified scan will also turn off your alarm without you having to lift a finger, put down a bag, or hang up the phone. The door opens, your smart home adjusts to all your favorite settings, and the alarm shuts off automatically.

The Best Technology Solutions Have 3 Elements

In order for technology to actually work the way it’s supposed to, we believe that three essential elements must be in place: 

  • It has to be functional.
  • It has to be completely reliable.
  • And it has to be simple.

Everything we do at FBS focuses around these three elements because we know that if the technology we install in your home doesn’t work reliably, you won’t use it, which leaves you at risk. Your security measures can’t protect you if you’re not using them properly. 

We also know that if you don’t understand how to use it, you’ll neglect it, and since it’s exceedingly rare that we ever get the chance to actually train a client to learn how to use any of our technology (or even, just our doors), we specifically design our technology to not require training. In our eyes, if the client needs to be trained, we didn’t do our jobs.

This means that we have to create user interfaces so simple that you can learn how to use it on your own. Ideally, we don’t want you to need more than two taps to get to anything in our home automation program, and we user test extensively to make sure anyone can pick up a tablet and use it intuitively. 

We want you to feel empowered to take charge of your own security without needing to call anyone to figure out how to use it. 

Putting it All Together to Perfect the Art of Security

Integrating your security windows and doors with your security and home automation systems is one of the best decisions you’ll make for yourself and your luxury home. We’ve yet to have a client regret tying their Sanctuary Management System into their smart home. 

You’ve already spent countless hours designing your dream home — considering finishes, furniture, floor plans and countertops, making endless decisions about appliances and selecting curtains. 

This is the finishing touch. This is the piece that will make you feel like your home is truly yours.

If you’re ready to see how we can integrate our security doors and windows with your smart home and security system, give us a call or if you’re in the area, make an appointment to tour our showroom. We’d love to discuss all the ways we can help you create the luxury home of your dreams!

 

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