Home Security Systems have always been just that, a way to secure the space inside your home. But in the era of the internet and social networks, the traditional notion of home security is ripe for expansion. When it comes to security, most neighborhoods are full of people with aligned interests - they are all concerned with safety and are usually more than willing to provide some assistance to neighbors (whether they know them or not) if they know there will be some reciprocation. The classic example is Neighborhood Watch, and it has been quite successful over the years. A study shows that such organizations can reduce crime from 16% to 26%. More recent examples include NextDoor, which is essentially a Facebook for local communities. Community security issues have emerged as one of the most popular discussion topics among NextDoor subscribers.
Although these neighborhood watch programs can be effective, they are not useful as a direct complement to home security systems, particularly in the event of an actual intrusion alert. So instead of leveraging this tremendous engaged and interested resource in the home's immediate surroundings, alerts are routed to a call center somewhere half way around the world. In fact, many municipalities require a call center alert to provide a second point of visual confirmation of an intrusion before they will dispatch police. Measures such as these are in reaction to the prevalence of false alarms, which typically range from 94% to 99%.
So why not find a way to start with engaging the local community at the time of an alert? To set the record straight, we are not suggesting that the elderly widow next door is expected to pounce from a hedge and tackle an intruder as he tries to escape with your valuables. But what is useful is if a neighbor can look out their window and see if there is an open or broken window or a strange car in the driveway. Any type of visual corroboration of an intrusion is all that is required to ensure the police will be on their way.
At Korner, we are leveraging technology to its fullest to bring together these until-now separate notions of home security and neighborhood watch. Within the home, we leverage our patent-pending sensor approach to offer very inexpensive and easy-to-use security. At $59 upfront and $39/year, we are the cheapest solution on the market. And we install in just minutes. But we also allow the user to easily engage their community. At time of setup, our app allows the user to invite friends, family and neighbors to their 'Security Circle'. In the event of an intrusion, our App notifies the user with an alert which will include two buttons - one to call the police, and the other allows the user to immediately forward the alert, which includes the location and name of the entry point, to their entire Security Circle. So with the press of one button, the user can engage their community to verify and intrusion and help in any way possible. And once the alert is sent, the Korner app will manage an open text stream among the entire Security Circle, so that everyone involved is informed as what is happening.
Over time, as the number of Korner users and their Security Circles grow within a community, we see the Korner platform evolving into a more elaborate discussion platform, where members of a neighborhood can discuss any and all issues relevant to that community. Ultimately, this could lead to an entire community being alerted immediately if there is an intrusion anywhere in that neighborhood. This not only helps the community, but would reduce police response to false alarms, alleviating some of the burden from local municipalities.
So what's the new word for Home Security? There are lots of buzz words out there - Collaborative/ Communal/ Community Security. Or forget about Smarthomes, how about Smarthoods? Or maybe I should leave this to the media/branding pros...