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Our article on security system for smart cities in Odiya news paper Dharitri.

Our article on security system for smart cities in Odiya news paper Dharitri.

One of the most important components of smart cities is security: how to harness technology to secure homes and offices in an intelligent software driven society? Now-a-days we find rapid increase in thefts and crimes even in colonies and complexes perceived to be safe and inhabited by educated mass. As newer and advanced technology is becoming accessible, there had never been a better time to combine technology with this changed paradigm. As responsible members of our families and society, it is naive to assume that crimes will not happen in our environment, or it is only the authorities who should take initiatives to prevent such things.

Let us first reflect upon that ubiquitous CCTV system that has gained ground. However, CCTV has its own limitations. Sometimes, CCTV alone cannot offer a complete holistic security. For e.g. it can be easily compromised by burglars by putting mask on their face, or taking away the DVR (Digital video recorder), the heart of CCTV with them.

At best, it is a passive monitoring mechanism. In fact, CCTV camera is helpful for monitoring purpose and hence an additional 24x7 manned station is required to react in real time to the footage. In many cases, it is not practical to deploy such a manned monitoring station in small home or office environment. CCTV can only be used as a postmortem tool for crime investigation i.e. after the theft or burglary has already taken place. Therefore, a smart security system such as intrusion/burglar alarm comes into picture, which can be deployed along with CCTV cameras to provide reasonably good security and peace of mind. A smart security system allows active monitoring and triggers automatic instant notifications in real time in case of crimes.

Not only a smart security system works in theft and burglary, it can also notify in case of fire and leakage of gas. Multiple parties such as the owner, police, or relatives’ phone numbers can be pre-configured, which receive instant SMS as well as voice call automatically from the system. Apart from this, it can activate a high volume siren to attract the attention of neighbors and guards etc.

These modern systems are even controllable from smart phones. They have facility of huge on-board power backup, so that intentional power line cut by thieves or supply failure do not impact its operations. The system notifies the owner when the battery drains via SMS. Even if the thieves make any attempt to cut any wire of this smart security system, this will also be notified to the owner through SMS.

Such systems have the feature of automatic activation and de-activation, apart from manual activation from smart phones & remote. For example, an office may chose auto-activation every evening and auto de-activation every morning. Also, central monitoring facility is available using which, one can query the status of the smart security systems deployed at different locations.

The heart of the system is an intelligent microcontroller that sits on a control panel, and communicates constantly with multiple sensors installed in the office or home. These sensors communicate with the microcontroller through wires or radio frequency waves, depending upon wired or wireless solution that is suitable for the environment.

Gas leakage sensor, Smoke/fire sensor, Vibration sensor, Glass break sensor, Shutter sensors and Door/Window sensors PIR (Passive Infrared) motion sensors are the ones that are integrated to a smart versatile safety system. In case, the thief enters the house by making drills on the walls, the pet immune PIR motion sensors will be automatically triggered. The good quality motion sensor uses dual passive infrared elements with high RFI (Radio Frequency Interference)/EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) immunity that avoids false alarms.