A Nice Pumpkins and flowers decorated front door.

How to Capitalize on the Rising Interest in Residential Video Cameras

Find out how cameras have become a window to a fully monitored security and life-safety solution.

By: Dwight Dumpert, Senior Director, Product Management at Resideo

Dwight Dumpert's headshot.While I was shopping recently, I saw the Halloween season décor, which triggered a memory: it was about this time of year when I purchased my daughter's first smartphone.

Anyone who has given a phone to their child knows that feeling, "I've just placed the world at their fingertips." It's a pivotal, teachable moment and usually requires 'the responsibility talk.' Because this phone isn't just a phone anymore, it's … a camera; a personal portal to engage with friends on social media; a suite of apps, services and sensors – the list goes on.

Similarly, the cameras in-and-around our homes aren't just cameras anymore.

As manufacturers, we have a responsibility to produce residential surveillance cameras that are easy to use, offer apps and a backend cloud that deliver a full user experience, quality video and sound and enhanced analytics that add meaningful value to a family's everyday life.

Over the past 18-plus months, our everyday lives have experienced monumental shifts: we have new ways of living, working and engaging with people – and many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before.

Certainly, those changes have also opened doors to potentially more consumers wanting video solutions in and around where they live. This evolution is really an add-on to consumers’ already growing interest in home security cameras, which has been growing since 2016 (see this recent view from Parks Associates).

Let’s rewind back five years, when residential cameras were still considered a bit of a novelty. Now, homeowners are viewing it a necessity – a way to stay connected. With consumer technology reporters continually updating their reviews on smart home cameras, plus surveys like Parks Associates’ finding an average of three-plus such devices in broadband-enabled U.S. homes, there is a captive audience. In fact, looking ahead, some analysts predict even more of a jump, with a hearty 15.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for smart home security cameras through 2027 globally, building on a $3.71+ billion USD market (per Grandview Research).

A couple standing in front of the kitchen with the z-wave screen device on the counter.

See the Landscape In New Ways

An important next step is to help show customers that residential cameras aren't just cameras anymore. They are the window to unlocking the complete benefits of a whole-home security system. Dealers can leverage that initial customer engagement with awareness about cameras’ advancements and standout An important next step is to help show customers that residential cameras aren't just cameras anymore. They are the window to unlocking the complete benefits of a whole-home security system. Dealers can leverage that initial customer engagement with awareness about cameras’ advancements and standout features from the past few years, then highlight the benefits of integrating cameras with a fully monitored security and life safety solution. The current 3G radio sunsets (AT&T and Verizon) also open up an opportunity to contact the customer and up-sell them to new devices and services, including video.

There are numerous silver linings borne out of the DIY smart home mentality, especially when it comes to cameras. Customers have gotten an idea of cameras’ capabilities – and limitations – whether using video doorbells, outdoor/perimeter cameras for an entryway or garage, or using one to two indoor devices to keep an eye on kids or pets. Consumers' also have more familiarity with using an app to control and monitor their home throughout a day.

One element of security that consumers may not be as familiar with or think of is the idea of cyber security. It's important to reiterate the importance of working with trusted, reputable companies and manufacturers. Again, there is more to a camera than meets the eye – and working with partners and manufactures that offer encryption and privacy is crucial. If a homeowner doesn't ask about cyber security during a sales call or during an installation, it's important to bring it up.

And speaking of installation, consumers are having the realization that, for many, installation can quickly become daunting, with lots of steps that may work for a few, and many need assistance. When they see the broader set of capabilities that are possible with an end-to-end security system featuring a set of well-positioned cameras, those benefits become even clearer

By and large, consumers’ sentiment has shifted and their comfort levels seem to have leveled up; in- and outdoor cameras are more of the norm, and that means opportunity to help customers branch out with the help of a professional, augmenting experiences they want (or didn’t know are available).

This is where dealers’ expertise can truly shine: pointing out the increased advantages of integrating cameras with other sensors and features fora connected system, or offering a comprehensive smart home solution that covers the same ground and makes it easier to add other devices as customers’ lives evolve. The chance to educate and guide that transition from one-off products to an integrated, consistent system, is pivotal for creating that confidence and establishing a foundation of long-term loyalty. Even if done virtually!

A ProSeries Camera installer is installing the camera outside of the house

Point to the Possible

With increased intelligence found in many standalone cameras and professionally-monitored security systems, customers can realize that more technology does not have to also mean overbearing nor overwhelming. Some dealers may consider providing consumers a hands-on, showroom experience that will help them understand the capabilities, needs and the versatility.

Certainly, some customers will be well-suited for just a single or two-camera arrangement. But providing that future-ready vision will allow for an automatic peace of mind and a more seamless customer- or dealer-installed path for growth. For example, if the customer starts with a video doorbell or an outdoor camera covering a yard or parking area, there is a natural progression to either add devices inside or further out, especially as people spend more time around their homes and realize, “Wow, a lot happens here during a given day.”

For those customers who have a system that's more than five years old, there really has not been a better time for customers to consider an upgrade, and they will realize the benefits quickly. Those customers will be familiar with a panel setup, sensors will already be correctly installed in the right places, and then even a single video camera can bring an enhanced strength to it all. For some, it may even be more enticing to go with a full system replacement with added conveniences and more modernization.

The ability to continually improve features and enhance performance through hardware enhancements – or remotely through software – is nicely matched by customers’ higher connection speeds and helps to narrow gaps in adoption rates. While AI and facial recognition can be commonplace to customers who use them on a smartphone or laptop, the residential security industry is still in the beginning phase of this technology. As best practices evolve, reducing false positives and providing enhanced protection is at the top of every camera manufacturers' list.

Because, after all, a camera is more than a camera. It helps us take action and protect the things we hold most dear: our home and family. And it's never just a camera that's helping save a life – it's the whole system that's integrated with it: the software/app, the support of the dealer and monitoring system to monitor security and life safety.

Product images of the  ProSeries Family.

For example, I was travelling recently and when my home’s system detected an issue that called on the local fire department, having my camera at the front door allowed me to talk to the lieutenant and guide him to a spare key versus having to break down my door. Talk about a real, positive impact in a situation that could have otherwise landed me unnecessary expenses.

And bringing it back to my kids… trick-or-treating where I live in Ohio is a far different experience than when my kids were in grade school. In some neighborhoods, as parents and kids go from house to house, they'll notice video doorbells, and in other homes they will see signs in the lawn for professionally monitored systems.

Ultimately, the awareness and interest for both kinds of technology solutions is there, but it's far from everywhere. Home security cameras are certainly ready for a broader future in so many more homes.

Originally published in Security Sales & Integration and edited for length.

*Dwight leads product management for video solutions and works closely with the product team to expand the company's video portfolio and capabilities. Dwight has more than 30 years of experience in product management, business development and strategy roles in the video, intrusion detection and condition monitoring industries. He has an extensive track record of and driving innovation in ecosystems, machine learning and video analytics.

Dwight holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oregon.