Google’s Nest Home Security Devise Has a Hidden Microphone

Google has issued an apology to consumers who bought its Nest Secure home security system: reports The Atlantic. The company failed to disclose that the device has contained a microphone since it entered the market in 2017. In February of 2019, Google announced on Twitter that a software update activated the microphone, which enables it to respond to voice commands. The tweet took consumers by surprise because they were unaware the system could pick up sound. In other words, they had a hidden microphone in their home.

Since that time, Google has added a description of the microphone in the system’s product page. A company spokesperson said neglecting to mention the feature in previous materials was an error. The goal was to eventually permit consumers to use the microphone to detect noise from an intrusion.

Tips for Avoiding Dangers Associated with Smart Home Security

The smart home industry’s potential to make life safer has a downside — increased connectivity presents the danger of a loss of privacy, which could result in various scenarios. Some owners are concerned that the devices could even be used to spy on them. Multihousing News offers executives of multihousing units the following recommendations to avoid such pitfalls:

  • Choose to have smart home platforms connected to the internet through a cellular service rather than WiFi because WiFi has more security features.
  • Take greater precautions with certain technology, using a minimum of 128-bit encryption for a communication channel that comes with a threat risk.
  • Have a backup plan to use when the technology doesn’t work as intended. For instance, make sure a tenant has the option of opening a lock with a mechanical key.

Sony’s Robot Dog Aibo Patrols Homes

Sony’s entertainment dog, Aibo, has now entered the home security industry: reports Times Live. Users may access a new software called Aibo Patrol, which includes artificial intelligence, a camera and internet capability. It can recognize up to ten names and faces put into a Persons of Interest Registry, and users may download a report of Aibo’s daily interactions. The software enables the robot to patrol the home at predesignated times, looking for children or other family members. In the future, it may be used to watch over pets as well.

The canine technology is expensive, costing almost $3,000 for a three-year package. Sales of the latest Aibo model reached 20,000 in the first six months of last year, said Sony.

DIY Home Security Devices Twice As Popular As Professional Services

According to Gearbrain, people are much more likely to purchase individual security devices than to enroll in a professional home security service. This was the conclusion of “360 Deep Dive: Pricing Strategies for Residential Security,” a new report put out by the research firm Parks Associates. Of the broadband households in the U.S. surveyed within the next year, 16 percent said they intend to buy a security product such as a smart home camera, a lock or a video doorbell. In contrast, only 8 percent said they are planning to sign up for a professionally monitored home security system.

The survey identified cost as one reason people prefer to get home security items one at a time. Among the security products available on the market, one in which the respondents in the survey were most interested was a video doorbell camera.