The development of centralised server platforms is expediting the adoption of home automation panels for security purposes.

The spread of cloud computing and the development of wireless security devices are set to have a transformative impact on the way homes and commercial properties are kept safe from potential intruders.

According to David Ward, business development manager, electronic access control – wireless with Assa Abloy,  the next big paradigm change on the property security market is the introduction of home automation panels that allow owners or occupants to exercise precision control of multiple security functions via the Internet.

“The latest home automation panels are capable of incorporating multiple security features together, that can all be accessed and controlled via an online server,” he said.

Ward notes that a key driver in the expansion of the home automation panel market has been the increased use of centralized server and software systems by multiple manufacturers, facilitating deployment of their products.

“On the market at the moment there are a lot of home automation panels coming out that are all using the same server platform – for example,” said Ward. “This allows a number of manufacturers to link to it as though it were an Internet portal, so they don’t have to do their own web development and they don’t have to have provide their own servers.

“It’s really opening up the wireless market – we’re right on the cusp of a big transformation, with every manufacturer looking at these panels.”

Ward said that these new cloud-connected panel provide highly enhanced levels of functionality to concerned building managers and homeowners.

“The panels enable you to control everything in our home via your personal devices,” said Ward “When a tradesman comes to your house, you can disarm your alarm, unlock the door, watch them through the cameras and see them out of the premises all via an iPad.”

“When your kids come home, you can have a message sent to your phone indicating that they opened the door at four o’clock on afternoon, accompanied by a snapshot from a security camera of them actually coming in. You can even see if your daughter has brought her boyfriend home with her after coming back from school.”

Manufacturers are responding to the enhanced functionality provided by home automation panels and cloud computing with the development of products and equipment that readily dovetail into the new systems.

“Where we’re seeing big growth in this market is in wireless digital deadbolts the you can put on the door,” said Ward. “We’ve already manufactured locks that can work with these systems.”

While many consumers may remain leery about cloud computing and Internet-based security systems due to regular media frenzies surrounding hacking, Ward said existing measures should be sufficient to deter any digital fraudsters.

“We have a lot of these discussions with regard to our locking solutions – one of the things we pride ourselves on is the encryption between our lock and the alarm panels,” he said. “Typically the solutions are encrypted in the property – the alarm controls talk to servers using encrypted data, and this is a perfectly sufficient security measure.”

Ward is confident that the demonstrable advantages of cloud-connected automation panels will soon make them a standard feature in the property security sector.

“All the major are suppliers are getting on board with home automation panels and it will be everywhere – this is going to be seriously paradigm-changing,” he said.