10 months ago


SECURITY News that

SECURITY News that Hyundai is to incorporate Alexa into its self-driving car, the Ioniq, so that drivers can turn on their car with a voice command, tells you that this new platform is very quickly finding homes for more than the most obvious of domestic applications (from previous page) a child versus a parent.” He said the US Federal Trade Commission was looking into ensuring voice-command devices were safe and secure. Again, as with many ‘smart’ devices there needs to be basic security in place to prevent problems like this happening, unfortunately not something that our doll’s house owning mum considered relevant. With the IoT market growing at a staggering rate we should probably be prepared for more occasions where new tech has not performed as well as the developers had hoped once the public has got hold of it - even if the technology itself is sound. And perhaps even a few generations of voice technology enabled lines will need to be developed before all of the potential user related problems are ironed out; perhaps taking a leaf out of the book entitled ‘wireless’ as initial developments in this field struggled with certain scenarios, but even at this stage of the proceedings it looks like most of the concerns with Alexa come from user misuse. So while it’s early days with the technology and instances like the one mentioned give media outlets the fuel to knock new products, let’s look at the bigger picture here. Amazon Echo is a new platform; just think about that for a minute. A whole new way to control devices, without wires, is in its infancy and growing like mad. Forward thinking manufacturers across all industries have been mightily impressed by the capabilities of Alexa so much so that it’s not the standard home automation products that are coming to market with voice activation functionality. News that Hyundai is to incorporate Alexa into its selfdriving car, the Ioniq, so that drivers can turn on their car with a voice command, tells you that this new platform is very quickly finding homes for more than the most obvious of domestic applications. Now as anyone with a computer or smartphone will know there is always more than one way to carry out operations and processes. The same can be said of security systems with the wired/nonwired, networked/non-networked options to name just a few. So it is no surprise that there is no ultimate panacea for all tasks. At the moment the use of voice recognition for the identification of individuals in certain communications scenarios is fairly well established so how could it fit into our sector - one in which lives can often be at risk if situations are not dealt with properly? And could it actually be the ultimate platform? There are a number of immediate applications that come to mind that would allow manufacturers and users to benefit from voice activated systems. First off look at the most basic command, turning off an intruder alarm. If you could speak the alarm code rather than pressing the buttons that would help especially in those instances when you have your arms full of shopping bags. Secondly, what about for raising the alarm if an elderly person has fallen or taken a turn for the worse? No need to go scrabbling around for a call button just speak the specific command and the emergency services or warden/nurse can be alerted. There’s two ideas just off the top of my head. The sheer scope for what the technology can be used for is quite daunting and I’m sure we are at the dawning of a new age of solutions for the security sector. For the installer this is also the case as indicated by the story of the young mum and all of the people who also received unwanted shopping, because these people need the help of someone who knows how to install and set voice controlled technology to get the desired result. Forget the negative stories you’ll see in the mainstream media this probably, really is the ‘next big thing’ and manufacturers will need to look closely at the benefits that such an open, easy platform can bring to the security sector. 26

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