Establishing (Security) Boundaries with Geofencing Technology
We've heard of invisible fencing for dogs, but not many consumers have heard of geofencing, though it is a growing buzz-word in business and home security. Geofencing is putting a zone around your home or business that you can monitor via your security system and smart home technology, and notify you of activities that enter the geofenced zone through "triggers". At GenX Security we've enabled geofencing technology for business clients who wanted to know who, when, and how frequently certain entrances and exits are accessed, and also put remote locking and unlocking capabilities into the hands of designated supervisors or "gate keepers" within the organization.
This type of technology has been great for businesses that have more than one building to monitor, such as a campus that is split by a road. But, applications for geofencing are not just for business. In fact, residential applications have great promise for heightened security, especially for families where both parents work and older kids are home alone for a period of time. The following article delves into the applications and benefits of geofencing for the residential consumer. If you have any questions about how this can be implemented into your overall security plan, please contact GenX Security today for a free quote.
You may have heard the term “geofencing” lately. It does not refer to a sword fight between a person and a rock. A geofence is an invisible boundary, generated by a combination of hardware (usually the GPS chip embedded in your smartphone) and software (the phone’s mobile operating system along with a downloaded application). Simply put, a geofence can be accurately described as a “virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.”
Programs that incorporate geofencing offer the administrator the capability of establishing action “triggers,” so that when a device (most often a smartphone) enters or leaves the pre-defined boundaries, the administrator will receive a text message or email alert. A great example would be an electronic notification sent to mom’s or dad’s cellphone when their child arrives home from school, triggered by the child’s cell phone.
Conversely, you can also establish a “safety” zone outside of which your child is not allowed to venture. In this case, the trigger would be the child leaving the designated area. In fact, tracking their children’s whereabouts is perhaps the primary reason that parents are employing geofencing apps at such a rapid pace.
A number of geofencing applications incorporate Google Earth, allowing administrators to define boundaries on top of a satellite view of a specific geographical area. Other applications define boundaries by longitude and latitude or through user-created and Web-based maps. The geofences themselves can be highly customized, such as a specific radius around a home or other location; or established via a predefined set of boundaries, like schools, neighborhood centers, or the grocery store (perhaps sending you an alert to pick up bread when you enter the store’s geo-area).
Geofences can even be used to watch over Rover when you’re not at home. Through the use of a smart dog collar, you can use your geofencing app to know exactly when your four-legged friend has left his designated backyard area to chase the mailman.
Knowing the whereabouts of your children, family members and pets is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The real beauty of the technology the geofence and your smart home are working in concert; that’s when you’ll see the functionality of the geofence exponentially multiplied. Your smart home’s various devices–thermostat, lights, appliances, and security system–can be easily synced with your geofence, and pre-set according to your family’s schedule and preferences.
Here’s a typical scenario: When all family members and their phones have traveled out of the designated geofence area (which might simply be your home), the geofence can set the alarm, adjust the thermostat, turn off all lights and unnecessary appliances, even lower the shades. When any family member (or all) return to the area, the reverse can happen: lights on, heat or A/C back to the comfort setting, outside lights illuminated. Thus, while your family comes and goes at will, geofencing capabilities work can activate smart functionalities automatically as family members enter or exit specific boundaries.
Where do you get geofencing? The good news is that there are a wide selection of downloadable programs, many of them free or available for mere pennies. The downside? The selection is frankly a bit overwhelming. You’ll want to do some browsing on the Internet to find the one that meets your family’s unique needs.
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If you need help with finding out more about implementing geofencing technology and apps at your home or business, give GenX Security a call. We are happy to help!
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