Feb 11, 2016

Busting Crime with the IoT

Would-be criminals, beware: the IoT has come to the aid of security and surveillance technology to ensure that your unlawful schemes will not succeed. Thanks to the now ubiquitous reach of cost-efficient, long-range 4G LTE technology, times have never been tougher for criminals. Those that are not yet of the mindset that crime doesn’t pay in the age of the IoT, should consider the following examples. Hopefully, they’ll be enough to persuade any potential lawbreakers to pursue an alternative career path.

Home security systems: Homes can no longer be considered easy targets for robbers. Even if a homeowner forgets to set the alarm or lock a door before going out, they can now correct the situation from afar thanks to smart security systems that can be controlled from Internet-connected mobile devices. This smart technology can include access to video cameras that track movement both inside and outside of the property. Some systems even pick up audio at the home location that users can listen to over their smartphone’s speakers. Anyone thinking of trying their hand at some breaking-and-entering will find IoT home security systems ready to thwart them.

Cities: The increased level of security on private properties may have criminals thinking that street crime will provide them with an easier source of income. Not true. The same IoT technology being used by private homeowners is available for use by city administrations. Thanks to the range, cost efficiency and high-level connectivity provided by 4G LTE, enabling surveillance systems throughout cities is an easy task. This means that various cameras throughout a metropolis can now be networked together to reduce blind spots, store more data and create a more agile response by law enforcement officials — all working together to reduce criminal activity.

Law enforcement: While the IoT doesn’t yet have the ability to physically slap the cuffs on a perpetrator, smart technology is certainly making the task easier for law enforcement officers. Not only can IoT-enabled surveillance networks provide crucial evidence that makes catching and convicting criminals easier, they also enable wearable devices for canine units to improve how dogs are used to track lawbreakers.  Another recent development is real-time gunshot monitoring software that leverages citywide microphones and sensor technology to help police pinpoint the location of shootings. Coupled with the growing network of smart security cameras, law enforcers are able to more efficiently respond to shootings.  What’s more, thanks to improvements in telematics, police officers can now have all this information available to them in their squad cars, en-route to an incident.

If these examples haven’t been enough to make would-be criminals think again, consider that the number of IoT devices are expected to explode from 4.9 billion to 20.8 billion by 2020 according to Gartner, and a significant percentage of those will be aimed at deterring criminals. Crooks be forewarned: Mend your evil ways now or face the heavy hand of the (IoT-assisted) law.