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Who Invented the Home Security System and How Has it Evolved?

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Have you ever wondered who invented the home security system? The first home security system goes way back to 1966. But the world has changed drastically in the last decades. Threats of terrorism, home invasions, and a general feeling of unease are now commonplace. Yet, technology is advancing each passing day at an incredible rate, and our homes are no exception! From basic alarm systems to fully automated security solutions, from simple cameras to elaborate video surveillance systems, today’s options have indeed revolutionized our lives Analysts expect that the global market for the home security system to reach USD 78.9 billion by 2025. This shows that everyone would love to have an excellent home security system in their houses. But how did these life-saving technologies come to be? Read onto know this and more fascinating facts about home security systems.

Who Invented the Home Security System?

Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first modern security system. She was born in 1922, as an only child. Brown was later married to her husband, Albert Brown, and they both lived in a middle-class neighborhood known as Jamaica, in Queens, New York. Here, she worked as a nurse and her husband was an electrician.

When Was the Home Security System Invented?

In the 1960s, crime rates in America were at an all-time high. It was a scary time to be left alone in your home. In response to this, Brown invented the home security system with the help of her husband.

forced entry into a home during a break in

Why Did Marie Van Brittan Brown Invent the Home Security System?

The idea for the first-ever home security system came from her neighborhood’s struggles with crime. Van Brittan Brown also noted that police always took time to respond to their calls. She wanted to create a way to protect her family and herself from burglars when she was in her home alone while her husband was working. Van Brittan Brown realized that only one of them was in the house at a given time. She also noted that opening the door without knowing who was there was a significant risk.

But it’s good to note that before her invention, alarm systems were already on the market. The electromagnetic alarm system was patented on June 21st, 1853, under the inventor Augustus Russell Pope. Also, in 1874, Edward A. Calahan created the first-ever residential security system network, which was telegraph-based. This system connected around 50 households, communicating and issuing emergency alarms. Unfortunately, these two systems could not solve the issue of not knowing who was at the door. So it did not provide the security that Brown’s home needed.

So, with the help of her husband, they invented the first audio video security system. The system included:

  • Three peepholes in the door: The peephole was to capture different heights of the person standing outside
  • Sliding camera: It had an outside camera to capture images of people standing at the door. A radio-controlled wireless system would help in transferring the images.
  • Television monitors: To project the images captured by the camera
  • Two-way microphones: To communicate with the person at the door
  • Remote: To open and lock doors from any place in the house
  • Emergency button: To send an alert to the authorities in case of an intruder

Brown’s invention received a patent in 1969. But unfortunately, she died in 1999, and she did not live to see how her invention became a point of reference to innovators. Her system gave birth to the closed-circuit security system (CCTV) in home security, which is now widely used in every home security system.

ring home security notification displayed on apple watch

Advancements in Home Security Systems

With the various security systems in the market, who invented the home security system becomes more confusing. But it’s good to know that many home security systems in the market use Brown’s idea. The primary use of a home security system was burglary prevention. However, the systems have become more sophisticated over time, since you can use them for other purposes like fire safety or gas leaks.

Let’s look at some advancements made over the last decades after Brown’s invention.

Video Surveillance

Although video surveillance was first introduced in 1927, it was never used as a home security system until the early 1970s, after its invention in 1966. Léon Theremin was the first to use a manually operated video surveillance system. It was placed in the Moscow Kremlin courtyard with the primary purpose of monitoring approaching visitors. In 1942, Walter Bruch operated another closed-circuit system installed in Nazi Germany. It was used for monitoring the launch of V-2 rockets during World War II. It was later released for commercial use in 1949 and was called Vericon. The first appearance was in Times Square in New York City and later in the NYPD to minimize crime in their surroundings. Video surveillance experienced its first breakthrough in the early 80s. After that, businesses adopted video surveillance, especially those prone to theft.

In mid-1990, the police noted that video surveillance reduced crime tremendously and installed cameras in public places such as schools, housing projects, and parks. Later, video surveillance became necessary for banks and stores to reduce theft. Residential places started to use CCTV cameras in 1997, and the use of video surveillance has only increased since then. This is how home security has changed:

Advanced Technology

The home security system has seen significant advancement since its invention. There have been new technologies incorporated into the system to enhance its capabilities.


The first time infrared technology was introduced to home security systems was in the 1980s. Infrared motion detection is now one of the most popular ways to protect a home or business from theft, and it’s found in many high-end security systems. The detector emits an invisible beam of infrared light and is interrupted when anything moves in front of it. The device then calculates the distance and speed of the intruder based on how long it took for the beam to be interrupted.

smart phone facing smart lock to unlock front door

Smart Locks

A smart lock is a device that unlocks automatically when you come within range of your home and locks when you walk away. These locks have two parts: the lock and the app. The lock has a sensor to detect when someone enters their home, more than likely a motion sensor. This sensor triggers the lock to unlock. When you leave your home, the app detects you are not in the lock range and automatically locks it. Smart locks can either work by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

High-Resolution Videos

A high-resolution camera captures everything in crystal clarity, but what’s more, they have a high viewing angle! That means that you’ll be able to see everything around your home in one wide field of view, not just what’s right in front of the lens.

Mobile Integration

With so many advancements in mobile integration, it’s easy for homeowners to monitor their homes remotely via their smartphones and other mobile devices. Smartphone cameras can monitor your property for intruders and send you an alert if anything is detected. You can also use your phone as a remote control for your security system, allowing you to arm and disarm it with a single button push.

Wireless technology

Innovation in the home security system has led to the invention of wireless technology. Wireless technology has made home security more convenient and less expensive by eliminating the need to string wires throughout your home. Wireless home security systems offer a DIY installation package, making installing and using a wireless security system very easy. In addition, these systems allow you to monitor your property from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Wireless communication, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio frequencies, or cellular signals, has contributed to the popularity of home security.

Since its inception, home security systems have evolved into a variety of security systems, including:

  • Burglar alarm
  • Smoke detectors and fire alarms
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Environmental sensors
  • Lighting systems

smart phone faces camera with four grid camera footage

Home Automation

With the pace at which home security systems are becoming popular, smart homes are the way to go. Home automation is the process of remotely controlling the temperature, security system, or even the lights in your home. Using a smartphone or tablet, you can control your home from practically anywhere. This makes it possible for those who often travel to feel more at ease about their property. It also removes the need for an additional family member to check in on the house when you’re away.

Let Your Home Evolve to a Smart Home With ONIT Home

The home security system has come a long way since its invention in 1966. It has helped millions of people keep their homes and possessions safe and secure. ONIT home takes pride in providing you with products, services, and technology that our clients desire.

Now you know who invented the home security system and how it has evolved. If you are thinking of getting a home security system, call us now on 1-800-610-2145 for proper guidance on how to set everything up. For more information, you can visit our website today. For all your home security system needs, we’re ONIT.

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