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Posted by: In: Blog 11 Apr 2014 0 comments

According to a new report from ABI Research, demand for smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. In 2013, the research firm said that sales of wireless embedded smart home monitoring devices, such as contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs, grew to 17.23 million, almost double the amount of shipments in 2012. By 2018, it is expected that more than half-a-billion wireless smart home monitoring devices will be deployed in homes around the world.

ABI said that growth will develop as new users move to use smart home systems and as users extend their existing systems. Additionally, companies like Honeywell, GE, Nest (recently acquired by Google), Kwikset, UTC, as well as many others are increasingly adding wireless connectivity to their home devices, bringing network connectivity and remote management to their offerings in order to appeal to growing numbers of smart home consumers.

According to ABI, contact sensors for detecting whether windows and doors are closed were the most popular smart home monitoring device shipped last year while motion sensors were in second place. Both devices support smart home monitoring functionality but can also be used for additional applications such as energy management.

“Combined, over 84 million contact and motion sensors will ship annually by 2018; however, it is smart plugs, smart door locks and connected smoke and CO detectors that will see the greatest shipment growth,” ABI Research Senior Analyst Adarsh Krishnan said in a statement.

The research firm said that as the market for wireless smart home devices grows, competition between wireless protocols to capture market share will also continue. ABI said the market is currently dominated by proprietary wireless protocols, but that is expected to be challenged by standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and ZigBee.

Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages and some will play more to the smart appliance rather than smart device space.  For example, Wi-Fi support in residential home-area networks and mobile devices facilitates easy network set-up without additional gateways or bridges but power demands will push adoption into appliances and devices with a fixed power supply. For its part, Bluetooth Smart support in mobile devices will also drive significant adoption in smart home devices. Even so, other protocols will continue to compete and will be supported in a range of devices from security panels to gateways and smart devices.

SCS has considerable experience in the Home Automation and Security world. These news devices are expanding what is possible and making systems more affordable. Contact SCS if you would like to learn more on the changing home automation world.


Posted by: In: Blog 07 Mar 2014 0 comments

New SCS logo

We are proud to announce and show the new Specialist Complete Security logo.


SCS Logo New 330

This seeing eye is an extension of the older logo that we have used for many years. Thanks to our design team for their hard work. You will see this new logo on all of our communications: E-mail, letter head, invoices, car and vans.

Posted by: In: Featured, Portfolio 03 Mar 2014 0 comments

Specialist Complete Security Systems Ltd are an SSAIB recognized company that specializes in the design, installation and on-going maintenance of electronic security systems. Specialist Complete Security was founded by industry veterans Simon Benson and Neil Butler, who together have many years expertise in specifying, installing and maintaining security systems.

With a passion for customer service and attention to detail Simon and Neil continue to manage and run SCS providing security systems and associated knowledge to homes and business through London, and the Home Counties.

Posted by: In: Blog 18 Feb 2014 0 comments

Security is important to all building managers and owners. Over the years we have installed coutless door access control systems. We all always on the lookout for new and enhanced products that help us instal superior systems. One area of focus is the actual physical security of the systems. You would be amazed at the effort some people impose on entry systems in an effort to gain access. Some resort to extreme physical attack. 

We like this new and vandal resistant entry portal. Key features include:

  • Full colour video door entry system
  • 3mm 316 marine grade stainless steel panel
  • IK09 rated for ultimate impact resistance 
  • IP55 rated weatherproof design
  • Just 3 components, simply plug together
  • Units auto detect for easy installation
  • IP and PoE technology for fast and easy expansion
  • No need for specialist wiring diagrams
  • SIP compatible

Available as single door kit comes with a choice of VR panel: flush mount, surface mount, or surface mount with rain hood. 

Contact SCS for more details.

Posted by: In: Blog 03 Jan 2014 0 comments

Glass Doors look great but are tricky to secure as you can hide the wires – Until now.

Glass doors in a business or commercial setting can now benefit from Aperio wireless security. Stylish, contemporary glass is notoriously difficult to fit with wired access control. An extension to the ASSA ABLOY Aperio range allows security managers to equip meeting rooms, frosted office doors, and other interior glass with the latest in integrated access control, without spoiling important office and building visual aesthetics.

A new, easy-to-install plate allows glass doors to be fitted with an Aperio Euro-profile escutcheon. The glass door is then integrated into the building’s wireless access control system, and works with multiple RFID technologies.

Aperio is already fully compatible with ASSA ABLOY’s glass architecture solutions. Wireless cylinders and multiple locksets can be fitted to interior glass in a number of styles. All products and services available from the team at SCS.


Posted by: In: Blog 28 Nov 2013 0 comments

Apple’s iBeacons explained

Apple subtly introduced iBeacon as part of the mobile operating system iOS 7. When iOS7 was first shown in the summer at Apple’s developer conference the iBeacons feature was hardly mentioned.  Since then there is a growing understanding of what this new technology can do. A number of firms are producing iBeacon based solutions and products. We look at how this may impact communications and security. 

iBeacons essentially makes way for new range of apps and functions. With it, stores can pipe coupons to your phone, mapping apps can offer indoor navigation and more. Here’s the real clincher: iBeacon might just be that nail in the coffin for NFC.

So, what is iBeacons, and why does it matter? Read on to find out. 

1. What is iBeacons?

iBeacons is a brand name created by Apple for a specific technology. That technology allows mobile apps to recognise when an iPhone is near a small wireless sensor called a beacon (or iBeacons, as well). The beacon can transmit data to an iPhone – and visa versa – using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). iBeacon is a feature in iOS 7, thus Apple’s new iPhones will have iBeacon.

Let’s put this into a scenario: Say you own an iPhone 5S and you’re walking by a Starbucks that has a beacon. When you enter that beacon’s zone, the beacon will transmit special promotions, coupons, recommendations, etc, to your iPhone 5S via the Starbucks app. Beacons will also accept payments, so you can pay for a Starbucks coffee without having to bump or tap your phone against anything.

2. Who will make the beacons?

One company making headlines is Estimote. It manufactures BLE-enabled beacons that transmit data to any BLE-enabled device within range. PayPal is another company jumping on the iBeacon board. It recently announced Beacon (of course), which will allow people to make purchases via the PayPal app without having to interact directly with their phone. 

See PayPal’s promo videos below that shows how the beacons work.

3. What is Bluetooth Low Energy?

BLE is a technology meant for transferring data. It consumes minuscule amounts of energy and allows device batteries to last longer. However, BLE only supports low data rates; you can’t stream audio or send large files with it. BLE is ideal for transmitting smaller amounts of data though, such as fitness data to fitness trackers or payment data to beacons.

BLE is a feature in iOS 7 and Android 4.3.

4. Is iBeacons only good for shopping and coupons?

No. iBeacons also features micro-location geofencing. This is ideal for indoor mapping. For instance, GPS signals have trouble penetrating the steel and glass of buildings. This prevents many mapping apps from offering indoor navigation, but iBeacon’s micro-location feature hopes to solve the problem. 

An iPhone with iBeacon can connect to a nearby beacon to determine a GPS location. You could then navigate through an airport, casino or museum just by using a mapping app. And that’s only the beginning; the possibilities are endless. 

5. Why does iBeacons matter?

We know that Apple has yet to adopt NFC. It’s instead worked on improving the uses of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. When Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering, introduced AirDrop in iOS 7 at WWDC 2013, he said: “There’s no need to wander around the room, bumping your phone.”

His words were a direct jab at NFC – as the technology requires a close proxmity to transfer data. Our guess is that NFC will never be a reality in iOS devices, and the technology itself might go belly up. You could say iBeacon is the future. Apple still hasn’t published all the details of iBeacons, but it’s probably capable of so much more.

iBeacon seems like it was created with Apple Retail in mind,  but the technology could be used in other indoor locations including non-Apple retail stores in the future. Major League Baseball has already  begun testing iBeacons, aiming to personalized stadium experiences to iPhone users. Apple is apparently also testing a program for developers to easily integrate iBeacons support in their apps.

We see security and identification as key opportunities for iBeacon in access control systems. As smart phones and especially iPhones continue to expand their presence, security systems need to reflect these changes. The potential for iBeacons to monitor rooms and building with people tracking is immense.

6. More Accurate Ticketing And Access Control

Apple owns some very important foundational patents that allow for radio frequency to be the basis of not only ticketing and event passes, they also have patents for door locking and access control.  The iBeacon technology will form a backbone for these use cases.   Your Major League Baseball ticket will already be in Passbook and certain iBeacon events will interact with the Passbook ticket and grand turnstile iBeacon users only access and ticketing verification.

Stay tuned for more news.

Posted by: In: Blog 19 Aug 2013 0 comments

In our search for better security products we are constantly monitoring what is available and how these products and service can benefit our clients, friends and family.

The Canary is a new and very interesting product currently seeking crown soured funding. The funding has been wildly over subscribed with close to $1.5M raised against a goal of $100,000. This puts the Canary in Pebble smart watch class.

It also looks exquisite. We can’t wait to receive ours for our office.

So what is canary?


Canary: The first smart home security device for everyone

Canary is a simple device packed with smart sensors that empowers you to keep your home safe and secure — controlled through your mobile device.

Controlled entirely from your iPhone or Android device, Canary alerts you when it senses anything out of the ordinary — from sudden temperature changes that can indicate a fire, to the sound and movement that could mean an intrusion. Instantly receive, view and act on the alerts wherever you are. Over time, Canary learns your home’s rhythms to send you smarter alerts. Canary is the smartest way to stay secure.

You can find out more at the funding site:

Posted by: In: Blog 07 Aug 2013 0 comments

Rogue Traders: Landmark Home Security (Landmark Security Ltd)

From the BBC Watchdog series. While we don’t usually report on industry news this item caught out attention as it is close to home. Just beware out there in Kent and Surrey.

BBC Rogue Traders is looking at a burglar alarm company called Landmark Security Ltd – trading as Landmark Home Security – based in Maidstone Kent (not to be confused with any similar sounding companies). The Rogue Traders team have received complaints that Landmark Home Security were putting the squeeze on customers by offering them ‘free’ alarm systems that ended up costing a great deal of money…

77 year old Nesta Hollis from Esher Surrey received one such phone call from Landmark Home Security and was told she was entitled to a free alarm system. The company sent a representative to her home to discuss the product – it was however a long discussion as the salesman was at Nesta’s house for three hours.

Nesta has suffered two strokes which means she can get very tired and a bit confused. She does remember the rep saying the alarm was free and that it would come with servicing and monitoring charges. She signed a contract for £7098 which was for a fifteen year servicing and monitoring contract.

Rogue is alarmed…

The Rogue Traders team wanted to find out whether Landmark Home Security were still offering these ‘free alarms’.

In usual Rogue Traders fashion we set up a house in Esher Surrey – rigged it with hidden cameras and to add the predictable icing on the cake – got an actress called June who was pretending to be terrified of the local hood-rats.

June called Landmark Home Security about their free alarm system offer and they sent out a salesman called Sam to tell us more. Sam explained that he was offering a promotion and the company does not always give away free alarms.

Sam explained to our actress – “We go from area to area offering these free alarms and then once we’ve given away between 5 to 8 normally, we move on to the next area. Giving away these free systems creates a huge impact and awareness of us as a company… Maintenance, the monitoring and response is what you pay for..”.

So we learnt – it’s only free when you pay a fee. But Sam is a little over the top when describing the monitoring service that comes with this ‘free’ alarm.

“Monitoring means there is someone sitting at a computer screen watching your home all the time… The second part is fire. Now ours is linked to the system, so if you have a fire that flags up as well – so potentially we’re putting out a fire in your home you didn’t even know anything about. Now that third part of the system is a remote panic button. June it might even be the difference between life and death”.

This is all very scary stuff for June particularly when after completing his risk assessment of her home, Sam told her that she is coming out as a high risk.

“Well we have been told this area is fairly high…a fairly high crime rate… Because of burglaries that have happened in the local area, some of them are only a stone’s throw. We are told the burglaries are not every single night but fairly frequent. So it is quite high”.

This is not true at all. In fact at the time of Sam’s visit within one mile of the stooge home there were in fact just three burglaries.

After all of that June did what any terrified home-aloner would do….and asked about the cost. Sam told us it was £6999.00 which he considered was a very good price. That’s nearly £7000 even with a free alarm! Frightening stuff!

When June was reluctant to sign up that night Sam put her on to the head office who again asked her why she was not interested.

Like any wise elderly actress, June asked Sam if she can sleep on it and decide another day – but Sam had some bad news for us.

 “Well obviously you won’t be able to get the system for free unfortunately”.

Unless June signed on the dotted line right there and then, she would be charged for the alarm that was originally free. This would increase the price by £3000.

Thanks but no thanks, Sam.

Wasting Time…

landmark securitySo was this just a one-off incident from an over excited salesman? We wanted to find out so we rigged another house, this time a bit closer to Landmark Home Security HQ in Kent.

With us was Security Alarm industry expert Graeme Dow who was ready to spot a scaremonger or seven. He had already watched how Sam sold the alarm system.

We also had new actress Beryl who was ready and waiting to play our femme fatale. Landmark Home Security had already told Beryl that she had been selected for a free alarm system as well – and now they were sending over salesman Joe to give her more details. New salesman, same old patter!

Joe began by explaining the great value of this free alarm.

“The alarm system is free – the monitoring and maintenance is what you’d have to pay for. Hopefully Landmark will help reduce crime in your area. And that’s like you correctly said, basically that’s what we’re doing. You can’t put a price on peace of mind”.

This is all very nice – but how much is this ‘free alarm’ worth? Joe told us the system was valued at £2619.

Graeme Dow disagreed with this valuation of the alarm.

“This is not a £3000 system, he’s just given a price. He’s just pulled that out of the air…Which? [Magazine] did a survey 3 years ago and said the average price of a system in south east of England was under £600.

But Joe was adamant that it was a bargain for Beryl.

“You’re getting the system for free bearing in mind we’re giving you a system worth the best part of £3000”.

Graeme was not impressed and stated that by making out something was free when there were additional charges would mean Joe was breaking the law – The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 to be precise. Sam did the same thing.

So lies and law-breaking – Joe deserves to join Sam in detention. Still, he’s delivered his pitch to Beryl and said it’s up to her and her alone to decide whether she wanted to go ahead.

Beryl decided to decline at that time as it was quite a lot of information and figures to take in. Joe had been selling to her for hours.

Considering Joe only wanted a simple ‘yes or no’ you would think he would have left her to think about it some more.

But no – Joe kept asking Beryl why she wouldn’t join up. When Joe realised that Beryl may not sign that night he phoned through to Landmark Home Security’s head office. He wanted to see if he could get his boss to persuade her to sign up to the alarm system there and then.

Beryl told the head office that she was not interested and didn’t wish to talk about it anymore. The man from the office was straight to the point and continued to pile on the pressure.

“I don’t think you’re being truthful now Beryl to be honest… you’re not giving me a reason”.

Beryl told Landmark Home Security ‘no’ twenty-five times. Finally realising he was not going to get a sale, Joe made his feelings to our actress clear – crystal clear to be precise.

“It’s unfair what you’ve done… do you understand what you’ve done? Is this what you normally do, invite someone round to your house? …You won’t accept that I’ve been through everything with you. … it’s crystal clear what you’re gonna get for your money, okay? It’s been made crystal. Blimmin’ clear, to you”

Security Alarm industry expert Graeme Dow was unimpressed with the behaviour of Joe. Graeme explained that he couldn’t understand why Joe was finding it so hard to take no for an answer. He explained further, 

“You don’t have to give a reason. If you don’t want it you don’t want it”.

As Joe left, he told our actress how much she had wasted his time.

“Well ya know, I think it’s been a complete waste of my time don’t you think so? … Ok well once again thanks for wasting my time…”.

As Joe left our stooge house, he decided to wheel spin in his car off our driveway. He obviously wasn’t used to people saying no to him.

Phone (and Alarm Bells) Ringing…

Even after this extraordinarily rude exit the company’s persistence wasn’t over. They called our actress a remarkable 12 times to try and get her to change her mind. So it got the Rogue team thinking -he clearly didn’t like having his time wasted, so who better to remind him of that than 80s chart topper Owen Paul – famous for his number three UK hit “My Favourite Waste of Time”.

So we arranged another booking with Joe but this time we had Graham our expert, cameras, monitors all set up and we also had singing legend Owen Paul to play. We wanted to know exactly why Joe thought it was acceptable to bully old ladies into buying an alarm system they did not want.

As soon as Joe turned up we noticed his tone was a lot different because Owen was in the room – he was a lot more factual for a start. Unfortunately for Joe Owen wasn’t really interested in talking alarms – he wanted to sing an old classic to him. We don’t think Joe remembered the song from 1986 as he probably wasn’t even born.

Owen started playing “My Favourite Waste of Time” – Joe unaware that Matt Allwright was ready to join in at the chorus – as soon as he saw the cameras however he left the house refusing to answer any of Matt’s questions.

Posted by: In: Blog 03 Jun 2013 0 comments

August introduce Smart Lock – another iPhone managed door lock

Welcome to August Smart Lock.

august door lockThe August Smart Lock is the secure, simple, and social way to manage your home’s lock. Now you can control who can enter and who can’t—without the need for keys or codes. And you can do it all from your smart phone or computer.

This a keyless device using encrypted locking technology. It look beautiful from a design and user perspective.

On sale in the US soon. We have our order placed. Learn more at August website.



Enjoy beautiful, discreet design with an intuitive interface. Durable anodized aluminum, a clever use of LEDs and your choice of color and finish make August both elegant and discreet.


August works independent of your wireless or phone networks. Reliable Bluetooth technology syncs your phone directly with your August lock.

No wiring

There’s no need to wire or connect August – it uses standard batteries. That means your lock stays on even if electricity goes down. Sensors will let you know, with indicators, and via email, when the batteries need replacing.


Package includes deadbolt adapters and faceplates to accommodate 90% of locks on the market.

A new level of safe.


real-time[1]August’s encrypted locking technology is safer than keys that can get lost and codes that can be copied.










Total Control

log[1]You control when people have access to your home. For example you can issue a key that works 24/7 for a family member, or one that works a couple of hours a week only for your cleaning person.










Log Records

keychain[1]You can see a Log of who’s entered and exited—and exactly when they did—remotely from your phone or computer.










Always On

people[1]It doesn’t matter if your power, cable or Wi-Fi goes down. August has standard batteries that keep it running in any circumstance. When the batteries get low we’ll even send you reminders.

Posted by: In: Blog 09 May 2013 0 comments

Kwikset’s new Kevo door lock turns your iPhone into the simplest of digital keys. Just have your phone in your pocket or purse, tap the Kevo lock, and you’re in.


This lock is super cool. The Kevo looks like an ordinary lock, but the halo of light surrounding the keyhole gives it a vaguely futuristic look. An app links your iPhone to the lock using Bluetooth and the miracle of location services, eliminating the need to fumble through your pockets or purse for your keys. Just tap the lock with your finger and the halo flashes green, letting you know the door is unlocked. You don’t even need to take your iPhone out of your pocket.

Those of you with families or roommates will, of course, need more than one iPhone key, so the Kevo app lets you create electronic keys for other people. (Just remember they’ll need iPhones too.) It’s also a handy feature for giving, say, dog sitters or contractors access. As soon as they’re done with their work, just delete their key.

The Kevo knows when you’re inside, too. That way, some random punk walking down the street can’t simply tap the lock and wander in while you’re in the shower. This being 2013, the lock has various levels of encryption, making it difficult (though not impossible) to hack.

The Kevo lock runs on two AA batteries good for about a year. You can still use the Kevo lock with the Kevo Fob. It does basically the same thing as the iPhone and app, but you only get one fob per lock. If you live with multiple people, you’ll need to shell out extra cash for more fobs. The lock is expected to come out this summer. You can sign up for release details at the Kwikset website;

And if all else fails, Kevo can still work like a traditional door lock. But what’s the fun in inserting and turning a physical key on lock like this?