At CES, flying drones are Alarm.com's home security moonshot

The subscription-based home security provider is partnering with Qualcomm to develop camera-equipped home security drones that can automatically investigate unexpected noises and activity.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology and wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
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A prototype of Alarm.com and Qualcomm's idea for an in-home security drone.


Alarm.com has a big, bold idea for how to smarten up your home security: camera-equipped drones capable of flying through your home to investigate unexpected activity.

The subscription-based home security provider tells us that it's partnering with Qualcomm's Snapdragon Flight Drone Platform to develop the technology to make it happen. The idea is for the drones to be totally autonomous, meaning that they could find their way to the specific location of a tripped motion sensor or a sudden noise, then send video of the disturbance right to your phone.

"The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight platform pushes the boundaries of the drone industry and has led to many new form factors and use cases," says Hugo Swart, senior director of product management for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Alarm.com, with its security expertise, is taking commercial and residential security systems to the next level by integrating intelligent and cutting edge drones to its solutions."

Alarm.com claims that the plan is for the drones to draw heavily from its just-announced "Insights Engine," which uses machine learning to help automatically identify unexpected activity in the home. For example, if you typically lock your door every weekday around 7 p.m., but one day don't, it'll send you a notification, complete with the option to lock the door remotely from your phone.

An Alarm.com representative told me it's possible we'll see the drones in action this year, but added that there's no specific timetable for a full release, so who knows if we'll actually see them in people's homes any time soon. I just hope that they're capable navigators -- otherwise, the only thing going bump in the night might be the drones themselves.