Remote concierge brings safety and convenience to businesses and consumers

February 4, 2014
remote concierge

UCIT Online Security’s remote concierge service. From Urban Toronto.

As residents of high rises in major cities know, a friendly face in the lobby makes you feel safer. The roles of doorman and concierge are sometimes performed by the same person, and sometimes those duties are performed by a team that includes security and maintenance personnel. The more the merrier, but that level of service comes at a price: one security firm has estimated that the cost of a 24-hour doorman is $200,000 per year to be paid through maintenance fees or higher rents. And that doesn’t include holiday tips! Thanks to rapid developments in technology, however, soon we all may be able to enjoy the benefits of 24-hour concierge service at a fraction of the cost.

What is a remote concierge?

Remote concierge services use CCTV infrastructure and internet connectivity to screen visitors and alert tenants and building staff to lockouts, emergency maintenance requests, and life safety emergencies. Depending on the service provider, who delivers varying levels of manned, remote security, this information may be viewed online by management or consumers.

Advances in computer algorithms and the creation of vast internet databases enables security to provide facial, vocal and behavioral recognition for real-time access control. This is how it works: A camera detects, identifies and determines access status to the building before the person reaches the door. If they are a resident, they walk in. If they are a guest (or an intruder) a remote guard is notified who can choose to request further identification.

How will remote concierge services affect security?

By automating access, a few remote guards can provide security for an apartment complex with a thousand residents. Some services can also monitor building card access in real time, and lock and unlock elevators and doors during special events or prevent further access to an intruder should a breach occur. After remote concierge service becomes the norm, adding a simple sign outside your home or business that alerts visitors that you are in the network can ensure that criminals don’t even make the first attempt.

Concierge services are not just for enhanced security. As many New Yorkers found out during hurricane Sandy, being able to remotely access the security features of your home in an emergency can make all the difference between saving or losing everything.

Already, smart devices connected via bluetooth to your home computer network can regulate your thermostat and refrigerator remotely. And for a couple of years we have been able to program our DVRs from our phones. But how much more safe would you feel if you could seal your doors and windows remotely in case you couldn’t get home in time? Remote concierge service can also provide emergency notification through email-update capability, distributed to multiple lists alerting those who need to know about an emergency or impending natural disaster.

But the best feature of the coming remote concierge revolution may be the everyday services it can provide to individual consumers. Soon you won’t have to pay a king’s ransom for a place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to enjoy personalized service from helpful hospitality professionals who will be able to schedule maintenance and call a taxi for you all from a seamless mobile phone app interface.

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Category: Surveillance, Technology

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