Samsung Electronics is launching the first of its smart home systems in Canada through a Toronto condo developer who will offer the service in a building to open in 2017.
Using a smartphone with a special app, the condo owner will be able to control access to the building, the door lock, surveillance system, temperature and lighting.
'If someone were to have full access to someone's home, say they find a lost phone on the street, then they can collect a lot of information very quickly about what goes on in that household' - Ken Owen, cyber security expert
Additional features, not in the basic package, include control of the entertainment system, washer-dryer, stove and other appliances.
Canderel Residential, the condo developer, is building the system into 25 high-end units and offering it on an option on other units in Toronto’s YC Condos.
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Samsung has already launched smart home technology in South Korea and the U.S., but this is its first foray into Canada. New home buyers are thought to be more receptive to the idea of smart home technology and Samsung hopes to extend its partnership with other developers.
Reporter Aaron Saltzman gives the technology a test run in the video above.
But there are plenty of potential disadvantages says Ken Owen, a cyber security expert at McMaster University.
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What if you lose your phone? Will you be able to get into your home? What if the system is hacked? And how much personal information about your home will be available to the condo company or an outside hacker?
“One thing this technology can do is, it allows smart outlets and you can watch the use and consumption of electricity. So now, with that, you can tell potentially, how many people are in a home, what rooms are being used, what rooms are dormant,” Owen said.
“If someone were to have full access to someone's home, say they find a lost phone on the street, then they can collect a lot of information very quickly about what goes on in that household,” he added.