There’s an old concept in religious mysticism called bilocation, literally the ability to be in two places at once. While once a way to be canonized as a saint or burned as a witch, a sort of bilocation is being made increasingly possible with technology. A great example of technology allowing us to virtually be in two places at once are services like Alarm.com, which allow you to monitor your home security from anywhere online, via computer, PDA or phone (there’s even an iPhone app). Through the website or app, users can monitor the status of their home – whether doors are locked, when they (or windows or cabinets) are opened, when somebody enters a specific room – as well as control the home’s environment, for example turning lights on or off.
Alarm.com also offers live video surveillance that can be streamed to your phone. The company claims that the wifi-based system is more secure than traditional home-security systems, which rely on phone cables that can be cut by intruders before they enter your home.
One of the criticisms of the internet – specifically social networking – is that it makes our homes less secure, as we post photos of our interiors and valuables online, as well as letting Twitter followers and Facebook friends (and anyone else who can access our updates) know when we are not at home or are on vacation.
It’s good to see the other side of the coin, an internet technology that allows us to have a presence at home even when we’re away from it. Sure, it’s not the kind of bilocation that’s going to get us sanctified, but it will help keep our family and belongings safe.