AUSTIN -- The sound of a locking door is the sound of safety for Trey Pike. His Austin home has just gone through a high-tech security remodel.
"I even have a camera that can spy on my two dogs, which is kind of nice," said Pike.
Austin-based security company Protect America has given Pike not only peace of mind, but also flexibility.
"What you have in this home is -- you have a smart home," said Nikko Nunez, Protect America Senior Care Manager.
Nunez says with available technology, cameras, lights and locks can all be controlled remotely.
"Maybe you have someone coming to the home, someone from home services, someone to work on the home," Nunez said. "You don't have to worry about leaving a key under the mat, you can now actually give them access from the push of a button on your smart phone."
"You can also give them their own code. So when they are at the home, there is a temporary code they can actually utilize."
"In fact, I was at a restaurant last night and realized that I had not set my alarm," Pike recounted. "I was able to get on my iPhone and immediately set the alarm."
Research firm Markets and Markets says the home automation industry is expected to grow from $16.9 billion in 2011 to more than $35 billion by 2016. That will also bring down prices for consumers, making peace of mind affordable and controllable.
"I've always felt that Austin in general is a very safe place to live, but with the city obviously growing the way it is, there is an extra piece of mind with having this new more-modern equipment," said Pike.
Only about three percent of U.S. homes are automated like Pike's, according to Reuters. The biggest hurdle right now is customer awareness of what is available on the market.