A wave of smart home security products is coming to market that promise to make your connected home bionic. Pick an area of interest and there’s some hardware that specializes in it. Some have ultra-sensitive hearing, others offer better vision. Many of them can detect things humans–not to mention traditional security systems–just can’t.
The trouble is that none of the products pack all the superpowers into one package.
Here are some of the features to look forward to while you await that solution.
Positioned more as a teenage girl than a renegade thug, Point is the “home sitter” that listens to your home and keeps it safe without a camera. Form, the company behind Point, thinks that cameras give off a creepy feeling, which is why their product looks for trouble by detecting different sounds in your home.
The sound of a window breaking, the sound of different alarms, or even the sound of doors being opened and closed, can all trigger alerts. There’s a lot you can tell about what’s going on just from the sound in a home. Because it’s a connected device, it also learns about your sound patterns and can tell when no one is home.
Of course, Point can also light up at the sound of noise and detect smoke–thrown in for good measure, I’m sure.
Technically, Cocoon is also in the game of crazy cool hearing, but the way it does so feels more like wizardry. Instead of listening to the same audible noises humans can hear, it uses its Subsound to listen to things that people can’t hear.
Using infrasonic sound technology–the same thing scientists use to detect earthquakes–coupled with machine learning, Cocoon can be aware of activity throughout the entire home, from a single vantage point.
Cocoon also uses your phone’s location to learn when you’re actually home. Instead of just guessing when you leave, it has a more definitive way of knowing which members of the family are in the house.
There are a lot of security cameras out there. Some would argue it’s the key to security, which makes the iSensor HD‘s ability to pan 180-degrees a nice feature. Cameras that move aren’t new, but they usually cost a lot more than the iSensor’s $160 entry price. Most also don’t use Skype as the connection method, which gives this camera the ability to remained versatile on a wide variety of mobile phones.
One downside is that it uses a phone’s motion sensors–tilting it left or right–to remotely pan the camera. If you’re not interested in moving the camera manually, there’s also the connected and sensor-stuffed Piper, which has a 180-degree viewing angle. Meaning, it should see most of the room it’s looking at without having to move.
Someone opens the door; it takes a selfie. Smoke detected in the house; it takes a selfie. I wouldn’t call Novi vain, but it does like to take a lot pictures. Although the device does provide the ability to look in and see video of what’s going on, the fact that Novi sends a picture with the notification is a pretty great feature.
One of the problems with connected cameras is the time it takes to open the app and load the video connection. In the context of security, a few seconds feels like a long time. Having a picture with the notification is a convenient way to mitigate the time video can take over a cell connection for false alarms.
Novi isn’t the only system that’s able to send pictures when it detects activity, but the unit is also completely portable and doesn’t require an electrical outlet for power. That’s a big plus for a picture taker on the move.
Along with the standard security features like a camera and motion detector, the Sentri can also sense how your home feels. It has some of the more unique built-in sensors that detect air quality, humidity, and temperature.
Sentri itself is laden with sensors, but its ability to connect with other products puts it into overkill territory. The picture-frame-looking hardware can connect with your Nest thermostat, door locks, and other connected home items to reach all aspects of your home.
Sentri isn’t alone in its sensitivity, however, the Withings Home camera can also detect the quality of air with its volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor.
Verging on creepy, the Withings Home camera will take a picture and five-second video every time it detects something–it also uploads these items and stores them for two days. It calls this feature the Home Diary.
Rico‘s approach to home security is to use your old iPhone or Android device as the brains–killing multiple birds with one stone.
Canary is one of the nicer looking all-in-one connected security units. Nothing about it’s sensing technologies particularly stands out compared to other units, though it does stress its machine learning aspect in an attempt not to annoy you every time the cat gets crazy.