July 28, 2013 report
Smart home security device gets even smarter over time
Wouldn't it be nice to have an intelligent home system you can control from your phone? A system that is smart enough to know what is normal? A system that averts false alarms that fray the nerves of responders? A "smart" home security system called Canary is in the wings as an Indiegogo crowdfunding project. Canary seeks to convince people that it can be used as a standalone, well-featured system they can confidently continue to use, unlike some other alarm systems that send off repeated false alarms that discourage users from sticking with their alarm systems. Canary has a built in HD camera with night vision and wide-angle lens and monitoring sensors. Sounds, air quality, humidity, and temperature can be monitored. Sudden changes in temperature, for example, could mean a fire.
This is a six-inch tall, three-inch wide device with "bank-level encryption" that can be connected to the resident's Wi-Fi network, synced with an IOS or Android smartphone. The app for the iOS or Android phone manages the device. The user can use multiple phones with the system; the app is free.
If the system picks up intruders, it will send the user a text. The user is free to decide to sound the siren or call police, or ask neighbors to check.
"Over time," say the creators, "Canary learns your home's rhythms to send you smarter alerts." That is a competitive edge the creators hope to gain. "While other home-security systems rely on binary sensors that can only tell users if a door or window is open or closed, Canary applies complex algorithms to the data it collects to understand what qualifies as a notable event, and then communicates to the user why that event happened and what action should be taken," according to the company. "Canary is a learning system; the longer the device is owned, the smarter it becomes."
But does the system exist? So far they have working prototypes. The Canary founders want the crowdfunded Indiegogo campaign to provide money so that they can start production of the device; the target date for shipment is May 2014. Prices are from $199 up. A $199 pledge gets a single device, ideal for a typical apartment, for example, along with the free mobile app. A $580 pledge is designed for big homes, providing three such devices.
Canary is a New York-based startup. Founders of the new device are Adam Sager, experienced in embedded security for the Israel Defense Forces and in security advising to companies; Chris Rill, CTO, who built electronics for the U.S military; and Jon Troutman, design director, former product design lead at General Assembly.
"Our mission was to change the way we think about security in our homes, to make something both affordable and intuitive," they said.
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