One of the perils of living in New York City is how hard it is for us to test out some of the latest ‘Smart Home’ gadgets on the market. Most of us live in apartment buildings or rent a floor of a home, making security cameras harder to install. We can’t put in a smart door lock if our landlords won’t permit it, and let’s not even start the smart thermostat conversation. So when this little home security device that requires no physical installation to perform half the functions of smart home gadgets came about, we’re thinking we must have it.
Developed in New York (because this obviously makes sense), the Canary smart home security system is a combination of an indoor surveillance camera, alarm system, and weather monitor all wrapped inside a soda-can shaped machine. To install, just connect the device to your home’s Wi-Fi network and sync it to your smartphone. From there, Canary can monitor your home and alert you if something unusual is spotted, such as movements in a room that’s supposed to be empty or sudden noise. The temperature sensors can also detect humidity and air quality, and lets you know when those levels change unexpectedly. These alerts go directly to your phone like a regular notification, and allow users see the live view of their home via the HD camera before deciding the next course of action.
As an Indiegogo project, Canary will offer these services free to all users. However, the team is hoping to further develop optional services where home owners can purchase plans with call center help for emergencies and larger video storage sizes. The team also says they will constantly add updates to the app, hoping the device will soon learn facial recognition and remembers your family and friends, or recognize when movements in home are attributed to pets, not thieves.
It’s important to note that despite the sensors within the Canary, it’s still one 720p camera and microphone per machine. This means that in order to monitor your entire home, backyard, and front door, you’ll need several devices guarding every room.
Unlike most crowdfunding projects where users are encouraged to drop money on a “too good to be true”-type devices, the Canary team has already gone through the design and prototyping stages. The company is asking funders to help back $100,000 to help with manufacturing so it could truly bring the product to mass market. A complete set of the Canary system starts at $200, but some early bird pledges are still available at $170. You can also pledge more for different color options (white, matte silver, or black), or a beta tester version that ships in February 2014. Final products are expected to ship by May of next year.