Skip to main content

Scout home security system offers simplicity, style and modern technology

scout window sensor

Bypassing Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise an initial round of funding through the official site, the team developing the Scout home security system are offering Wi-Fi connectivity, simple installation and a low price tag to compete against traditional home security services offered by companies like ADT and Lifeshield. The base station of the Scout system must be plugged directly into a home’s router, but the sensors communicate with the base station wirelessly. Scout users can interact with their home’s security system by connecting to the base station through a computer or a mobile device like a smartphone. 

Scout Family in WalnutWhen the security system is breached, the base station will alert the user wirelessly and the software can automatically trigger a call to the police over the user’s smartphone.

Related Videos

In addition, the base station includes a 3G cellular chip that can send an alert to the user when other communication paths are unavailable, perhaps when the power goes out. The Scout development team has included a battery backup within the base station in case this scenario occurs. The battery should be able to power the base station for a full week when the power is out for an extended period.

The 3G service does require a $10-per-month subscription fee, but this pales in comparison to the monthly fees charged by other home security services. A traditional security service typically charges between $30 to $50 per month for continued monitoring service and forces the consumer to sign a standard three year contract. While the initial cost of installation hardware can be inexpensive with a traditional security service, it can easily end up costing the consumer $1,500 to $2,000 over the life of the contract. 

scout mobile alertThe Scout software also allows users to create customized responses based on the type of security alert. For instance, if the front door is opened, that could send a text message to the user rather than triggering a call to the police.

When combined with Zigbee-powered devices, the customized responses could turn on lights within the home or start blasting a song on the home theater system to scare off an intruder. 

Targeting an underserved portion of the home security market, the installation of this system is ideal for people renting homes or apartments. The motion sensor, open/close sensor and arm/disarm panel can be installed without the need for wires or any significant damage to walls. It can also be removed easily when it’s time to move to a new place. 

Taking a page out of Nest’s playbook, the modern design of the Scout devices are much sleeker when compared to traditional security hardware. Scout is offering the system in black, white and walnut to blend into different decors. Regarding the cost of hardware, users can completely customize how much hardware they need per order. Scout also offers a slider tool on the site to estimate the amount of required hardware for a home or apartment. For instance, someone that wants to cover two doors and six windows could spend $350 for one base station, one arm/disarm door panel, seven open/close sensors, two motion sensors and one yard sign with the Scout logo. 

There are no long-term contracts required to utilize the Scout system and setup can be accomplished by the user easily through the software. Assuming an additional $135,000 of funding is raised within the next four weeks, the first batch of Scout security systems is expected to ship during August 2013. It’s possible that the installation of a Scout home security system could help the user qualify for discounts on their homeowners insurance, but that decision is entirely up to each insurance provider.

Editors' Recommendations

911 hotlines are outdated, so Ginny Katz is building something better
HazAdapt app in use

In the grip of an emergency, the first move for many Americans is to call 911. The emergency response system has been around for decades, but like many institutions, it has struggled to keep up with technology. Call centers are easily overwhelmed in big emergencies, they often can’t track the locations of people calling from cell phones, and they’re vulnerable to hacking. An egregious example of this came in 2017, when a hacker used a malicious link on Twitter to hijack thousands of phones, forcing them to call 911 repeatedly, flooding call centers with false alarms.

“I’ve been studying and working in disasters, diseases, and emergency management for over 10 years,” says Ginny Katz, founder and CEO of HazAdapt. “At the end of my master’s degree, I really began to dive into the tech because I thought we really need some better technology here, and it just seems like what’s on the market today is not cutting it.”

Read more
How SETI@home accelerated alien hunting with an army of armchair astronomers

On July 23, 1995, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp both had telescopes trained on the sky. Both noticed a fuzzy object that turned out to be a comet. Hale has a PhD in astronomy, but Bopp was borrowing a friend’s instrument. Because they’d spotted the object at about the same time, Hale and Bopp both had their names attached to the now famous comet.

There’s always been plenty of space for amateurs in the field of astronomy. While it’s often been solo star hunters or small societies, the SETI@Home experiment brought together millions of citizen scientists interested in learning if humans are alone in the universe.

Read more
Seattle’s vote-by-phone system could be a game changer, but only if it’s secure
zipcar drivethevote electoin 59947941  closeup of an american i voted sticker placed on a navy shirt

When King County, Washington, voters cast a ballot for King Conservation District Board of Supervisors this year, they’ll be able to do so by smartphone, if they wish. While the county, which includes the city of Seattle, has about 1.2 million voters, in the past only between 1 and 3 percent usually participate in these types of elections. Supporters of the move are hoping it will empower more people to vote, but critics worry about the security of such a system.

By inputting their name and birthday via their phone’s internet browser, King County voters can log in to the portal. They choose and verify their candidate, then use their phone’s touchscreen to submit their signature.

Read more