Most smart home technology offers a lot of wow factor, but very little real world benefits. Home security is one area where the connected home offers distinct advantages over traditional security systems – whether you’re at home, work, or on vacation. There are plenty of options, but these four caught our eye.
You can build your own motion capture security system with a Raspberry Pi, but if you’re looking for an easier off-the-shelf solution, the Homeboy is a great way to go. At first, it seems like just another webcam, yet it has a number of features that set it apart.
The device is easy to move around your house, as it has no wires. It magnetically attaches to the base, and you can easily point and reposition the camera whenever you need to.
The battery lasts about three months, so you can set it and forget it. It’s motion activated, and the security functions are enabled when you leave a geo-fenced area – so it’ll send you notifications if it senses movement. You can then request clips to see what’s going on in your house via the iOS and Android apps.
Best of all? You can buy one now for $150.
This device aims to do something that very few other security systems can do: monitor your entire house from a single room. The Cocoon is equipped with a number of key features: an HD camera, microphone, motion detector, thermometer, and even a very loud siren to warn off intruders. But the most interesting thing that the Cocoon includes is called the Subsound detector. This feature listens for very low-frequency sounds — below the threshold of human hearing — to determine whether or not there’s an intruder in other rooms in the house.
By combining all of these sensors with machine learning which adapts to the regular the sounds of your house — and your pets — the Cocoon is a security hub that will keep you informed via the mobile app. You can check out the video feed from the Cocoon, set emergency contacts, and activate the siren with a few taps.
The Cocoon is available for pre-order from Indiegogo for $299 ($100 off the expected retail price).
We’ve profiled a number of smart locks in the past, but Haven aims to fundamentally change how we think about preventing people from getting in the door. Unlike a deadbolt, Haven is anchored to the floor on the inside, creating a barrier that prevents the door from opening. Their website states that 95% of break-ins require some force, so adding a further obstruction makes it more difficult for someone trying to break into your house.
The Haven app controls the lock remotely from anywhere, but there’s also a key fob to automatically unlock the device when you’re in proximity. You can share keys with other people who need to get into the house, and Haven will be able to sync with other devices in your smart home, helping you to run the whole house with the same system.
Haven is still quite a long way away, with a projected release date of August 2015, but you can pre-order one for $200.
What do you do with your old iOS devices? Keep them around for gaming and wi-fi streaming? Now you can turn old iPhones and iPads into smart home security devices with Presence. In addition to being able to control a small number of other smart home products, the app turns your old devices into motion activated or scheduled security cameras, and streams the resulting video to your phone.
The app allows you to change the sensitivity of the motion detector, switch between the front and back cameras, and choose whether the camera should record for a specific amount of time after detecting motion or until the motion is no longer present. There’s also a subscription account that gives you 5 GB of online storage for saving videos and the ability to record longer videos.
Secure Your Home the Smart Way
Smart home technology has given us a lot of interesting ways to secure our homes, and these four are just a small sample of what’s out there. There are plenty more that can be added to your smart home hub, like Wink or SmartThings. If you’re interested in hacking something like this together without the use of a dedicated home security app, check out our article on how to build a security camera network out of old phones.
Do you use any smart home security devices? Would you feel safer owning these types of products? What are the best smart security devices that you’ve seen? Share your thoughts below!