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The must-have security device

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 3:54pm
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

  I am, by nature, a very anxious person. Alright, I am a worrier—particularly when it comes to leaving the house. Did I leave the garage door open? The stove on? The hair straightener plugged in? Did I lock all the doors? Windows? And that’s just when I leave for work.

When I leave for an extended period of time, the worries increase exponentially. What if there is a fire? Gas leak? Break-in? Big mouse? Alien attack? Anything could happen.

Luckily for me, in the land of smartphones and houses, there are several solutions ranging from expensive in-home security systems to remotely-monitored video cameras. The problem with these is often the price. In addition to an installation fee, there can often be monthly fees, which can quickly add up. Plus, once their installed in a house or apartment, you can’t easily take them with you when you move to a new place (should that big mouse choose to stay). 

So, fellow financially-restricted, worriers, I present the Canary: a smart, portable, inexpensive, home security system.

The components behind the Canary include: an HD camera with a wide angle lens, a microphone, night vision, motion detector (passive infrared), siren, RGB LEDs, 3-axis accelerometer, temperature sensor, air quality sensor, and a humidity sensor. Combined, these widgets allow for remote-monitoring of motion, temperature, air quality, vibration, sound, and general activity. For a tiny package, it packs quite a wallop of technology.

The system works by tracking any changes in your “normal” home environment and alerting you that something is happening. As an added bonus, the longer you have the Canary, the more accustomed it becomes to your unique noises and movements. For example, if it senses some movement, the device sends an alert to your iPhone or Android: “Looks like there’s some movement at home. Are you expecting anyone?” From there you can choose to text a neighbor, call the police, sound the siren, or get a camera shot of what’s happening. You can also track the actual environmental aspects of your house including air quality and humidity.

At just 6 inches tall and three inches wide, the Canary works for any room (though the creators note bigger houses will need more than one) and when you move, just pack it up and take it with you.

If you’re concerned about privacy, each of the sensors and cameras can be manually disabled.

The Canary is currently in the middle of an Indegogo campaign to raise funds for manufacturing. The team has blown past their goal of $100,000 and, as of press time, had amassed $362,005 with 35 days left in the campaign.

This is a homerun for anyone who wants to check in at home or be alerted in case of an emergency while away.

Photos courtesy of: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/canary-the-first-smart-home-security-device-for-everyone?c=home

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