Canary Starts Singing the Song of Security on Indiegogo
The bird is looking to fly, with a little help from early adopters.
July 22, 2013 by Julie Jacobson

New York start-up Canary is launching a DIY home security product today on Indiegogo that features Wi-Fi connectivity, an HD camera and a few sensors including motion and temperature (press release).

Just plop it on a shelf and wait for text or email alerts to warn you if motion is detected, the temperature spikes or humidity soars. Then you can view the action, sound the built-in siren or call the neighbors ... or have the system itself call the neighbors.

There’s no home automation in the equation. The thing just sends you alerts, and you decide what to do next.

“We hope to add it [automation] but very few people have anything to automate,” said co-founder and CEO Adam Sager in an interview prior to launch.

Canary is, after all, shooting for the mass market—something way more massive than the DIY markets targeted by Lowe’s (Iris), Xfinity (the new $10/month home control system), and startup iSmartAlarm.

Those systems may be simple, but not simple enough, Sager says. In fact, in Canary’s corporate video (next page), he calls his product “truly the world’s first consumer security product.”

That claim might be a stretch, but the product is interesting.

There is nothing to install in the Canary case—no sensors, no smart plugs, no thermostats. You just put the 6-inch-tall device—featuring a nice industrial design, by the way—on a shelf or desk or any other place that can offer a decent image from the built-in wide-angle camera.

Upon an alarm event, video will record automatically to Canary’s cloud-based service. It is always buffering so the recording will capture video from 10 seconds before the event to a certain amount of time after that.

Users also can view live video from the camera.

Canary will store video from just a few events for free. Anything more than that will incur a fee.

No storage is available locally, so you’re out of luck if your Internet connection is down. Speaking of which, you’ll also get no alerts if you’ve lost your Internet connection. No cellular options are available.

For an additional fee, users can subscribe to a call center that will respond to events according to parameters set by the user. For example, based on the “criticality” of an event, the service might wait 1 minute to respond if the user does not.

Sager says they’ll be working with a reputable third-party monitoring station.

The system is also equipped to contact other third parties, such as neighbors, based on parameters set by the users.

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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