Tag Archives: Home Security

Novi is a 4-in-1 DIY home security system

Say goodbye to contracts, monthly fees and false alarms.

Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States alone? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abandon the attack. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn it on at all times. And, when it comes to security, many are often faced with expensive systems and pricey monitoring fees. Understandably so.


However, one Provo, Utah-based startup is looking to change that with their new IoT solution. Novi Security is a 4-in-1 DIY security system that’s making it increasingly easier for homeowners to install small detectors throughout their house that can notify them of any motion or smoke — all without the need of contracts and monthly costs!


The kit is comprised of a base station and sensors, and are equipped with an ATmega128 radio and an Atmel | SMART SAM4S processor. The battery-powered sensors are simply affixed to the ceiling and boast an HD camera, motion and smoke detectors, and siren. This allows the system to provide homeowners a peace of mind by sending a series of three photos right to their mobile device, while immediately emitting a siren if smoke or motion are recognized while away.


In the event that this occurs, the alarm will sound, the monitor will relay the images to the base station (plugged directly into a router), and the base station will transmit the photos over to an accompanying app. Once the alert is received on the smartphone, the user will then have the option to call for help, check in at home, arm/disarm, as well as request more pictures for greater clarity.

This cute owl is the extra set of eyes you need at home

Ulo is an owl-shaped security camera that communicates through eye expressions.

Surveillance cameras can be obvious eye sores to put around your house. If you wanted to monitor your home, you had to get over the aesthetics of security devices. Now, there’s a new way to keep an eye out, without putting a damper on your interior tastes.


The brainchild of French designer Vivien Muller, Ulo is changing the home surveillance game. While it may look like nothing more than a toy owl, this Internet-connected gadget is much more. Ulo is equipped with a two-way mirror beak housing a hidden camera and motion sensors, and is interactive with customizable LCD eyes.

Ulo comes to life when you tap it on the head, and can be controlled from your Android or iOS device, or web interface. A webpage and mobile app allows you to personalize eye color, shape and size to match any decor and taste. No logos or icons are displayed on the screens, but you instantly know what Ulo has in mind. Unlike any other surveillance camera, this owl unit communicates through eye expressions making it life-like. For example, if you want to take a picture, Ulo blinks. Its eyes also follow movements and squints when you’re watching its live-stream. Ulo’s eyes will even look tired when the battery is low, alerting you to charge it.


When you’re not at home, double tapping on Ulo’s forehead will activate its Alert Mode, which records any movement and sends an animated GIF to you via email. Plus, it can live-stream directly to your phone or webpage with 1080p HD video and audio. Ulo acts as the extra set of eyes to check what’s going on when you’re away. What’s more impressive is that it has infrared night vision and is waterproof, making Ulo an effective and versatile way of surveillance, inside and outside the house.

This adorable, high-tech owl features a Wi-Fi module, an orientation sensor, a Li-Po rechargeable battery, a mono microphone, and speaker. Ulo comes with adhesive neodymium magnets for easy attachment, as well as a micro-USB cable for recharging.


Want your own personal surveillance bird? Then fly over to Muller and his team’s Kickstarter page, where they’ve already reached over a million dollars in funding. The first batch of Ulos are expected to ship by November 2016.

BeON Home makes it look like you’re home, even when you’re not

This system will make having a safer, smarter home as simple as screwing in a light bulb.

Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abort the mission altogether. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn on their unit at all times.


Undoubtedly, the Internet of Things has made way for an influx of smart bulbs as of late. Sure, they can change colors, set the mood and even sync up to what’s playing on TV, but they may all pale in comparison to BeON Home. Last November, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup introduced the first Bluetooth Smart home protection system that rolls preventative security and emergency lighting all into one unique solution. And today, it’s now available!

As its name would imply, BeON is designed to make it look like you’re home, even when you’re not. This lets you not only can you enjoy lighting in the event of an emergency or power outage, but also taking a proactive approach to thwart potential intruders. The system itself is comprised of LED bulbs that can be plugged into any standard socket and produce 800 lumens (equivalent to 60W), along with smart modules which are hidden inside.


Sound a little familiar? Not only is it because you may’ve backed BeON on Kickstarter in 2014, but the premise is rather reminiscent of the 1990s blockbuster film Home Alone. In the movie, Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) outwits a pair of criminals by creating a DIY home security system. During one scene, Kevin goes to great lengths to set up a fake Christmas party in order to deceive the “Wet Bandits” (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) into believing that the house was inhabited.

Since intruders prefer unoccupied homes, the BeON smart modules automatically learn your family’s everyday lighting patterns and then replay them while you’re away — without having to go through such great lengths as Kevin McCallister. If a would-be burglar checks to see if you’re home by ringing the doorbell, BeON can hear the doorbell via its Atmel | SMART SAM G based sound detection engine and trigger the lights on sequentially as if you are awakening and moving throughout the house.


Even better, the LEDs can be installed just like ordinary bulbs into either lamps or recessed lights. Once in place, the system goes into action, quietly learning your activity patterns. To ensure your privacy, the bulbs communicate with one another and its accompanying mobile app locally over Bluetooth Smart. And using Qualcomm’s CSRmesh technology, notifications and messages can be carried through a network of multiple bulbs without the need for a hub or router.

And its smartness doesn’t stop there. In fact, BeON bulbs boast backup rechargeable batteries, ensuring its burglar prevention powers work even without power, and can flick on the lights whenever a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector goes off to help you escape safely.

Intrigued? The BeON starter kit — which consists of three LED bulbs and three smart modules — will run you $199, with additional bulbs $75 a piece.

Kuna’s smart light fixture doubles as digital doorman and security guard

Led by Makers Sai-Wai Fu and Haomiao Huang, the Kuna team has launched the first effective break-in prevention solution: a smart Wi-Fi camera with an intercom built into an outdoor light fixture. In other words, think of it as your digital doorman that detects those approaching your door and allows you to interact with them via smartphone.


The early-stage company is no stranger to the Maker Movement and crowdfunding world, bringing years of experience as domain experts in digital video, drones and robotics. Moreover, the startup is further validation to Gartner’s recent claim that by 2017, over half of the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions on the market will originate from companies less than three years old.

Meanwhile, the convergence of outdoor lights and home security is certainly not a brand new concept; however, Kuna has upped the playing field by streaming live video that a homeowner can watch and interact with from a distance. In addition to the camera and intercom, Kuna can act as an alarm siren and serve as a full-featured smart light.


The light — which comes in traditional, contemporary and craftsmen designs to adorn any style home — empowers a user to turn it on and off remotely, set a schedule, or automatically turn on in dusk-to-dawn mode. And, since it’s a light, the app can be programmed to respond to motion when something or someone trips its sensor.

“Kuna provides peace of mind and convenience with an always-on device that distinguishes between people coming, going, and staying at the door through patent-protected technology to minimize unwanted alerts,” the team adds.


“Burglars are looking for easy targets, which means empty homes or someone alone at home. They move through a neighborhood knocking at doors and seeing who answers. If no one answers, that’s when they decided to break in. With Kuna, you can speak to a potential burglar and let them know that someone sees them. They will move on to an easier target, one where no one knows they’re there.”

Live in a woodsy area? Luckily, Kuna combines high-tech computer imaging with IR motion sensing to filter out false alarms such as swaying trees and small creatures. In addition, it can decipher between someone coming home, leaving or waiting at the doorstep.

Key features of the camera include 720p HD video and a 116-degree field-of-view wide lens, whose footage is streamed to the smartphone through Kuna’s secure web servers. Instead of relying on battery power, it draws from the 120VAC via the mounted light fixture, and connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and to your smartphone by Bluetooth LE.


In an attempt to build a community of beta testers and early adopters, Kuna has launched an Indiegogo campaign offering special pre-order pricing starting at $99. Those interested in backing the smart device can expect their shipments come Spring 2015.