An ambitious campaign to raise $100,000 in order to begin manufacturing the Piper home security device has started off well. In fact, Black Sumac, the Ottawa-based startup that created Piper, has raised over $14,000 in just 24 hours on Indiegogo. And that number seems to be rising every hour.
Piper is an all-in-one home security device that combines three important things: panoramic video, environmental sensors and Z-Wave home automation. Z-Wave’s technology is used by over 250 companies worldwide, and represents a high standard protocol of wireless communication technology for control, monitoring and status reading in homes. Essentially, it uses the “Internet of things” to allow electronic devices in one’s home to communicate to each other via remote control. In Piper’s case, the company built an app that serves as the remote control.
The creation of Piper follows along a recent paradigm of “disruption” in home security. Gone are the days where companies like ADT or AlarmForce controlled the market: now consumers can get cheap, easy-to-install home security systems that provide more control.
“We started working on Piper because we thought a lot about what is wrong with current security systems: long contracts, expensive, complicated, ugly and most importantly a real lack of visibility of what is happening in your home when you’re not there,” said Black Sumac’s Russell Ure. “Our goal is to make home security and automation more accessible so you actually want to use it everyday.”
Pipers job is to stay at home while users are out, “and keep an eye on things.” Users can control Piper daily through their smartphones and tablets. The device’s 180° wide-angle video functions allows users to pan, tilt and zoom while recording when they please. Meanwhile its Z-Wave controller allows the device to adjust home accessories like lights, air monitors and other sensors from the app.
If motion or unusual events are detected while users are away, users or trusted friends can receive alerts, notifications and video of the event. Finally, the device provides users with statistics and graphs on their home’s air, light and ambient light levels.
Black Sumac is offering the device for pre-order at $209 at the lowest price, which is inexpensive compared to the installation and up-keep fee’s that come along with traditional home security services.
There are other Canadian startups tackling the same space, but through a hardware-independent approach. Ottawa-based Camcloud offers simple cloud-based video monitoring for the home or office, compatible with most webcams. Upon launching in February the startup received angel funding.
Meanwhile Vancouver-based Perch is more of a family security solution, providing a video communication app designed to bring users closer to their families, wherever they are. Before the product hit the app store in late 2012, founder Danny Robinson raised $1 million from a group of investors.