Security (Home)

Withings Home Combines Camera, Sensors

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Withings Home Combines Camera, Sensors

Withings launches a home-monitoring camera/environmental sensor combo at IFA 2014-- Home, a connected device featuring a camera, two microphones and temperature, humidity and air quality sensors.

The camera portion features a 135-degree wide-angle zoom and "clear" night vision, allowing it to detect both general motion and the presence of people. Meanwhile the microphones detect sound and specifically  recognise crying, allowing use as a baby monitor.

It links to smartphones via app, and send alerts should it detect anything unusual. Such events are also stored on the cloud, providing users with an interactive timeline.

As for the environmental sensors, the company claims the device can help users build a healthier environment by alerting them to changes in temperature, humidity and air quality, including Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels.

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Belkin NetCam HD+ With Wifi, WeMo

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Belkin NetCam HD+ With Wifi, WeMo

The Belkin NetCam HD+ is a wifi camera providing customers with 720p resolution footage via PCs and mobile PCs, as well as cloud storage, easy setup and compatibility with WeMo home automation ecosystem.

WeMo compatibility allows one to set rules or connect activities with other WeMo products via the WeMo app-- for example pairing the NetCam with a WeMo Switch to turn on a lamp when the camera detects motion.

The NetCam features a wide-angle glass lens, night vision and a built-in microphone for 2-way conversations while checking what is going on in the house.

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Archos Intros iOS-Controllable Smart Home

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Archos Intros iOS-Controllable Smart Home

Customers wanting an easy to install iOS-compatible "connected home" solution might be interested in the Archos Smart Home range-- a range of cameras and environmental sensors controllable via mobile device app.

According to the company Smart Home products are the first running on Bluetooth Smart, a technology doubling communications range (from 10 to 20m), tripling capacity (from 4 to 13 simultaneously connected devices) and generally improving stability over regular Bluetooth.

Smart Home devices include the Mini-Cam (a wide-angle camera the size of a ping-pong camera), the Motion Ball (a motion detector with 10m range), the Weather Tag temperature and humidity tracker, the Motion Tag movement monitor and a Smart Plug. As mentioned above all are controllable via Archos iOS/Android app, and the company says the devices carry batteries lasting up to 1 year before replacement.

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The Smart Lock Opportunity

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The Smart Lock Opportunity

According to NextMarket Insights door lock upgrades are the next potential growth business-- the analyst forecasts the global smart lock market is to grow from $261 million in 2014 to $3.6 billion by 2019.

"The mainstreaming of the smart home is driving innovation in previously forgotten categories of home hardware and systems," the analyst says. "Established security and home hardware companies increasingly face competition from upstarts who are introducing a new breed of smart and connected locks into the market."

Initial smart locks are Z-Wave- and ZigBee-based, and come integrated within a whole-home solution. However the second smart lock wave is simpler, with Bluetooth LE, wifi and (eventually) NFC connectivity providing a low-cost and easy entry point into smartphone-based connected access control.

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A More Affordable Smart Lock?

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A More Affordable Smart Lock?

Danish home automation vendor Poly-Control claims it is the first to "take an affordable smart lock product out of the prototype stage and into the consumer market" with the Danalock key-free door lock solution.

As well as a relatively low  ($99) price tag the Danalock differs by being easy to install-- it does not replace the existing deadbolt but fits into the inside face of the door, allowing use of existing, physical keys.

“Installing Danalock takes a screwdriver (included in the box), 10 minutes, and a download of our app to a smartphone," the company claims.

The Danalock comes in circular or square variants with wireless connectivity coming through either Z-Wave, Bluetooth or both. The Z-Wave version allows remote operation over the internet and integration with home automation systems, while the Bluetooth version connects only to mobile devices via app. Power comes through standard batteries, so locks stay on in case of power outage.

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QuattSecure Security System

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QuattSecure Security System

The QuattSecure security system from the German manufacturer dnt GmbH is a complete kit for camera surveillance for smaller businesses.

For installation, you do not need an extra screen or complex cabling. The camera transmits its images (in the open, distances of up to 300 meters) without interference by radio to a 17.78 cm (7'') screen. You can set it up in the house at any location. No program installation is needed.

The 4-in-1 live image display of the QuattSecure professional model brings all four camera images simultaneously in view.

An infrared night vision mode and "alarm recording" (motion detector activates the camera recording) adds to the features. Continue reading...

Kwikset and UniKey on Bluetooth Locks

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Kwikset and UniKey on Bluetooth Locks

Kwikset and UniKey Technologies team up and reveal the Kevo-- a deadbolt lock customers can unlock without need for keys or numeric passcodes via the magic of Bluetooth and a smartphone app.

The Kevo uses Bluetooth LE, and turns mobile devices (only iOS but Android and BlackBerry options are in the works) into an electronic key (eKey). The smartphone can stay in the user's pockets while communicating with the deadbolt, and the Kevo is "smart" enough to open up with a simple touch.

Customers lacking a smartphone can use a Blueotooth fob included in the package.

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Fancy Japanese Toilet Vulnerable to Hacks

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Fancy Japanese Toilet Vulnerable to Hacks

The LIXIL Satis is one of the fancier high-tech toilets from Japan, one that "defines toilet innovation" by pairing standard (for the land of the Rising Sun, anyway) automated bidet functionality with Android app control. However the app poses a hazard-- one of the hacking variety!

According to information security company Trustwave Spiderlabs every Satis toilet has the same hard-coded Bluetooth PIN, meaning "any person using the "My Satis" [Android] application can control any Satis toilet."

Thus, potential attackers can take control over the toilet's myriad functions (including flushing, automatic seat, dual-nozzle bidet spray, air-drying) to "cause discomfort or distress to user." Talk about First World Problems!

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A Canary for the Secure Home

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A Canary for the Secure Home

A New York-based startup promises to do for security what the Nest did to thermostats with Canary, an interesting looking security device packing camera, sensor array and wifi connectivity in a cylindrical shell.

The device is 15cm tall and 7cm wide and features motion, temperature, humidity and air quality sensors together with an HD camera (with night vision and wide angle lens), microphone and siren. Once placed on a shelf or plugged into a wall the Canary records and uploads data to a cloud-based service (available in either free or paid subscription flavours) users can access via web browser or smartphone app.

One features the company stresses upon is "learning"-- the device apparently "applies complex algorithms" to collected data, allowing it learn household patterns and rhythms and thus notice when a "notable event" takes place. Once such an event happens the device pushes an alert to the user account.

 

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August Presents Bluetooth Smart Lock

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August Presents Bluetooth Smart Lock

Newcomer August takes on the smartphone-controlled door lock with the August Smart Lock-- a lock module and free online service combination allowing customers to unlock doors via Bluetooth low energy (BLE).

Making the lock module rather interesting is not the striking Yves Behar industrial design (although it does remind us of the Nest thermostat) but its security features. It uses BLE and a paired smartphone or tablet instead of wifi to connect briefly with the August online service. Once the module syncs with the service it assigns an algorithmically generated key to the paired mobile device, thus avoiding the risk of hacking internet connections involve.

Individual "key" management comes through an app (iOS and Android) complete with granular remote access controls, such as allowing access to particular individuals on specific dates/times.

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Turning iDevices into Security Cameras

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Turning iDevices into Security Cameras

People Power finds use for any spare iPads, iPhones or iPods your customers might have-- it releases Presence, an app turning iDevices into wireless home-monitoring cameras.

The app allows users to set one device as a video camera while another acts as a monitor, with the "camera" device providing a live feed to the "monitor" over wifi.

Further options include motion detection (the app records Continue reading...

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