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Canary Makes Monitoring Home Security Easy and Cheap

 |  |  |  |  July 22, 2013

If you find yourself out of the house while traveling, at work or on vacation, home security is definitely a concern for most of us. While there are many solutions on the market today, most of them are expensive, difficult to install or just downright useless due to false alarms.

Now, a new startup called Canary is about to launch what could revolutionize the home security business, with a new device that’s a complete, affordable home monitoring system in a soda-can sized package.


Canary CEO Adam Sager describes the device as the “first smart home security device for everyone.” Setup takes just about 30 seconds – all you need to do is place it in a common area in your home (i.e. the living room, dining room or foyer) plug it in and connect it to your network. From that point on, you’ll be able to monitor your home from anywhere you have connectivity on your mobile device.

Sager has a background in large-scale corporate security, and realized that he had no such monitoring in his own home. When looking at the market he realised that most of the solutions out there are costly, and usually involve complex installations. And if you’re a renter, you really don’t have a good option at all. This inspired him to create a product which is accessible to everyone, from a technological, usability and cost perspective.


The Canary measures just 6-inches tall by 3-inches in diameter, and combines a HD video camera (with night vision) and sensors which can monitor movement, sound, vibration, temperature, humidity and air quality. This package of information empowers you to monitor just about everything you’d ever want about your home environment remotely. The device captures data and streams it to the “cloud” where a companion mobile app can receive alerts and track information remotely. All data is stored with financial-grade encryption, which should allay fears about privacy and security of your information.

Sophisticated algorithms help Canary to learn about your environment, so it can gradually understand what is normal or unusual activity. It even uses pattern recognition technology to help discern the difference between your cat moving around the room and a cat burglar to decrease false alarms.


The mobile app provides information in easy-to-understand plain English, and can not only show status information, but can send emergency alerts, and display trend reports for key data points (like temperature and humidity). When an alert is triggered, you can choose to trigger the Canary’s built-in siren, or contact the appropriate authorities to let them know about a break-in or other problem.

Of course, you don’t just have to use Canary when there’s an emergency. The company envisions owners using the device to remotely monitor kids, pets and the elderly, thanks to its built in camera, microphone and speaker.

Since I live in a larger home, I had some concerns about the ability for a single Canary to monitor the whole environment. Thankfully, the application will support multiple devices, so I’d recommend putting one on each floor of your house if you live in a multi-floor dwelling.

Best of all, The Canary is moderately priced. The device will retail for just $199(USD), but early birds who help fund the production through Canary’s Indiegogo campaign will be able to score one for as little as $169. The project kicks off this morning, so you’ll want to move quick if you want to get in on the earliest batch, which they hope to ship in Q1 2014.