Awesome Stuff: Sound The Alarm

from the or-something dept

For this week’s awesome stuff post of interesting crowdfunding projects, we’ve got various takes on home security and alarms.


The Point is an interesting new take on “the internet of things” and sensors. It’s a little device with a bunch of sensors designed to alert you on your phone, if it senses something is wrong in the house. If it hears breaking glass, for example, it can alert you. Or if the noise is too loud (and unlike some other devices it doesn’t send the content over the internet, it just alerts you). It tracks noise, air (smoke), temperature, humidity and some other things and can send alerts and also light up differently in the home as well. It’s a rather different take on these things, done in a way that doesn’t feel as privacy-invasive as a number of other connected home offerings.
You kind of have to see the rClock in action to get it, but it’s an alarm clock with a big plastic stick on it, that can swing down and “tap” you, to try to wake you up without making noise (though, I’d imagine that the tapping might make some amount of noise). I’m not sure I’d personally feel comfortable with a robotic alarm clock slapping me in the morning to wake me up, but it is a different sort of alarm…
OK, the BeOn isn’t an alarm, per se, but does some interesting things to hopefully mean you wouldn’t need a home burglar alarm. It’s a sort of smart lightbulb that pays attention to when and how you use the lights in your house — and if you set it to “away” mode, it just mimics your usual lighting patterns, to make anyone looking from the outside think that you’re home. A lot more clever than the standard trick of just using a regular timer. The other neat feature is that it can listen for the doorbell to ring, and then turn on lights, at various intervals, around the house as if it’s someone coming to the door. Of course, while that might scare off a potential burglar, it might confuse the heck out of a friend stopping by unannounced to say hello…

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Sound The Alarm”

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Anonymous Coward says:

what's the point

One of the biggest problems with home security cameras is that the video is really not private and can be subpoenaed — or worse, seized in a police raid — and you don’t need to be charged with a crime (or even be a suspect) for that to happen.

The Point security system is a good idea, as not everyone wants to automatically become a material witness by installing security cameras, and giving up all their privacy in the process.

Though oddly, it never mentions if the connection is encrypted (so we can assume it’s probably not)

Anonymous Coward says:

One of the things I find annoying about most of the do it yourself alarm systems that you can search for online (ie: Amazon and Ebay) is that they either require a phone line or a cell phone account to contact the user. Why don’t they have one that simply works either via Wifi or Ethernet (and you can hook the security system and router up to a UPS in case of a power outage). The way it should be set up is that when the alarm is set so that no one is home the system alerts your phone, over the Internet, the moment someone enters your house. Your phone doesn’t alert the user just yet but when the person entering properly inactivates the alarm with the code the alarm system will then alert the phone that the alarm has been inactivated. At this point the phone won’t alert the user (but the user can go into an app and check logs of when the alarm was properly inactivated).

If the phone doesn’t receive a subsequent message that the alarm has been properly inactivated within a given amount of time after someone entered then it will alert the user. The alarm system can be pre-programmed to send these notifications to multiple phones at once. This way a burglar can’t simply prevent the alarm from notifying the phone via the Internet before his 30 (or whatever) seconds to enter the code are up since the alarm alerts the phone the moment it detects someone entering (even a non-burglar) and alerts it again when the alarm is properly disabled.

Additionally the alarm can send regular notifications to a phone alerting it that everything is OK (in case someone tries to disable/cut the Internet line from outside). The user or phone can optionally ping the alarm at convenient times (ie: when signal strength is finally good or when the phone finally acquires an Internet connection if it has been missing a signal for long enough) and if the phone doesn’t receive any notifications from the alarm during a given period of time, pings the alarm, and still doesn’t receive anything back (given the phone has cellular or Wifi access) then it will alert the user.

Should be easy enough to make.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The notifications could take place through, say, Gmail so that even if the phone lacks a network or Internet connection during the time the alarm sent a notification and even if the burglar disabled the alarm after the notification has been sent (ie: by physically unplugging the Ethernet cable) the phone can then proceed to receive the notification as soon as its Internet connection is restored.

So someone enters. Alarm immediately send e-mail notification that someone entered. If that person is authorized and properly disables the alarm. Alarm sends notification that alarm was properly disabled.

Bad case scenario is a burglar enters during a time that your phone has no network or Internet connection (btw, the alarm can also send text messages via email). The alarm immediately sends an e-mail notification before the burglar has a chance to disable it. The burglar disables the alarm. When the network/Internet connection on your phone is restored it still receives the notification.

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