Canary? (IndieGoGo): Home Security in a Can

The name of this product is amazing .… meant to be “Canary in a coal mine”, right… but it is also a complete home monitoring solution in a “can” shaped device…

No API upon initial release. Interesting concept to embed a spectrum of sensors in one ~$200 device, no?


Interesting… but not enough for me. I mean for what it intends to do… security… I think it’ll be okay, but that’s all it does. It just monitors your environment and if something goes outside it’s parameters, then it alerts you. There isn’t any home automation involved. Further, its only as useful for what’s in range. I don’t have a huge house, but there’s no way this could cover even just my main floor. Too many walls and turns. I suppose it would still hear if someone broke a window it couldn’t see, but how does it know a window was broken as opposed to a loud dog barking?

It’s an interesting idea and interesting product, but at a price tag of $200 that’s quite a bit and I think I’d need a minimum of three for my home.

I agree; but there is value in the marketplace for simplicity… all in one devices.

Consider the Ube touch light switch: Too expensive, at $70 each, in my opinion; but not outrageous.

These “counter examples”, though, feed my inspiration to come up with “cheapest” reliable connectable Things… looking for buddies to explore this concept.

Yeah, I love looking at new gadgets like this and thinking about possibilities. And for the right person, this is a fantastic product. If you have a smaller home or an apartment, then great. If you want a easy, simple product that requires near zero setup effort, then great.

On a side note: Please keep posting anything you find interesting CP! I tend to check KickStarter regularly because there’s a pretty easy way to scroll through newly launched products, but I haven’t found an easy way to do that in indiegogo.

I had to back it. Sucker for cool toys. I’m sure I’ll open it up as soon as I get it and see how it can be hacked. At the very least, add a ZigBee or zwave module sot shows up in st - maybe have it trigger some things. Like a taser.

I ordered two Canaries as well—before I ordered my first Smart Things kit.

I was comparing the Canary against camera/dvr combos, and thought I’d give it a try first. It’s risky buying a product when no one has even had a chance to review it yet, but hey, I’m a sucker for startups. And cameras are difficult to shop for, as most are going to be too low-res to identify a perpetrator, or not performant enough at night, etc. The same cautions go for the Canary, but…maybe it will at least use recent sensor technology. (It does claim both night vision and HD, for what that’s worth.)

What I will be curious about is whether we’ll be able to get the Canaries to send events to the SmartThings system, so those events can be utilized for home automation. That would be sweet, but they obviously haven’t had time to make that possible yet—or at least not to let us know about it. Even if we have to resort to forwarding emails around as notifications, it could be better than nothing.

Canary is run bu Adam Sager - it’s an Israeli company with offices downtown in NY. I wouldn’t be shocked or surprised if they integrated with ST to “some degree” right out of the gate.

That sounds good. I’ll try to post back with any findings.

I tried reaching out to the principal(s) at Canary and at ST with hopes of matchmaking - there’s a natural synergy here, especially if you bring a major alarm monitoring company to the table (which I also offered to help facilitate) but I’m just a lowly end-user and I’m pretty much being ignored by the parties involved. If you put those three companies in a room together you could own the DIY security & automation market space virtually vet night and the big money is in the recurring revenue stream from monitoring. You can sell something that costs you $3/month for $10. Look into Simplisafe - piss poor implementation of 90’s technology from third rate suppliers being handled by third party fulfillment centers and a one trick pony monitoring company and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

What is the proposed business model for monitoring?

Call 911 on behalf of the customer when a sensor goes off?

I’m serious… I don’t quite understand what monthly “monitoring” is all about.


I’ve gone back and forth with “monitoring” for years. I pay about $10./month in exchange for which I get at $216. Annual discount on my homeowners insurance so that part is a no-brainier. One good example is I had a sensor trip (false alarm) while I was out of cell range / no coverage. Having the monitoring company “manage” the event, call the local PD, call one of my alternate contacts, etc. seems like money well spent but it goes back to “it pays for itself”.

@CosmicPuppy Agreed. Monthly fees are just a subscription for failure. Even with ST I believe they still want to go with fees (for other users) but honestly there’s very little that either of these services NEED a cloud service for.

And by the number of times my cats have set off sensors man would it suck if the system called 911!

The pays-for-itself argument is pretty compelling. I can also see logic in paying for on offsite place to stream your video feed, where it would be stored for safe keeping. After all, a burglar can always steal any equipment that’s on site, and not everyone wants to take responsibility for running their own remote storage server.

Who knows about the business model. The idea struck me as odd at first, but there might be a niche there.

How about a monitoring company that simply sets up a buddy system, so you can share monitoring responsibilities with multiple friends or neighbors? As long as you have enough levels of backup responders, it could be very effective. And then there’s benefit if you can involve neighbors who are actually close to the scene. The “monitoring company” would then just be managing notification rules, providing some sort of documentation or certificate for the insurance company—and possibly calling 911 if all other notification responders fail to respond. I could see it working for $50 or less per year, plus a per-incident response management fee for when your circle of friends drops the ball.

Maybe I’m on an unworkable track here, but these are just some ideas from a random dreamer. Don’t rule out the possibilities that you haven’t imagined yet.

I don’t know if I’d want any of these hardware companies to “partner” with a monitoring company though. Better for all parties to focus on open APIs, so everything is composable.

@jcamenisch: Welcome to the thread.

Your “buddy system” idea is pretty good. It really is an extension of traditional Neighborhood Watch (but, ummm, no “stand your ground”, please…).

Now, full disclosure, I have very strong feelings generally AGAINST the so called “sharing economy” (AirBnB, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Neighbor Goods, etc.)…

But, your idea could be definitely promoted under that umbrella. I can think of dozens of drawbacks; but that hasn’t stopped the companies I mentioned from getting $ millions in funding as they profit off the “crowds” they enlist.

I wonder what the minimum requirements are for home insurance companies to offer a premium discount?