Piper v Canary


So? Ugly - solardave1 just canit

I checked it out … and it looks pretty slick to me. I have been shopping for a z-wave security camera solution and would love to see if this one works with the ST setup. Lots of functionality in one box.

Competition is a good thing… generally.

The problem with a tidal-wave of new vendors and products is that it can lead to consumer confusion (and fear!), lack of easy integration, and certain “well-marketed” products killing-off the little guys that actually have better technology and underpinnings (i.e., VHS vs. Beta all over again).

Canary vs. Piper may be an example of this.

SmartThings will face some major competition over the next year or few… and, frankly, that puts the greatest risk on early adopters who invest money and time on their systems “too soon”: But that is the definition of “early-adopter”!

Vivint (and similar installation + monitoring companies, Comcast Xfinity even??), perhaps has the right idea by “renting” their solution though monthly monitoring fees; then again, those monthly fees are very high.


It’s a nice setup for a prototype. All depends on what finally gets to market if it even gets to market at all - everyone it seems is jumping on the single device/video/sensor thing. I’ve counted 4 so far and like the “worlds best minimalist wallet” on KS, there will be many more shortly. I personally think there’s a real place for a well designed multi-function security device that’s PnP and if it really can play nice in he Z-wave/ZigBee echosystem, play nice with ST for example, it would round out the core functionality that many are looking for. Heck, you can buy monitoring retail for 8 bucks a month (wholesale at $3-4) and the insurance reduction makes it free (actually I’m ahead of the game by almost a hundred bucks a year). I’d love to see ST get into a strategic relationship with Canary who seem to be the furthest along at the moment and looks like they’re funded. The guys behind the product know what they’re doing. The recurrent revenue model from monitoring makes for a compelling business case. HD video (sensor chips and the supporting guts) are dirt cheap these days. I’m cobbling together the same fundamental components so it would be an easy sell to me and I’m sure many others.

Piper and Canary do not seem to be promoting monitoring services, are they?

I thought the whole selling point of these (including ST) is that push notifications allow consumers to do own remote monitoring of own house and family…

What are those wholesale & retail raw monitoring services you speak of? Certainly not Vivint, of course…

Just google up alarm monitoring DIY - there’s a ton of $8/month services that will earn you a discount. The wholesale price rom the monitoring companies to the resellers averages $3/4 month based on volume. It’s all M2M, they allude the same equipment, for a couple of grand they can get UL certification - its a cash cow, people who sign up rarely leave. When security companies put hem up for sale, they base the valuation on a multiplier of number of subscribers to the monitoring service. Simplisafe in Boston has 2002 technology they sell at cost and make their money on the monitoring - everyone in the industry follows the same model.

I never thought it was so cheap; are these services not advertising? I see ADT & Bay Alarm signs all over the neighborhood, and presume they charge much more (Vivint is ~$100+ / month!).

But don’t you agree that a key marketing point of all these new “Cloud” based gadgets is that they say “no expensive monitoring fees” (emphasis on ‘no’, since everyone must presume there is no such thing as inexpensive monitoring…).

I’m confused.

Dude, AdT and the big boys will get you for 25/29/39 a month. Then they’ll add in 5/month for equipment maintenance (60/year or 180 on the 3 year contract). People typically Keep them for 10 years or more - they clean up.its a great business. It’s also a sleazy business, locked into auto renewal contracts, etc.

Google ADT complaints, Vivint Complaintes, etc.

I’m still confused, but I think I’m starting to understand…

2GIG Technologies (for example) does not sell directly to the public; they only provide pricing to “Dealers”.

I thought “Dealers” were only either big nationwide services like Vivint, or local custom installers that have rather high installation prices.

And, I’m shocked to see the horrendous complaints against ADT and Vivint – you’d think for their high prices the customer service would be outstanding! The complaints mostly seem to be on high-pressure scare sales methods to lock people into long contracts – with either inadequate and/or unnecessary packages.

But you’ve pointed out that there are discount options for the “Do-It-Yourself” installer, and you can order monitoring a la carte? Such as from http://www.geoarm.com/2gig-cellular-security-systems.html ; This keeps the cost down and the system much closer to under your own control, right?

So you actually get an insurance reduction with the MINIMAL monitoring monthly plan of $8/month? The “Pros and Cons” chart at the bottom of this linked page seems to imply that the low price doesn’t include ANY dispatching services nor an insurance certificate (though maybe the $15/month does?): http://www.geoarm.com/diy-2gig-monitoring.html

I suppose the DIY options are not well known, however, since they don’t spend the marketing and door-to-door high-pressure sales that ADT and Vivint, etc., do. Not to mention that this can be rather confusing stuff. How do you become a dealer and charge a more reasonable markup than Vivint, but still afford better marketing and provide quality installation and support services?

BUT here’s the point I still have: SmartThings (and the other new products, Piper, Canary, WigWag, etc.) are NOT promoting 3rd party monitoring at all. The selling point of these products is that they are “self-monitored” (your own smart phones…).

And SmartThings’s Terms of Service seems to disallow third-party marketing … and monitoring? But, then again, I’m not sure how much is really restricted by this paragraph…

You will only use the Services for your personal, non-commercial use, ...


I’ve been in the security business for over 30 years and last year I was half an inch away from launching a product with private equity from one of the major monitoring companies (to compete with Simplisafe - old technology/slow movers). 2 Gigi’s Basically re-sells Geosafe’s monitoring. You can become an “affiliate” and you’ll gets a check each month for every customer who signs up. There are plenty f alarm monitoring companies. Trying to charge for a “certificate” is ludicrous but hey, Its capitalism at its finest. It’s an insanely profitable business at every step of the food chain. I personally know someone who does about $250k/ year in “monitoring recurring revenue” for customers he started signing up n 1985. People really do tend to stay with their monitringcompany forever but the modelis still to lock you in to a (typically) 3 year contract hat auto-renews about 6 months before it expires. Everyone uses the same equipment. Before Internet and cellular monitoring it was all dial up but it actually costs them less when its IP/cellular IP than POTS based - there’s a higher degree of pure M2M architecture involved. The alarm system sends a stream of data, much lie an IP packet, (called Ontact-ID format) that has sybscriner ID +event type+variable data (like which sensor/contact was tripped) and a hash. If you open a security business and approach the dozen or so “major players”, you’ll be offered a $3-4/month charge per subscriber. It costs the same to monitor anything but of course it’s sold at the retail level in tiers (burglar=x$, add fire=x$ more, etc.). The signal comes through to the monitoring center,the subscriber ID pulls up all the customer data on a screen, they call to verify (unless its silent/holdup) and if needed, click on an icon that calls your local PD (or fire or med dependingn eventy type) and they read off the location and alarm type and OSI (other supplementary information). Most offer to make between 3-5 aadditional calls (you, friends, family, etc. lately they’ve added OTA push notifications/text messages/emails, etc.) which was a software changwon the back end but which you, at the retail level will pay extra for. ADT/Vivent/the other big players are notorious for poor customer service - allot is outsourced to independent local contractors (like Direct TV and Dish do for installs) but they really only care that you pay each month. The upside recurrent revenue model is extremely compelling. Everyone in the food chain gets a piece of the action every month and as. Said, the turnover rate is very low. If you think ST’s terms are draconian, read a monitoring company contract - its scary. There are plenty of add-on boxes (communicators) that will interface with almost any conceivable device so you can pretty much enable your toaster to send an alarm signal if you wanted. If oure looking at doing something in terms of getting nto this business, PM me and we can setup a callor Skype and I’m happy to answer any questions. I was literally a hair’s width away from going to market with a monitored consumer targeted product before I decided against it. It is a very lucrative business.

@cp - Got your PM. Sent you a response. hope it was helpful.

In the battle of Canary vs Piper, Piper takes the top spot since it offers better features and flexibility. Of course, I have the Piper NV model in mind.