(Pocket-lint) - Thermostats are old news. The really hot smarthome battleground of the moment is smart security systems and Canary is a name to note. A young company focused on a single, carefully-designed piece of kit; the core of its credo was to create something simple enough to make your day-to-day life easier, so intelligent that it can grow and change as you do, and also elegant enough for you to invite it into your home.
While we can sit here all day and debate the fineries - there's a couple of fundamental questions to address - what is Canary, what does it do and how does it work? Want to know? Of course you do.
What is Canary?
In simplest terms, Canary is an intelligent, connected, home security camera that's sensible and subtle enough not to look like you've got you and your guests under the beady eye of CCTV 24/7. Silent and cylindrical, it looks more like a Bluetooth speaker than anything else as it sits on the side, on top of your telly, on a shelf or whichever part of the house suits you best.
You can connect up to four of them to the Canary platform, which you can access on your iOS or Android device, to give you all the information you'll need on the comings and goings inside your property. It gives you peace of mind when you're out at work or away on holiday and it's been catching crooks and the clips of the lighter side of life too, in both Europe and North America, since launch in 2014. Plus there's some handy extra smart features too.
What does it do?
Canary's all about keeping you and your home safe. Its main function is to keep a 1080p HD eye out for anything it deems worthy of note. It's always watching but only records the incidents that it decides might be of interest to you. It saves them to a timeline for you to watch and sends you a live alert to your mobile phone too. You can then pick up your phone and see what it's captured, and, if you fancy it, you can tune in for a live feed of what it can see at any moment you like.
Should you see an intruder, you can either call the police or set off Canary's built-in 90+ dB siren which will be enough to scare off any criminal. Whatever your choice, the system will have the video evidence saved complete with audio that's clear enough even to hear the other end of telephone conversation that the perp might be making.
On top of all that, there's also sensors inside Canary that keep tabs on the temperature and humidity inside your home along with indications of air quality too which is all put together in the HomeHealth section of the app.
How does it work?
Motion detection is the key for Canary. When it senses something moving, it starts recording that video stream and, whether day or night, the clips are crystal clear thanks to infrared LED technology and a solid camera array. Canary sometimes captures false positives but, if you start to tag these events, then your Canary begins to learn what it needs to ignore. What's more, a recent update means that you can dial up or down its sensitivity to help calibrate it even further.
The other time that it needs to ignore movement is, of course, when you and your housemates are home. Fortunately, there's no need to manually arm and disarm Canary each time you come and go. Instead, you download the Canary app to your mobile and it will detect whether that phone is home or not through GPS, cellular data and Wi-Fi, and, yes, you can have more than one phone connected to a single Canary. Of course, if you wish to arm the device when you go up to bed at night, then that's perfectly possible too.
Lastly, one of the most important parts of the system to get your head around is your timeline. It's here, on the app, where Canary sends the clips it captures for you to view. You can filter them by events that occurred only while armed or by ones that you've bookmarked for whatever reason. It's also possible to download video clips depending upon your subscription plan.
Canarys come with a free, 12-hour plan out of the box. In other words, it will keep videos in your timeline only from the last 12 hours. You can increase that to a two-day access with unlimited video downloads for $4.99 per month, a 7-day plan for $9.99 per month or a 30-day plan for $29.99.
Canary is the all-in-one home security system that you control from your phone. It has HD video and audio, a built-in siren, and sensors for temperature, humidity and air quality. Canary lets you see what's happening at home and take action.
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A new approach to security, Canary combines innovative hardware, elegant software and meaningful services to meet modern-day home security needs. Canary launched in the UK in September, following a hugely successful Indiegogo campaign in the United States, and is available on Amazon.co.uk, Apple stores, Curry's PC World, John Lewis, and Maplin. For more information, please visit canary.is.