One of the most intriguing things I came across at MWC was Piper NV, Piper NV is a product from icontrol Networks in the US, it basically is a network attached device that allows you to create a home automation or home security system to suit your needs. Once set up the whole setup is accessed via the Cloud, meaning you can access it from anywhere where you have a web connection, be it 3G, 4G or WiFi. Here is the Piper NV and two Z-Wave accessories, which enable further functionality.
One of the things about the Piper NV is the ease at which it seems to be able to set the thing up.
I had a meeting with the guys behind Piper as I have been intrigued by home security and automation ever since I bought a modular wireless alarm system. The Piper NV as it is connected to the Internet and allows easy access to the system to control the various elements. You basically set the unit up near the front door, near a window, on a shelf in the lounge and if it detects motion or a loud noise it will trigger a reaction which you setup using the app on your phone. So if someone approaches the front door you can get your Piper NV to start recording, push a notification to the app and then you can turn on two way voice mode and tell the man selling dish cloths on your doorstep that you aren’t interested and that he should leave them premises or you will trigger the siren.
Or something like that…….
Key features in my eyes are as follows:
- No monthly fee, your Cloud Storage and access will never cost you anything.
- Ease of access via Android or iOS app, to allow access to the whole system.
- Night Vision camera mode.
- 3.4 MP camera.
- Security mode, with motion detector and piercing 105-decibel siren.
- Automation mode, with the inclusion of Z-Wave accessories such as plug sockets or light switches.
- Customised alerts, the Piper NV can call, text, email or use the app to push notifications.
- Mains powered with a battery backup.
- Two way audio from the app to the device.
- Up to five Piper units can be setup within a home.
Russell Ure the guy who created the Piper showed me how the Piper NV and the app worked. He as you’d expect has quite a few of these around his house in Canada, amazingly he showed me how he could control lights in his house and we watched as the live view showed the lights come on within a second or so.
The app is where all of your imagination is let loose, if you want sensors on every window you can set triggers to tell you when they are opened and as each accessory is named you can tell which window is opened. You can be away on business and log into the camera, checking that your family are behaving, turn the Xbox and lights off at 11pm and arm the motion sensors for people approaching the house. The whole system is only really limited by what accessories you buy and of course your imagination.
As regards Z-Wave accessories, Z-Wave is a worldwide standard for home automation accessories, so icontrol might not sell them, but you can source them elsewhere and they will work with Piper NV. There are many such as window sensors, door sensors, plug sockets, locks, blind controls, gate controls, thermostats, external sirens, smoke sensors, environmental sensors and many many more.
The Piper NV has a night vision ring around the main camera, so you can watch what is happening in your house with no lights on, again Russell showed me his house and nothing untoward was happening.
The interesting part was how the Piper records video, it is constantly recording video, on a 2 minute loop. If one of your conditions is met, i.e. someone walking through the front door it knows it has to start recording, which it does with a 5 second prelude to the trigger action. It will then record a 35 clip and upload it to the cloud with a date stamp. Through the app you can then continue recording the action.
The original Piper was a Indiegogo project and since then icontrol Networks have bought the original company Blacksumac. The good news is that the new Piper NV will be coming to the Europe very soon. The starter kit is listed on their website at 299 euros (approx £215) with additional kits including the Z-Wave accessories coming in at 399 euros for the Piper NV + 3 accessories (approx £290), or the house kit with 3 X Piper NV and 5 accessories at 979 euros (approx £710).
More info can be found over at the Piper website. We should hopefully be getting one of these to play with soon, so watch this space.