Canary is a connected object able to learn about the specific features of a house and the occupants’ habits so as to provide ‘smart’ monitoring of the home based on detecting change.
Interview with Canary on the sidelines of the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference, which took place in San Francisco on 9, 10 and 11 September.
In physical appearance a connected cylindrical object, Canary is in fact a smart home security system that enables house occupants to monitor their homes in a more personalized way. And this small gadget also currently holds the record for the best-supported campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site. Canary’s founders had set themselves the goal of raising $100,000 to finance development of the product, but they now find themselves with close to $2 million, injected by people from all over the world. The campaign was supported by a total of 7,458 people, the majority of the investments coming in the form of ‘early-bird special’ orders at $149 a time for the device – which at full price will cost $199 – with delivery scheduled for spring 2014, Canary’s Marketing Manager Martin Refsal confirmed to l'Atelier at TC Disrupt.
A multi-functional connected object
The Canary system is equipped with a range of sensors, which individually are fairly traditional, but which it is unusual to find combined in the same device. The cylinder comprises a night vision-capable HD camera, movement detectors and sensors which measure humidity, temperature and air quality, and it is also equipped to act as a home alarm. Once installed in a central area of the home, the system will use a mobile app to warn house occupants if it detects for instance an unscheduled human presence or a rapid increase in temperature. The householder will receive a notification on his/her smartphone and will then be able to decide for him/herself what action to take – e.g. alerting a neighbor, setting off the home alarm remotely, calling the police, or simply doing nothing.
A smart alarm that can learn about the home
The most interesting feature of the Canary system is that it is able to learn, and can therefore adapt its reactions to the specific characteristics of that particular home and the family’s habits. For example, if in winter you program your radiators to heat up the house before everyone gets back from work in the evening, the Canary system will record this information and no longer see an increase in temperature at six o’clock in the evening as an anomaly. Canary thus goes well beyond a traditional home security system, actually providing people with a way of monitoring their homes at all hours of the day and warning them of any domestic incident. For instance, if a radiator ceases to function while you are on vacation, the app will notify you immediately of an anomaly in the temperature level. This will allow you to react quickly and call up a family member or neighbor to go and do something about it.