Now when I think about the "beeps" would be actually quite neat and simple way to integrate various home appliances to this kind of monitoring system. Not as cool or comprehensive as bluetooth or zigbee, but simple to add. Intelligent listening could probably reveal all kinds of interesting stuff without the need to adding new sensors here and there.
1. How much will this cost to purchase?
2. Will their be a subscription fee?
3. How is the Point system installed, from the video it appeared to be a magnet?
4. When is the actual release timeline, so I can start figuring out where I can put this in my house or if I should simply Arduino / Pi / Grove a solution instead.
5. Why kickstarter, you appear to have the infrastructure (e.g. engineering, prototype, etc.) in place.
Form finance and 1/5 of the engineering department here. :)
1. The Kickstarter price will be $79, with early-bird options for less. Retail will be more expensive.
3. There is a small metal plate with double-sided tape that you attach to your wall or ceiling. Point then attached with magnets.
4. This summer! Beta units earlier if you are OK with a rough experience.
5. We might look larger than we are. Right now, we're basically self-funded engineers. Kickstarter allows us to validate our prototype without committing serious cash to manufacturing deposits. Like several others have remarked, it also helps with marketing and early customer interaction. Win-win really.
Because Kickstarter is an unbelievably powerful form of marketing. You get a huge a number of eyeballs, reduce risk with an almost but not quite pre-order, and you build an extremely passionate fan base.
Assuming they do have the infrastructure required to launch I would almost ask why not launch a Kickstarter? Zero to huge reward for little to no risk. That's a helluva deal!
This speaks to what kickstarter is becoming, a viral method for corralling sales through an accepted platform and deferring capital risk. Point has prototypes, the company has blog posts from people knowledgeable in the intricacies of handling the Chinese copyright issue, sourcing, and is essentially ready for market except for the ability to purchase it.
Kickstarter is being used in this instance for one of two reasons:
1. Capital risk: Contracts may be in place with their manufacturer to do certain run ups, instead of taking the risk themselves, Kickstarter funds will be used to offset the risk of the product marketing going wrong.
2. Product awareness: Kickstarter provides a great social media platform through which to raise awareness, create a community, and drive sales at different price points.
Little known secret, most successful Kickstarter campaigns have 25% of their demand already assessed and paid for up front. (yes, this includes the infamous Pebble). Since KS is so ubiquitous, it's now generally regarded as a PR/marketing platform as opposed to a funding platform. It would make total sense for these guys to do Kickstarter.
(I'm on the Form team)
Devices like this still make me uncomfortable, given the track record of even large companies making extremely insecure devices.
BTW, mikrotik is a very nice platform for geeks, en attendant Godot (a high load open source linux based router distro. Yes I know of openwrt, but that's kind of limited hw, hackish and prosumer? )
That said if someone needed to use Wi-Fi, I'd be happy to open a guest network for them (I think my router can do that but I haven't checked).
If you shut off WPS on your router and use WPA2-CCMP with a good passphrase, there is really no concern of someone getting into your wireless network.
Both of these measures do nothing if any other device is currently connected to the wireless network. A passive attacker will still be able to see your access point (by inspecting packets sent over the air by other devices to the access point) and can spoof a MAC address to connect to it.
Or what if someone decides to hack you when you are at home?
These are not real security measures.
I've also often wondered why the home security industry seems to be so out of phase with the rest of the tech world; e.g. my house has a security system which seems to have been designed in the 70s (yet it was likely bought by the previous owner circa 2000). To (re-)set zones, you need to go through a 90-step setup wizard, which requires you to calculate zone inclusions as an 8-bit number and type it in on the keypad. And in a day and age when self-driving cars are fast becoming a reality, my alarm system can't tell the difference between a 3 year old walking around, a large bird coming in for landing, and a man climbing over the fence with a crowbar in their hand. I think there's a lot of room for improvement.
Another part of me wonders why devices like this have to be wireless. Sure, it sounds awesome at first, but I'm pretty sure it means weekly battery swapping (even if we discount frequent wifi use). A device that requires frequent maintenance quickly stops being used, and security devices which are off aren't much use (or worse than useless, depending on how you look at it).
If home automation and security are treated as merely parts of one whole solution encompassing your property, we'll have less friction between the two and you'll have far fewer instances where it feels as if just someone walked in and "installed security", which is literally what happened. I don't blame the engineers entirely for this as I'm sure there are instances where convenience and price (for the company) has scuttled many good ideas and sane practices.
A while ago, I posted my dream of what automation should look like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6357753 It seems I'll be dreaming for a bit longer.
If you "can't" put in a power jack (UL? EMI/EMC concerns? Cost?) then at least please manipulate the case design such that when I solder wires directly to the battery jacks then the case can still be closed, I don't have to drill extra cabling holes, etc. The easiest battery to convert is 9volts for obvious connector reasons, but they likely don't have the energy density you need.
I have 12 volts available thru the house so if you could uprate the on board caps and power circuitry to tolerate 12V in that would be nice. Likely your silicon will be fine, and you can't have a thermal issue if you think you're running for a year off any battery smaller than a forklift battery, so its just please solder in 25V caps on the input of the voltage reg instead of 6V caps. Then I can direct wire to the 12V rather than running thru a nice inefficient converter.
(edited to add, I have a marketing idea for the "runs off 12 volts" plan... RVs and boats have 12V and make the software smart enough to understand "animal noises" and send an alert.)
Then again if this is going to be one of those "$300" gadgets, I'm not buying one anyway. And I didn't see a price.
"Why not aim for a larger market" has a little bit of an answer in that a system isn't worth much without monitoring, and for example, for much of the US, petty property crime isn't so pervasive that $500 seems like a smart trade.
I'd want to audit the firmware, and would put it behind a firewall blocking outbound connections.
I'd like the ability to monitor a few sites, though -- not just my home, but also a storage/warehouse space, potentially an office, vacation home, parking spot, etc. Being able to monitor all of those in a single app would be awesome.
I'm willing to trust you with processed events (probably), just not raw data, and no silent auto-updates, and a network/deployment config which is at least relatively secure by default. (I know you could covert channel with a sneaky firmware feature I could never detect, but that would require effort. I trust the company to be honest a lot more than I trust them to be bug-free, so I just don't want "fail-open" to be a default.)
How would that work without server software?
If my local processing appliance tries to upload anything beyond a well-defined set of messages and bitrates, I'll get suspicious.
It's nice to see a new entrant into the industry none the less though. Interesting idea to use audio detection but I'm a little surprised it didn't include a PIR sensor for motion as well. Would be curious if there's an eventual platform play here.
Perhaps it is nice to have a log of whenever the front door opens, but that feature certainly won't sell me on its own.
It is cool that they can tell when a window breaks, but... how much good does that notification do for me? How confident can I be that this is not a false positive and immediately call the police? Or do I rely on the "soft alarm" to hopefully scare away the would-be intruders?
I don't see what the "light up" option affords. If I'm there, I'll know that loud music is playing. And I don't get the sense that this is meant to replace my smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm, so at best the light is an early warning system that I should open a window to vent out some smoke from my cooking before the real alarm sets off.
Overall, this seems like a really cool concept that has a lot of marginal benefits and zero killer features. Hopefully that sell-story will be embellished upon in the real kickstarter!
Music too loud, or smoking in a non-smoking place? This thing lights up and lets your guest know to tone things down. If it gets too loud, it switches color and logs the infraction.
Appliance failure or security concerns get monitored too.
I converted from an old fashioned clothes washer to new high efficiency a couple years ago. No problem, but I suspect a big problem for the software devs is an old fashioned washer sounds like a modern direct drive just exploded and vice versa. I imagine that's quite a puzzler. Also when my water softener kicks in at the same time as the tankless hot water and the washer and the dryer and the furnace that must be an audio analysis puzzler to tease it all apart.
The washer biz likes to segment by UI, so a clothes dryer that tweets completion costs them an extra $20 to build but they sell it for an extra $1000 which I find highly unappealing, but if this thing is smart enough, it could short circuit that marketing driven profit center and send me a notice when my dryer finishes tumbling. Ditto clothes washer, dishwasher, maybe other things?
For those with such a sad overlord, repeatedly discharge the batteries until the cost/annoyance for the landlord gets too damn high.
Yes. Also: Parent of teenagers.
If you inform your guests that a certain noise level is accepted but if things get too loud, they will be reminded (before you get a reminder on your phone), they have the chance to turn down the music before bothering anyone.
Also, it complicates wireless security config - can a non-tech figure out how to configure security with their router?
Does being self-contained mean isolated and non-expandable?
Add a remote GSM/CDMA option.
Hook up with a 24/7 service center to provide monitoring subscriptions without contract (a la Simplisafe).
What about integration with door and window sensors? Motion sensors?
Carbon monoxide detection?
I'd really like to see innovation in this space as Honeywell, etc. drag their feet and provide overpriced, under-delivering options, but the reasons are plain. There is no one-size fits all, and mixed systems don't make sense. Then, the resilience of the assurance dependency chain is inversely proportional to the cost of the system. If it's cheap, it's easy to beat or have many common points of failure - any one of which can bring the system down or trigger enough false alarms that it costs the consumer with their time, money, and energy.
Sincerely, Good luck!
Respect this a lot and is a major selling point for me. If the sound analysis/processing is not done over the wire (assuming on the device) will there be a way to allow for publicly produce events (i.e. integration into systems like IFTTT, etc)?
We are primarily targeting people who don't want those systems either because they are too expensive or bothersome, or because they feel that it's a tad orwellian. As I wrote in another response, many of the features have been designed with home sharers (AirBnB hosts) in mind.
[on the Form team]
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I love home security stuff like this, and hope this rolls in at a decent price point.
Frankly, I'm not sure if I'd be prepared to receive and deal with false positives even once a month, let alone once a day.
I'm a bit leery about glass break sensors, to say the least.
Does Point try to learn a baseline for temperature/acoustics/etc., and trigger when a deviation occurs? Or do you just say "when glass breaks + these other thresholds are tripped, ..."
Because the latter would probably solve the problem fairly well, but the former would be outstanding.
(on the Form team)
But this time it is a real microphone. That makes it another "smart" device to hack in to, to be used by 3 letter agencies.
I know there are webcams. But then people know. I work with many non-tech people and engineers from different companies. I have seens, that the majority is gluing the integrated webcams. Even in my own company, almost everybody has glued the webcam.
I appreaciate your privacy concerns, but not every device is the same. We are in an early stage of such cloud-based "smart devices", so we have to be careful as there are great conceptual differences between different products.
The things, as I would design it and as others like Nest is doing it, those devices support silent updates to provide a "great and seeming-less customer experience". But here is the crux, you see. (;
A simple little box that eats 5V from a USB connection or PoE or whatever and it limits bandwidth to a long term average of perhaps 0.3K. Lets call it 300 baud for old times sake because my first modem was one of the first commercial direct connect 300 baud modems in the early 80s. Go ahead NSA, try to listen to me, my little bandwidth limiting firewall will never speak faster than 300 baud on average so you best be very patient while spying on me for your corporate customers or just to be creepy.
Obviously does nothing for wifi unless you limit your whole wifi connection. Whoops. I'd assume something like this is wired anyway, I don't want to replace batteries every week.
I would also sell one that limits to just a little slower than the slowest youtube video feed with a switch, so during "homework hours" the kids can plagarize wikipedia all they want but can't watch minecraft or unboxing videos on youtube.
I'd like to see a nice web front panel as first choice or as second choice an app, that does some limited sniffy and analysis, and maybe blocking. So if my smart TV suddenly starts talking to .RU or I simply don't want it talking to the mfgr anymore, then I can stop it.
The people from Google where also pretty sure, that their property was safe, until proved otherwise.
I think, you knew that Netatmo, a _weather_ station, was recording loudness and the company behind was able to map those data out.
I think, you knew that LG TVs are phoning home and basically reporting every single file of the USB stick you put in into your TV.
I have seen lots of such things. Yes, I am available at different security conference through out the year.