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Point – A smart house sitter (formdevices.com)
147 points by nmattisson on Nov 3, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 110 comments

Never thought about this, but the listening part is actually quite nice addition. For example my fridge and freezer both use "beeps" to signal something is wrong. My stove, oven and dish washer are also using beeps (but a little bit different) to tell the food is ready or dishes are done. My Neato uses beeps to signal it is in trouble. My washing machine does not beep, but it makes a specific sound when it is ready and the lock on the door is released. If the bed room windows are left open, the sounds of traffic are more loud than usual. Also all my doors make a specific sound when they are opened.

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.

Hi Form engineers and Form finance department, you have my attention and desire to purchase this. Can you provide answers to the following questions:

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.

Hi Agustus!

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.

2. No.

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.

Thank you Nils! How can I e-mail you to have one as soon as possible at $99?

If you want to make sure to get one of the early-birds, sign up to the newsletter. Since it's mostly friends of ours on there we'll send a reminder before the launch so you can be ready. The launch mailing list will only get one email once the project is already live.

Okay, see you when it clears Kickstarter.

I'm not a member of Form, but I'll answer number 5 for them.

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!

I'm assuming we will have all those informations in the kickstarter. Which i assume is both marketing and might be a way to produce in mass.

Yes, but since the developers are chatting about stuff on here and giving answers, a basic summary would be great. If not, then I will forget about it in a few hours and wait for it to clear Kickstarter, I do not need to go through the fundraising drive of another e-mail push.

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.

wrt #5-

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.

When talking to people who had run successful campaigns before us, we found that having an audience and a mailing list beforehand was the key driving success factor. Prior to yesterday we had about 200 people, mostly consisting of friends and family. This is the real thing. No one has committed to buying Point, but we hope that some will!

(I'm on the Form team)

Yup, even though KS will take a cut, it's worth getting those people who will pay to do it through KS. It's a very strong signal on your KS campaign page if by the time the buzz hits that you have 25% of your money already there, you'll convert way more than if you only had say 5%. Social proof is a huge factor in sales. The KS campaigns that are are successful and haven't use this technique are generally outliers.

> "Nothing is recorded or sent across the network. Peace of mind, without giving up on privacy."

Devices like this still make me uncomfortable, given the track record of even large companies making extremely insecure devices[1].

[1]: http://www.ioactive.com/news-events/IOActive_advisory_belkin...

Form engineer here. We're not planning on shipping our firmware signing keys along with our product like Belkin did. Jokes aside, security, integrity and trust are our very top priorities. The hardware is designed in a way that should be extremely hard to misuse, and even if someone would be able to break the encrypted protocols, the encrypted and signed firmware images and manage to run custom firmwares on the MCU:s, they would still be limited by the extremely low power budget and the very limited amount of memory, so I would say that it is nearly impossible to store and/or transmit any meaningful amount of audio.

As a fellow embedded design engineer, I would advise you to read up a bit on the Greek gods Hubris and Nemesis.

I wouldn't call it hubris when we're saying that we know of these aspects, consider them our most important design constraints and do our very best to address them. Not being a native English speaker, it perhaps didn't come through humble enough :)

So you're suggesting they just give up?

No, not at all - I'm just saying it is a mistake to laugh at Belkin's misfortunes.

Any plans to open source some of the software?

Not at first but it's very likely that we will at some point.

I would be far more interested if it were open source, or at least had a public API.

We do have an API, but it might not be public from day one. There will be a beta-tier on Kickstarter that will get immediate access, and when we consider it solid we'll open it up.

Are there any plans to have an Ethernet model rather than Wi-Fi?

I'd second the want for ethernet with PoE, with slots for rechargeable AA batteries for power outages. I bet more than 10% of fire alarms currently installed in the USA have a dead battery.

I completely forgot about PoE. I have zero devices that support it since it seems to be so rare. I'd go out and buy a nice switch if it had more support. I really don't like this trend of low power IoT devices that only support Wi-Fi when Ethernet+PoE is perfect for them. I'm all for having Wi-Fi built in, just not the only way to connect.

no need for a switch, you can get 5$ injection power supplies. https://www.roc-noc.com/mikrotik/routerboard/power/rb-p54.ht...

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? )

I'll third the desire. We've been turning the WiFi off at night, and virtually every AP we've had has had issues. So I'd much rather use ethernet for something as critical as security, due to past WiFi issues.

Out of curiosity, why do you turn off WiFi at night?

I'm getting suspicious of WiFi's actual safety, potential EMF sensitivity and all that. The same wavelength at higher powers cooks food and has never actually been proven safe at lower levels. Even though it's non-ionizing radiation ... so are the various nuclear radiation particles/waves. So we're running a test to see if turning the WiFi off affects our sleep.

I would worry more about your neighbors using your network, the transmitter in your cellphone is much more powerful than in your AP, and I will guess that you sleep much nearer to it as well... In either case, the strength falls off with the square of the distance.

No. May I ask why you would prefer that? Is it a security concern?

I don't have WPS on my router (How else do you input the SSID/Password?) and I turn Wi-Fi off when I'm not in my house so this product would be a real hassle to setup/use.

The device is configured wirelessly using the smartphone app. It'll queue the events and measurements if your wifi is down, but I see that it will be hard for you to use if you always turn your wifi off when you are away.

Is turning the wifi off when you leave a security concern or a power thing, like you're running off the grid? I'm just curious, as if it's the former and I had the same concern I'd just limit access to specific MAC addresses and make the access point invisible.

Both. Why not save power by turning off the router while shrinking the amount of time there is to break into my Wi-Fi network? I can't see a reason to leave my network on while I'm out of my house. I don't need it and as far as I can tell, my neighbors don't either.

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).

I can understand power concerns (though I think home routers use very little KWH), but frankly shutting your router off every day to prevent intrusions is bordering on tinfoil hat-level of concern.

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.

>specific MAC addresses and make the access point invisible.

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.

Not if you're not at home and hence there are no "other devices" sending packets.

This seems like a rather silly edge case though. What if you accidentally leave a phone or tablet at home and it's sending packets intermittently?

Or what if someone decides to hack you when you are at home?

These are not real security measures.

Usually this kind of gear acts like a wifi access so that you can directly connect to it and input ssid / password.

Just to add to the other comments, Power over Ethernet would be a handy way to save on batteries.

Or hide what the devices really do...

Glad to see at least some companies are taking an (at least semi-) offline approach to these things. With the way things have been going these last few years, the internet-of-things irks me.

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).

I feel the problem is that security is often tacked on (usually by another company) and not an integral part during the design from the start.

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.

Our power budget gives us between one and two years of battery life. Your phone will give you a heads up when a change is required. It's a bit of a hassle, but we feel it's worth it to have the freedom from cables.

Hmmm, I'm not sure what battery we're talking about, but that sounds fairly impressive, if it's realistic. I agree with the other posters though, a simple plug for 12v power would probably not break the design / budget. Almost everyone I know that's tinkering with home automation is going all-out, and I know I'd prefer the option for permanent fixtures.

I think you should consider adding a POE option, you'll have a more reliable connection + no batteries to worry about.

Also scalability. The designers would probably enjoy people with large houses buying 12 of these things for every room and level of the house, and if marketing says a battery will last 12 months you Know that means it'll really only last 6 months, maybe only 3 months, and six month battery life vs 12 gadgets means once the battery use randomizes I'll be tracking down and replacing a battery every two weeks which is too much peasant work. I don't mind capital improvement like running wires when I'm not busy but I do mind unscheduled peasant work when I'm busy.

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.

Some of it is because it's a niche market. And then a lot of the people in the market don't care how hard it is for the installer to set it up.

"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.

Huge points for doing this onsite vs. in the cloud.

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.)

Yes, Point will perform all processing in the device and only send events with time stamps, as well as plain sensor readings for temperature/humidity/etc. It should be easy to verify by looking at the outbound bandwidth. Limiting outbound connections w.r.t hosts, ports and bandwidth (even filtering out OTA firmware updates) should be possible (as we're not trying to hide what we do, only protect your data), but it might affect the performance and battery life of the device, and is not something we can endorse.

I dont understand what you're saying. You don't want to have cloud integration yet you want to have monitor remotely?

How would that work without server software?

I don't mind aggregated/processed/sanitized data going to the cloud. I don't want a raw audio feed going to the cloud.

If my local processing appliance tries to upload anything beyond a well-defined set of messages and bitrates, I'll get suspicious.

An innovative concept - the server software is installed on raspberry pi I own.

What'll be easier to hack - a raspberry pi that Holly Housemaker maintains or a cloud connected one that Nick Neckbeard maintains for her? (serious question, I think there's a debate here)

"ex-apple team" is a little misleading, only one employee worked at apple (at least according to their about page)

[I work at Form] Correct, only Nils was at Apple. The rest of us are unsuccessfully trying to get Apple-gossip out of him :-) Sorry about the misleading title.

The title is misleading. Looking at the About Us section it appears that only the CEO/Founder worked at Apple.

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.

I really like the idea of unobtrusive anomaly detection as a product, but I wonder how much benefit I could actually derive from this.

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!

If you're a landlord or hotelier, this is like a black-box/speed camera/friendly supervisor for your property.

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.

"Appliance failure"

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?

That seems like either some passive aggressive nanny state or mindcrime overlord stuff there.

For those with such a sad overlord, repeatedly discharge the batteries until the cost/annoyance for the landlord gets too damn high.

> If you're a landlord or hotelier,

Yes. Also: Parent of teenagers.

does that detect "any" kind of smoke?

Many of these features are catering to AirBnB hosts.

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.

There are two textboxes on the screen to be notified when it becomes available. I first tried the bottom one, and it gave me an "Too many subscribe attempts for this email address. Please try again in about 5 minutes. (#8715)". I tried it a few times after waiting a few minutes, then went back to the first textbox, higher on the page, and that one worked without issue.

I had the same problem, but a different error code number: "Too many subscribe attempts for this email address. Please try again in about 5 minutes. (#8617)". I clicked the Submit button once.

Same here, tried with two different email addresses.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into that.

Home automation and home security need more powerline communication and less app-wankery and IoT pipedreams with shoddy wireless protocols.

We're using plain batteries and wifi to avoid using cables, thus making it much easier and elegant to install. That also means the device is completely self-contained, so you don't need any base stations or gateways to connect it to the internet. It's just plug-and-forget. I wouldn't call 802.11bgn "shoddy"; it's basic infrastructure already available in most people's homes these days.

Until the power goes out, the router gets funky, etc.

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? Moisture detection? Sirens?

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!

If the power goes out or the router gets funky, most internet connected solutions would go offline anyway. But, being battery powered, Point would at least still be active and keep track of things. The fact that the device has lost it's connection to the cloud will trigger a notification to the owner as well. The wireless configuration is done using an app and should be straight forward for most users. As long as the router is securely configured and the user is capable to connect a phone or laptop, installing Point should be piece of cake. As for being self-contained, we mean that it is plug-and-forget, without any cables or base stations. There might be methods of expanding the set of sensors, although at the moment, you see what you get. Adding a cellular modem to the device would make it deviate too much from our current concept in terms of cost (both manufacturing and recurring costs for the cell network usage) and power consumption, but it is something we might include in a future, special version for places without a permanent internet connection, like a cabin or boat.

Great idea with a terrible name. You won't be able to find the web site when you want to show it to a friend a week from now.

"Nothing is recorded or sent across the network. Peace of mind, without giving up on privacy."

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)?

Yep, the sound analysis is done on the device. We're working with IFTTT and others on integration, and there'll be an open API as well.

Can the firmware be updated over the internet, and can the device theoretically send sound over internet if the firmware is changed? If yes, that would be a dealbreaker for me (because, you know, crackers and the NSA).

That would require breaking the firmware encryption and signing schemes of multiple physically isolated processors, and even then it would be limited by the power budget, meaning transmitting audio data would drain the batteries very quickly. So, it is not completely impossible (what is, these days?) but extremely implausible and at the same time rather easy to detect; I'd say your (smart)phone is a much better attack vector ;)

First Andy Rubin left to create Android, then Tony Fadell left to create Nest and now these guys.

Is this supposed to replace a home alarm system? can someone from Form clarify?

If you have a full-blown home security system installed currently, you might not feel that this is enough for you.

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.

How accurate will it be in detecting whether someone has broken into my home? Are you positioning your product to accurately detect intruders?

We detect if people are present (from sound, so not if they're perfectly quiet) and notice broken windows. If you see a broken window alert followed by people present in your home timeline when you're not expecting them, I would draw the conclusion that it's an intruder.

[on the Form team]

Here is a 2 1/2 min video on Point that I found through their Vimeo account (uploaded 11hrs ago): http://vimeo.com/110732806

I can't sign up, keep getting the follow error message. I'm only trying once, with various email address:

"Too many subscribe attempts for this email address. Please try again in about 5 minutes. (#8212)"


I wonder if it can sense the difference between a cat throwing a glass off a counter and a burglar breaking a window.

I love home security stuff like this, and hope this rolls in at a decent price point.

Also, I hope it doesn't get triggered by the neighbor's loud tv set.

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.

Agreed, a system with false positives is worse than no system at all imho because it trains you to disregard warning signs.

My apartment was broken into because the security system was disabled. The security system was disabled because it used a cheap glass break sensor that would trip if both my dogs barked at the same time - both, not just one. Naturally this was untenable.

I'm a bit leery about glass break sensors, to say the least.

We're combining data from different sensors, so if Point hears broken glass, and then notices the temperature changing or street noise being louder than usual we can more accurately detect broken windows.

OK, this is actually a really cool approach to what I gather is a common problem!

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.

Well, in theory if you had some Dropcams setup or something like that you could just login and confirm whether it is anything worth acting on.

See also 'The Canary' (with a camera) sold out for $250.


Not necessarily easy, but a nice addition would be if it could sense water situations - broken washer hose or failed hot water heater tank.

It does come with a humidity sensor, so if the leak leads to elevated humidity levels you could spot that something was off, but it's going to depend on a lot of factors in your room. Finding water leaks is our radar, but we don't dare to make promises right now.

(on the Form team)

Love it. Will buy one for me and one for my parents.

Blend in? I sure hope they have many finishes or at least interchangeable covers. Perhaps they could even have covers you can paint.

Home security - for middle class, kind of techy, suburban people!

I love this idea.

Will it work as a smoke alarm?

It can detect smoke and different varieties of it. To be classified as a smoke alarm, however, requires a costly certification which isn't feasible right now. It is able to detect when your regular smoke/fire alarm goes off though and pass the notification to your phone when you're away.

right. Possibly high returns if you get it though. Possibly more units per customers and more potential customers. Also within a magnitude of the price of normal smoke alarms.


3d point cloud of what?

Another device connected to the cloud sending data to the cloud and this time also sound. It was already creepy the learn that Netatmo, a _weather_ station, is recording sound. Because the company released sound profiles from the games during the FIFA world championship mapped to countries, regions. As they said, there is only a loudness sensor integrated.

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.

Please read what's on the site: "Nothing is recorded or sent across the network. Peace of mind, without giving up on privacy."

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.

As an embedded engineer myself working in industrial applications as well as automotive and later of the to for the authorities, I know what is possible and what not.

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. (;

I have another startup idea free for anyone to take and run with.

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.

I think, you never heard of Snowden?

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.

While I understand your concern, it doesn't seem like they are actually sending the sound back across the network, which makes it substantially safer than things like Dropcam, which many people have installed and running in their homes.

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