Home security used to be such a hassle and an expensive one too. When I first started covering smart homes for magazines around 15 years ago, I visited these luxurious places with banks of CCTV screens, all hooked up to state-of-the-art cameras and controlled via bespoke Crestron touch pads. Sometimes they would even have their own security people whose job it was to monitor the cameras 24/7.
Now you can do pretty much the same thing for around £200 and 10 minutes of set up, if that. A number of solutions have come to the market, including those from Netgear Arlo. However, yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to The Ivy Restaurant (darling) in Central London for a demonstration of a new home security system from US firm Blink.
I have to say it looked really good (and not just because the Apple and Crumble Pie with brown butter ice cream was to die for). I’m going to write a proper piece on my blog Tech Digest about how it all works later today, but suffice to say it’s a modular wifi based security system with the possibility of connecting up to 10 cameras on one hub (more than enough for most properties).
Actually it’s really a home monitoring system, rather than a security system as such because it doesn’t sound an alarm. However, what it will do is alert you via email if someone has triggered the sensor. It will also record up to 60 seconds of video footage for each ‘event’ which is stored securely in the cloud, free of charge.
At this time of year the set up would be particularly good for catching out courier firms who claim to have come to the door to deliver a parcel but didn’t leave it ‘because you were out’ (that old chestnut). Alternatively it’s good to see what your dog gets up to while you are out, such as jumping on the sofa or finding any scraps of food left on the table.
In the US, some people even use the Blink cameras to monitor who their teenage kids bring home on an evening (which seems to be taking things a little too far to me) while some have even caught burglars in the act and reported them to the police.
The police have even turned up and the camera has caught them making an arrest which all seems very exciting!
Prices start at £109.99 for a one camera system while a three camera system will set you back £259.99. Additional cameras are £89 each.