Startup Review: Sentri

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 26, 2014

This security startup smashed through their goal in 48 hours and have raised nearly $400,000 total. 

Inside, we analyze their competitive positioning and potential.

Product Details

Unlike typical security systems comprised of many pieces (ie: door contacts, cameras, motion detectors) Sentri is a single 9"x9"x2" unit that includes multiple sensors. 

While a single Sentri includes a WiFi connected camera, mic, speaker, temperature sensor, and motion detector in a keypad-like control box, the main way a user controls the unit is via a smartphone app. 

  • Z-Wave Hub: Sentri will serve as the main access point for devices sharing the same ~900 MHz wireless frequency used for home automation. Potential devices able to connect to Sentri include lights, power outlets, and door locks. The same concept is used by mainstream 'smart' alarm systems like Tuxedo Touch.
  • Algorithm Based: The unit claims it "is designed to learn your personal habits and preferences to alert you of the events that matter most to you, and minimize the challenges of false alarms that exist in traditional security systems."  Essentially the unit logs [link no longer available] when certain devices are typically on, when movement is present, and when the system is normally armed and then generates an exception alert when events occur outside 'normal' condition. 
  • Wall Powered Only: Unlike most mainstream offerings, Sentri entirely depends on mains power and has no battery backup. The company plans to address the issue if a stretch fundraising goal of 
  • Price: The company has priced Sentri at $250 each, with a modest discount of $10 off each panel when purchased in multiples. This places it moderately more expensive than other crowd funded systems like Canary (at $200 each) or Scout (at ~$170 - $200 [link no longer available] each). 

Multiples Needed

The biggest weakness of Sentri is the sheer number of units needed to cover several rooms. The only users adequately monitored by a single unit are urban smart apartment dwellers or those worried about monitoring a single door.

For many, one Sentri will be needed to cover each door and large room in the house, meaning than the typical house will need at least two or three units to monitor important areas. This will drive total cost to $750 or more for many systems, and occupy wall outlets in each room. 

All-in-One Drawback

While many DIY-ers are attracted to the simple installation of a single wall mounted unit, it sacrifices the granularity of monitoring a broad number of points like traditional contacts, glass breaks, and motion sensor based systems offer. While a Sentri unit may monitor the area immediately within sight of the unit, even a small apartment could have blind spots or leave entry points like windows uncovered.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Self-Monitoring Weakness or Strength?

Another point of debate with Sentri is that because it cannot connect with a central monitoring station, it relies on self-monitoring by users to respond to alarms. Instead of automatically calling Police when alarming, the Sentry notifies users through pushed notifications via the main app.

Several old-guard types in the alarm industry have claimed that self-monitoring is risky and potentially ineffective if users do not respond to alerts or inadvertently ignore alarm conditions, resulting in losses, damage, or even violent crime.

However, the dissatisfaction with lengthy, costly alarm monitoring is high and a motivation to find solutions that avoid the cost altogether. Whatever the risk of 'self-monitoring', users may find the zero-dollar monthly self-monitoring cost of Sentri appealing compared to traditional alternative that may cost ~$30 or more.

Strong Management & Microsoft Backing

One intangible advantage Sentri may have other similar options is an experienced management team [link no longer available] with a track record of bringing electronic devices to market. With projects ranging from laptop, tablet, and smartphone hardware design, to software project management experience on a large scale, Sentri may avoid the design flaw, pitfalls, and missed shipping deadlines common to other startups.

It is also clear that deep-pocketed investors think Sentri has a winning idea, with at least $120,000 coming from backers pledging $10,000 or more.

Big name support includes Microsoft's start-up incubator Microsoft Ventures [link no longer available], who announced Sentri as one of ten developments it is accelerating in Redmond in Fall 2014.

Vote - Are You Interested?

1 report cite this report:

The New Generation of Crowdfunded Security Startups on Sep 02, 2014
New entrants to the security market are few and far between. However, there...
Comments (1) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Startup Solink $17 Million USD Fund Raise Expands To Mass Market on Jun 24, 2020
Solink has raised ~$17 million USD, a sizeable round for the company that...
Verkada Access Control Tested on Sep 09, 2020
Verkada raised $80 million earlier in 2020, expanding from video into access...
US Startup Fever Inspect Examined on Aug 03, 2020
Undoubtedly late to fever cameras, this US company, Fever Inspect, led by a...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Directory of 97 Video Surveillance Startups on May 20, 2020
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see...
NetApp Video Surveillance Profile on Mar 09, 2020
NetApp is increasing its efforts in video surveillance and told IPVM...
ZeroEyes Presents Firearm Detection Video Analytics on Jul 09, 2020
ZeroEyes presented its Firearm detection Video Analytics system at the May...
ISS Presents Face As A Credential and UVSS on Apr 30, 2020
ISS presented its security platform, including access control integration,...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
SafeZone Tech Presents AI Gunfire Detection on Jun 15, 2020
Safe Zone presented its AI gunfire sensor the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
Startup Visual One Presents Object Detection and Smart Search on Aug 26, 2020
Visual One, a Y Combinator backed startup led by a PhD in machine learning...
Startup Vaion Presents End-to-End Cloud Managed Video Surveillance on Aug 20, 2020
Vaion presented its end-to-end cloud managed video surveillance offering at...
RapidSOS Company Profile on Oct 12, 2020
RapidSOS has raised $100+ million providing dispatchers free software and...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to...

Recent Reports

Bedside Cough and Sneeze Detector (Sound Intelligence and CLB) on Oct 28, 2020
Coronavirus has increased interest in detecting symptoms such as fever and...
Fever Tablet Thermal Sensors Examined (Melexis) on Oct 28, 2020
Fever tablet suppliers heavily rely on the accuracy and specs of...
Verkada Fires 3 on Oct 28, 2020
Verkada has fired three employees over an incident where female colleagues...
Recruiters Online Show LIVE Thursday! on Oct 27, 2020
IPVM's 7th online show resumes Thursday with 12 recruiters presenting...
Eagle Eye Networks Raises $40 Million on Oct 27, 2020
Eagle Eye has raised $40 million aiming to "reinvent video...
Hikvision Q3 2020 Global Revenue Rises, US Revenue Falls on Oct 27, 2020
While Hikvision's global revenue rises driven by domestic recovery, its US...
VICE Investigates Verkada's Harassing "RawVerkadawgz" on Oct 26, 2020
This month, IPVM investigated Verkada's sexism, discrimination, and cultural...
Six Flags' FDA Violating Outdoor Dahua Fever Cameras on Oct 26, 2020
As Six Flags scrambled to reopen parks amid plummeting revenues caused by the...
ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...