Honeywell Owned Dragonfly Tested

Published Jun 02, 2017 17:27 PM

In 2016, Honeywell acquired RSI / Videofied for $123 million. Honeywell is marketing their DragonFly offering as "DIY for Our Dealers with an RMR Business-in-a-box"

We bought and tested DragonFly both indoors and out, testing detection accuracy, video quality, system usability and more, through three months of installed testing.

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Summary

In our tests, Dragonfly's motion detection was extremely accurate, with no false alarms in three months of testing, and no missed detections during live testing (~50 attempts day and night).

However, there are key usability drawbacks in arming/disarming the system which increase complexity for the home/DIY commercial market it is aimed at:

  • Requires phone to arm/disarm: The only way to arm or disarm the Dragonfly system is via the mobile app/web portal. This means that when returning home users must get their phone out, open the app, and disarm indoor/outdoor areas before approaching their home, or they may trigger outdoor detectors. There is an option for entry delay to give some buffer before alarm, but the process is the same.
  • No keypad/geofencing: Additionally, there is no keypad available for arming the system as users leave, requiring the phone app to be launched and areas armed. No geofencing is available to automatically arm/disarm, either, a feature found in some other mobile-app enabled alarm systems (such as Aura).

Poor Video Quality

Video quality was sufficient to determine an intruder was in the scene but quality was quite poor relative to modern HD / IR cameras. Identifying details were difficult to discern, even on known subjects, due to low resolution video (320x240). Nighttime video may be washed out by the outdoor camera's integrated IR illuminators in some placements, due to differences in PIR coverage and camera angle of view.

Because of this, Dragonfly is not a replacement for a full blown surveillance system (nor is it marketed as such).

Compared To Videofied

Dragonfly's detection performance is similar to our 2010 test of Videofied's commercial system, with solid detection performance within specified ranges and few false alarms.

Dragonfly cameras are based on Videofied's more recent OMV6XX outdoor MotionViewer and IMV6XX indoor model, which have two key differences compared old models:

  • Color cameras: Previous MotionViewers used monochrome cameras only. Dragonfly uses color cameras, though without an IR cut filter, resulting in some discoloration (see below).
  • VGA look in: Still photo resolution has been increased to VGA, though event clips remain 320x240.

Additionally, Videofied's commercial line supports keypad arming/disarming as well as a card reader, features not found in Dragonfly.

Pricing

Dragonfly pricing starts at $199 for the hub and one Indoor MotionViewer or $299 for the hub and one Outdoor MotionViewer. Additional MotionViewers are $99/$199 (indoor/outdoor).

Online Sales

Dragonfly sells direct to consumers via their online store [link no longer available]. Integrators may also purchase products at a discounted rate through ADI.

Additionally, resellers may launch their own Dragonfly online store using a referral code, as seen below in this one relabeled for Radius Vision, that comes up in Google searches. Resellers receive a percentage of monitoring sales from their branded business, ~60% per year. However, they do not receive compensation for product sales.

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Physical Overview

The Dragonfly system consists of indoor and outdoor MotionViewers, essentially wireless PIRs with built in cameras, paired with a hub, which receives signals and transmits them to users' mobile devices and/or central station monitoring.

Highly Accurate Detection

As part of our test, Dragonfly has been installed and armed outside our office for ~3 months, in this approximate field of view:

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During this time, we received no false alerts, with every notification verified as one or more people or in some cases, a commercial lawnmower. No alarms were triggered by wildlife, moving foliage, or other sources, even at max sensitivity.

Additionally, during live testing, Dragonfly missed no detections indoors or out, over the course of 50+ activations in varying conditions, consisting of one or multiple subjects moving at varying speeds.

Low Quality Video

Compared to typical IP cameras today, Dragonfly video is very low resolution, only 320x240, compared to 1080p which is average today even in low cost models. Because of this, video is sufficient to determine whether or not an actual intruder is present, but supplies few identifying details.

For example, the clip below shows a male subject, carrying a weed whacker, but this is difficult (if not impossible) to determine based on video.

Additionally, the cameras do not use an IR cut filter, resulting in purplish tint in daytime video, seen here:

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At night, the MotionViewer's built in IR reflected off of the side of the building, causing much of the scene to be washed out. Detection of subjects was still possible, but no details.

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No Live Video

Dragonfly does not provide live video, only event clips based on motion detection. Users may request a photo to confirm aiming or check in on their location, but this takes several seconds to download, occasionally taking up to 30 seconds in our tests. Note that look in pictures are VGA, higher resolution than event video (320x240).

Because there is no live video, aiming MotionViewers may be especially frustrating, as users must position the detector, then request a photo and wait for the image to download to check camera coverage.

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Limited Arm/Disarm Functionality

Dragonfly users must arm and disarm the system via the app. There is no option for a keypad, card reader, geofencing, or other method common in many alarm systems. This means that upon leaving their home/business, users must unlock their phone, open the Dragonfly app, arm indoor and/or outdoor zones, and do the same when returning to disarm.

Further, because detectors may be placed outside, for instance detecting across a garage door as shown in Dragonfly's documentation, users must open the app before opening their garage and pulling in or risk triggering an alarm. There is an entry delay of up to two minutes which may reduce false activations due to this issue, though users are still prone to forget to disarm, take too long, etc.

We review arm/disarm in this video:

Limited Zoning

Further, there is no way to zone devices further than indoor and outdoor (which are categorized automatically). So users may not arm a MotionViewer covering their garage, but not one covering the back door, for instance. All indoor devices or all outdoor devices are armed together.

Indoor and outdoor devices can be seen grouped in the device list tab of the app:

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Event List/Gallery

Aside from arming/disarming devices and look in features, the app also contains a list of all system events, including arming, disarming, alarms, dispatch, and live look in, shown below. This list must be scrolled through to find specific events, and cannot be searched or filtered. Tapping on an alarm or look in displays the corresponding video or photo.

Finally, the last tab contains a "gallery" of all video clips and photos sorted by date, without other events such as arming/disarming or other status events.

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