Startup Review - Piper

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 26, 2014

An HD fisheye camera, alarm siren, temperature / humidity sensor and a Z-wave hub, all for less than $250. That's what Piper is offering in this little device:

The company raised over $300,000 in a month long crowd sourcing campaign and is now considered one of the hot upstarts in the residential video / home security space.

What's the real potential and fit of this product? How close are they to shipping in a segment full of missed deadlines? We take a closer look in this note.

UPDATE: See IPVM's test results of Piper.

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Comments (5)

I was a backer of Piper. I received the device and Z-Wave package add-on about 3 to 4 weeks ago. I have mixed feelings abou it. When I backed this campaign I had high hopes. I was really hoping DIY easy setup device that does lot of basic things reliablly.

Video quality is okay. I can live with it. But the time it takes to connect and get the signal takes too long. True in both iOS and Android. There is jerkiness and latency as well but its home video so i wasn't expecting much.

It came with two door/windows senson. I have not set this up. It came with Z-Wave Smart Switch. I connected floor standing lamp. It has nice feature where you can set on and off by time. Great for daily use and when your away.

My biggest grip with this is the time it takes to connect the app to the unit. In both iOS and Android, it takes over 10 to 15 seconds for the app to connect. I was so frustrated I just got up and turned the off switch manually.

The events feature is nice but unless you go in to the app daily you won't knwo about the event. The warning showed heavy fog advisery. I noticed few days later this fog alert and it wa accurate. But I didn't see it until after the fact.

The 4 AA batter doesn't last long. I had it plugged in and last night I pulled the plug. The phone kept beeping at me at night. I finally checked and it was the Piper telling me low battery warning. I can't remeber if the battery in the device it came with (cheap ones?) or I added them myslef. Either way, it didn't last long.

I also could not connect remotely (away from the house). I was expecting to work. I don't know if they support this feature. My expectation is that it should.

These devices that come out have to face the fact that there are certain expectations that it has to meet. I think in Piper case, for me at least, its came out too early. I'll give it another try if they make advances.

After my experince with light alone I am not even going to bother testing door/window sensors.

It's gona go on Ebay. It's the risk you take for Kickstarter.

Hope this helps.

Paresh

Thanks for the hands-on feedback, Paresh!

This device is fascinating. I'm actually going to order one to see how open it is for integration into our VMS platforms. Seems like it would be a handy little residential security/surveillance device if it's properly managed by software that's been baked a lot longer than the length of a Kickstarter campaign.

Since being bought by iControl Networks, Piper has added a NightVision option. They have also added external sensors along with some home automation switches and sensors. Piper

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