Startup: Smoke Detector As a Security System

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 28, 2014

Fresh off a successful fundraising campaign, Novi Security is making some bold claims: Its security system has "no contracts, no monthly fees, needs no hardwiring, and sends no false alarms", all costing a fraction of a normal panel based system.

The core of the system is a multipurpose sensor that combines a smoke detector, motion sensor, and security camera in a single unit:

Novi claims everything can be installed by DIYers with no tools, and even taken down if moving. Is Novi poised to revolutionize residential intrusion alarms? Or is it just another imaginary product claiming more than it really is designed to deliver? We look at Novi in this note.

***** *** *********** *********** ********,**** ********** ****** **** **** claims: *** ******** ****** has "** *********, ** monthly ****, ***** ** hardwiring, *** ***** ** false ******", *** ******* a fraction ** * ****** ***** ***** system.

*** **** ** *** system ** * ************ sensor **** ******** * smoke ********, ****** ******, and ******** ****** ** a ****** ****:

**** ****** ********** *** be ********* ** ****** with ** *****, *** even ***** **** ** moving. ** **** ****** to ************* *********** ********* alarms? ** ** ** just ******* ********* ******* claiming **** **** ** really ** ******** ** deliver? ** **** ** Novi ** **** ****.

[***************]

Product *******

****'* *********** ***** ***** the *******'* *******, **** resulting ** ******* ******** more **** $***,*** *** doubling *** ******** ****:

*** ******* **** ********** **** ******* $*** and $***, ********* ** the ****** ** ****** units. *** ******* ***** apartment ****** **** **** at ***** *** *******, with ******* *** ** $279.

System ********

**** ** ******** ** two ******** *******:

  • ******:********** * ****** ***** detector, ****** ****** ***** combine ***** / ****** sensors, * *****, *** an ** ****** **** a ******* ******* *** wireless ****. 
  • **** *******: **** *** ******** sensors ** ****** ***** via ****** *** ** the ******* ********. ********** units *** ****** ** have ********** ***/**** *******, SD **** *******, *** battery *******.

** ** ***** ******* can ** ********** **** a ****** **** ******* unit, **** * ***** of ***** ** - 50 **** ** **** houses.

******** ******* & ******* Powered: **** ****** "** hardwiring" *** "****-**** *******" ** designing ******* ** *** common *********** ********* *** install ** ***** **** double ***** ******** ****. No *********** ** ******** battery ******** ** ******* mount ************ **** **** offered *** *** *** 'pending ***** ******'.

*** ******:*******, ****'* ****** ** "no ********* ** ******* fees" ** ************ *** self-monitoring *** ****** ** smartphone. ** ****** ** connect ** * ******* station ** ***** *******, and *** ****** *** system ********** **** ** done **** *** ** Android ****.

*************: *** ** *** key ********** **** **** claims ** ****** ** that ************, **********, ** expanding *** ****** ** easy. ******* *** ** pulled **** ********* ** ******, *** ****** more ******* ** **** via ******** ** ***** from *** **** ***.

System **********

***** *** **** ******* is *** ******'* ******, a ****** **** ******* big *********** ******* ******** grade ************ *********** *******.

** *****:******, ***** ****** ******** a ******, *** ** only***** * ***** ** three ***** ********** *******. ** ********** or***/********** *** ***** ** the ****, **** ** explanation ** *** **** stills *** ** ***** video: ***** ***** ***** "drain *** ******* ** the ****** * *********** amount" ******* ******** ** ***** the **** ********** ******* and ********.

***** ******:*** **** **** *** feature *** *********** ** reposition ** *** *** camera.  *** *****-**** ****** sensor ******* ** "********* positioned ** * ** degree ***** ***** *** horizontal" ******* ******* "*** ****** cannot ** ********. ***** you ***** *** ****** on **** ******* **** greatly ****** *** ********** of *** ******'* ******."

**** ***** **** ** many *****, ******** ********* are ******* ** ******** with * ***** ****-**-***** to ********, *** **** then **** ******* **** be ******. *** *** screenshot below ***** **** **** capturing ***** ******** *** be ********* **** * fixed ********, ******* ********* unimportant ******* **** ***** and ********:

 

** ********, *** ******* mounting ********* ****** *** utility ** *** ******* smoke ********. ** ********* forces *** ****** ** be ******* **** ******** or ** ****-******* *********, the ***** ******** ***** be ******* *** *** sake ** ********* **** images.

** ********** *****:***** **** ** * successful ****, ***** *** very *** **** ************** given *** **** '******* final ******' *********** *******. This ***** **** **** tech *********** *** ******* to ****** ** *** effort ******** **** ***** prototyping *** ********** *****.

Novi's *******

*** *** *** ********, Novi ***** *** * good ****** ** ********** in * ****** ******* inviting ************ ** ***** based, ********* *******.

*******, *********** ** *****. In *** **** *** years, *** '***** ******' market *** ******** ******* successful ********* ** *** segment *********:

  • ******: *** ******* ** the *** ********* ***** segment *** **** ******, raising **** $* ******* and ******* ** ****. Canary **** ******** * camera ******, **** ****** **** actually ******** *****.
  • *****: *** ********* *** Scout *** * ***** of ******** ******* **** could ** ********* ** the **** ********* ** be **** *********, *** was *** ** *** first ****** ** *** segment. *******, ******* *** early *****, ***** *** floundered *** ******* ** shipping *** ***** ** date.
  • ******: *** **** ****** of ****** ** *** price, ******** ** **** less **** $*** *** relies ** **** ****-**********.

****** ******* ****** ******* on *** ***** ****** solution ** ****** *********, and *** ********** ************* of ******* *********, ** management, *** ******** ******* winning **** *** ***** adopter ***** *** ***** with ****-** *************** **** incumbent ***** *********.

 Vote - *** *** **********?

Comments (5)

Best case for everyone is if this crashes and burns quickly. Smoke detector placement should be based on effective smoke detection, not driven by motion detection or, for God's sake, trying to eke an extra 6 inches of useful image out of a fixed camera. IMO no self-respecting manufacturer (startup or otherwise) who knows a damn thing about smoke detection would develop and sell a smoke detector they KNOW right out of the gate is going to encourage people to jam the devices into corners and against walls (to get a little extra useful picture), thereby greatly reducing the odds it will actually do its most important job, which is detecting smoke. At best, doing so will dramatically slow the response time of the smoke detector. In some cases it will keep the detector from ever going off at all.

And taping your smoke detectors to the ceiling? This reads like an article from theonion.com.

I will grant that some electricians still place smoke detectors badly when wiring houses, and most building inspectors either miss it, or do nothing about it. Also true that many battery operated smoke detectors are poorly placed. But there is a world of difference between people doing so out of simple ignorance (meant literally, not derogatorily) and a product that actively encourages incorrect placement of the device. And no, printing a caution in the instructions is not going to keep it from happening - especially with a lick-and-stick device. I hope that, at the least, this startup also offers a smoke-only detector that works with the hub, so the price tag of the multi-device won't keep people from having decent smoke detector coverage, if they want to settle for a "self-monitored" approach.

Andrew, thanks! I voted this informative and funny :)

Free advice to all startups: AVOID LIFE SAFETY entirely. If your app crashes and a lamp fails to come on or the wrong channel appears on the plasma TV, no one's life is endangered.

If a cat walks under your connected smoke and swats its tail just so, your family could be at risk: perhaps this is one more reason to fear cats as well as startup life safety manufacturers.

I might agree that life/safety is not a good venture for the maiden voyage of a startup.

Even Nest (who has made the Smoke Alarm techie-centric) started with thermostats and has plenty of headaches making smoke alarm designs reliable.

With that said, the entire segment is so conservative it is stale. The incumbents are very resistant to change underlying tech that jeopardizes the profitability of mass produced volumes.

I like the fact startups are thinking about new designs. Anything that shakes the bushes a bit might drive incremental improvements forward, faster.

I admittedly did not go to the website and read. This is a product for DYI and not what we would normally represent. I would ask that if anyone has, is the product UL listed for anything?? If it is not, it is not and should not be installed in the US, and certainly not as a life safety device. It could render the insurance coverage null and void if someone were to file a claim. The general public should be better informed than this. This, if not listed, is unprofessional IMO.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Resideo AlarmNet Has Major Outage on Mar 12, 2020
AlarmNet suffered a major outage yesterday, impacting Total Connect, Resideo, and Honeywell / Ademco alarm customers. Inside we examine what...
Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
Halo Smart Vape Detector Tested on Jan 16, 2020
The Halo Smart Sensor claims to detect vaping, including popular brand Juul and even THC vapes. But how well does it work in real world...
ADT CEO Not Worried About DIY: "2 Discrete Markets" on Dec 13, 2019
ADT's CEO is not worried about DIY, characterizing DIY and ADT's DIFY as "2 discrete markets" at the Imperial Capital Security Investor's...
"Good Market, Bad Business Models" - Residential Security on Dec 11, 2019
Industry banker John Mack, at his company's annual event, took aim squarely at the problems in the residential security...
Hidden Camera Detectors Tested on Nov 18, 2019
Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and easier to access. However, some companies claim to be able to detect...
Alarm.com Acquires OpenEye on Oct 21, 2019
Alarm.com is targeting commercial expansion and now they have a commercial cloud VMS with the acquisition of OpenEye. In this note, based on...
Alarm.com Suffers Outage on Jul 26, 2019
Alarm.com suffered a major outage this week, impacting its 5+ million customers. Inside, we examine what happened, what Alarm.com told IPVM and...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
Camera Disruptor Wyze Enters Sensor / Security Market on Mar 28, 2019
Wyze, the company that has disrupted consumer IP cameras, combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturer, has just announced its expansion...

Most Recent Industry Reports

FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to be "Your 24/7 Watchman" with advanced analytics and object...
Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed on Apr 02, 2020
IPVM is giving 3-month free memberships (regular price $99) for the unemployed, no questions asked. To get it, just contact us, your request...
Dahua Faked Coronavirus Camera Marketing on Apr 01, 2020
Dahua has conducted a coronavirus camera global marketing campaign centered around a faked detection. Now, Dahua has expanded this to the USA,...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video surveillance in the next 5 - 10 years. This is part of our Video...
USA's Seek Scan Thermal Temperature System Examined on Apr 01, 2020
This US company, Seek, located down the road from FLIR and founded by former FLIR employees is offering a thermal temperature system for the...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts, Convergint is touting 'extensive research' that is either grossly incompetent...
The IPVM New Products Online Show April 2020 Opens With 40+ Manufacturers on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce the first New Products Online show, with 40+ manufacturers, to be held April 14 to the 16th, free to IPVM members,...