Piper Home Security Review
The Piper Home security camera is a security device with a few smart extras in its arsenal. Using Z Wave technology the Piper doubles as a home automation hub along with its security skills.
Build & Aesthetics
The Piper is a really good looking security camera. It comes in either glossy black or glossy white and while the black is my favourite it is a finger magnet of the highest order, although once you have it set in place you really shouldn’t need to touch it again. While the motion sensor on the front is a little blatant the whole device including the solid metal stand, is top notch when it comes to build quality, although I did think the door sensors are a little flimsy.
With a 1080p camera up front and a clever fish eye lens, the Piper security system is actually pretty neat. from the app you are able to see four separate parts of the room at the same time with a clever split system which allows you to zoom in on specific areas, such as windows or doors. The package I received came with 1 window/door sensor which was run by 1 AA battery. Using Zwave to connect to the Piper it will notify you if the sensor is tripped.
Interestingly, as well as having the above mentioned motion sensor it will also inform you if there is a loud noise or a change in temperature. These things only happen if you tell it to of course. Don’t worry, you don’t get informed of loud noises or motion while you are sitting in the room, only when you turn on each section of the app. Speaking of loud noises the 105 db siren is, how can i put this, really effing loud. The piercing sound is almost painful, which is kind of the point I suppose. One of the benefits of the speakers is the ability to have two way sound. Someone robbing your house? you get to call them a dick and tell them they are being filmed. The Piper also has a battery backup so even if they pull the plug they will still get caught on camera.
The one niggle I have with the security system is the lack of night vision. Piper say that with the home automation side of the device available to turn lights on, a night vision light was not needed but as I didn’t get an home automation plug in the review device and it doesn’t seem to be in the retail version, i cant test that theory. A night camera is extremely important in my eyes and the guys at Piper did say they will be looking into accessories at a later date. At £119 the device is cheap enough that you could buy an extra light and it would still be a good deal.
The Piper has a neat party favour, home automation. Because the Piper uses Zwave, a popular wireless protocol, it is compatible with a lot of home automation gadgets. The device I saw at the launch was a plug that lets you turn any socket into a smart socket. The robust app and a clever scheduling system these devices can use the onboard sensors from the piper to turn things on automagically. For example you can set the piper to turn on a fan when the temperature reaches a certain height or, as the Piper team said, turn on a light when the the window sensor is broken.
There a lot of opportunities to make the piper the centre of your connected home and I hope to see a lot more accessories in the future. We all want to live in Bill Gates house after all.
The Piper app is a very helpful and pretty app. Even though it takes its design cues from iOS it still looks clean and fresh. The dashboard gives you at a glance info as well as four schedule choice buttons which let you turn them on and off very easily. The Home Vitals screen is probably my favourite in the app. It shows you the internal and external temperature as well the humidity, loudness, motion, and even the brightness of the room. All of these stats can be used in the rules tab to make specific scenarios for when the piper should record or when it should use some of its home automation skills.
The live feed tab is really where the magic happens though. From here you can pan and zoom on the four different quadrants of the room or have it on one big screen as well as use the two-way speaker system to scare people. There is also a quick Zwave accessory button which allows you to turn on a device straight from that screen. The video feed is very good on WiFi and you can set the quality on 3g/4g to conserve bandwidth while still getting a good quality picture.
Overall, the Piper Home Security device is great. Starting at £119 for the base model, the Piper offers a low price entry point into home security and home automation. Along with beautiful curves and a professional finish, the Piper offers a solid product with room to expand it into a central Hub for all your connected needs.
If you are considering home security I can certainly recommend this as a place to start.