If you are on the look-out for new and upcoming DIY security systems, Novi Security sparked interest by providing an easy setup solution.
Novi Security is a relatively new player in the field of DIY security. It has entered the market through crowd funding via Kickstarter, and it set to start delivering units in less than two months. There are other crowd funded security systems, but what stood out to me, was how quick and easy of a solution it presented to everyday people looking for a home security system they could install themselves.
Pros and Cons
The all-in-one unit is a perfect solution for DIY as far as setup goes. Everything is operated and monitored with the help of a mobile app for your phone. Additionally, the device is battery powered so that you can conveniently detach it and take it anywhere you go. This means no complicated installation, and portability with no limitation. You can even take it with you while on vacation trips to keep an eye on your hotel room.
The Novi unit is made to look like a smoke detector and acts as one too. Additional features include a motion sensor to detect and alert you of any movement, a HD camera that can take pictures and remotely send them to you, with a loud alarm siren in case of fire or intrusion. Design wise, the unit can remain inconspicuous without effort. A back plate mount is used to attach it to the ceiling with a simple twist, and vice-versa to take it down.
The mobile app is what really wraps the whole experience by eliminating much of the setup required with IP cameras or similar security hardware. Matched with a wireless install, beginners can easily setup a Novi system in their home or business.
Through the app, Novi can send photos at request, and take a photos when the motion sensor is tripped, while simultaneously alerting you immediately. The siren serves a dual purpose of alerting you of smoke, as well as scaring off intruders. During an alert, the app presents you the option to call emergency services, ignore, or take more images. But in the case you don’t have your phone on you, Novi gives you to option to enter pre-determined emergency contacts to call as first respondents.
Price wise Novi is not that expensive when compared to home alarm and security services. The starter pack costs $249, and $149 for additional sensors without any monthly fees. Although the basic kit does not cost any additional fees, the success of their Kickstarter campaign is likely to spawn a more advanced unit.
And this is where we get to the downsides of Novi. First off, it can only take high definition pictures, not to be confused with video, and most security systems nowadays provide video streaming by default. I would have really liked to see the first unit come with a video camera versus pictures only, but for security this should not be a problem since the motion sensor will do a good job of taking pictures and alerting you at the right time.
When compared to traditional home alarm systems, the lack of redundancy sticks out. For one, the Novi unit itself operates solely on battery without any backup capabilities, and cannot be optionally connected by AC. Furthermore, no land line or cellular network connectivity can be added, meaning that if the unit cannot connect to your wireless internet, or your connection goes down, so does the Novi.
Novi is extremely easy to install and setup. The wireless unit and out of the box mobile app software bridges the ability for any homeowner to quickly install a Novi security system. The price point is also great, but justified by its lack of capabilities needed to make it a solid, fully reliable security system. The DIY aspect is headed in the right direction, and hopefully newer models will tackle the issues, but solely relying on having an internet connection scares me off, unless you have full redundancy on your network. At that point, all you need to be worried about is battery life. But again all is not lost, having more than one sensor around the house mostly solves the issue. So, overall, for the cost I do think the Novi is a great solution for many, and at a minimum, a good complimentary security unit for your existing system.