Due to a couple of hurdles, Canary units won’t arrive until “this summer,” but to tide us over, the team has given us our first real look at the complementary smartphone application.
So, when you first receive your Canary, you must pair it to your Wi-Fi and your smartphone. Rather than go through some painful process, the company set it up so that you can pair the unit with the smartphone and connect the Canary to the Internet by simply using a standard audio cord, which is included with the device.
Once you’re paired, you create a user ID and password and you’re essentially done. From there, the Canary will give you constant access to a live video feed of your home, as well as reads on temperature, air quality, noise, etc. But you can have even more control.
Canary lets you sync up to four different units in a single location to get a clear view of every room in the house. You can also set up multiple Canary units in different locations to keep a lookout on your house and your office, for example.
For each location, the user can assign contacts as either primary or backups. Primary users (most likely family members of roommates) have complete access to the Canary system at any time, and get notifications if anything is awry. Backups are usually neighbors or close friends who will not have anytime access to the live video, but will be next in line if you don’t respond to a notification. That way, friends and neighbors can rescue your cat if there’s a fire while you’re at work, or call the cops if someone is breaking in and you don’t respond to your notifications.
The app also has different modes: “Home”, “Away”, “Privacy” (which stops recording and monitoring) and “Vacation.” Canary already knows when you’re home and away, and you have complete control over the vacation and privacy modes.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Canary app is the ability to flag events. I asked the founders why anyone would need to save recorded clips of “motion events” on their smartphones, as it seems you would either act on them or not need them anymore. However, Canary realizes that not every event has to be a bad one.
Maybe Canary picks up your kid’s first steps, or catches a special moment in your life and you want to hold on to that. By flagging the event in the Canary app, that moment is saved and can be downloaded to your computer.
Canary doesn’t ship until this summer, but the team is still taking pre-orders here.