Like some of its DIY home security counter parts, the original Piper was a successful product that began as an Indiegogo campaign in 2013. The product is now owned by iControl, and they’ve launched the Piper NV, their newest version. The ‘NV’ at the end of the name simply implies it has a night vision attachment.
This is the big upgrade to Piper, but we’ll cover the specs that are present with old and new.
What It Has
Piper comes in a glossy black or white finish. The Automation Bundle includes the old version of Piper and is priced at $319. It comes with a sensor and smart switch. The Security Bundle comes with the newer Piper NV, smart switch, and 3 door window sensors for $349.99. Up to five Pipers can be installed on one system, and you can pick up additional sensors and tools.
The product features a wide angle, fish-eye lens that has 180° view and panoramic view. It can pan, tilt, or zoom in whichever direction you need.
Its unit also comes with a built in sensor that picks up humidity, ambient light, ambient sound. One interesting feature that sets Piper apart from most options we’ve reviewed is its ability to give stats and graphs on home temperatures, humidity, ambient light, and sound levels.
It’s Z-Wave hub is capable of integrating with many other home automation devices, so you can use the unit as an overall automation hub.
Rules could be set up in the past to tell piper what to do when you were home, away, and on vacation, but the latest version of the app has updated to only include rules for when you are home and away.
The app allows users to add a trusted circle of friends to notify in case of an event, and it will send video footage if something occurs, and two-way audio allows users to communicate to and from the app.
But, Piper Has Problems
Piper is packed with a few problems. Similar to most products in the DIY and unmonitored sphere, Piper won’t call police if an event occurs. The device will only send you alert notifications and you’ll have to decide from there how to proceed.
It integrates with Z-Wave technology, but doesn’t have an IFTTT channel, and integration with many main automation services is limited.
Some common complaints from consumers are problems with network connection and app limitations, the siren goes off at random, and motion sensor issues.
A large complaint with Piper has been it’s choppy video quality, especially with the new night vision version that still doesn’t have very clear video.
Like its competitors, it’s a popular option because there are no monthly fees or contracts, but this also means there aren’t any options for professional monitoring and you pay a hefty up front fee for a basic package, and for any additional equipment that you may need.
Piper is a decent option in the DIY world, but for ultimate protection you should look elsewhere. Carbon monoxide, smoke detectors, and monitored service are essential to truly have peace of mind with home security. And with a large upfront fee, it’s better to find a service that can fit your needs and offer more protection.