A home security system has many moving parts. It’s more than just a camera and push notification app, but NOVI looks to bring together some of the necessary functions through a simple and sleek device.
Shaped like a standard smoke detector, NOVI packages a 4-in-1 security product that includes an HD camera, smoke detector, motion detector, and 90dB siren.
NOVI was birthed through a successfully funded Kickstarter. The company’s initial goal of $80,000 was raised in just six days, and they ended up bringing in over $175,000 in 30 days. They’ve mentioned expanding into other markets to protect people in other ways in the future, but for right now NOVI is their only product.
The home security market seems to be saturated with DIY options, so what separates NOVI from the pack?
The 4-in-1 base setups runs for $299 and an expansion pack is available for $179. This expansion is simply an additional sensor, and it needs the 4-in-1 to operate.
The sensor attaches to the ceiling and looks like a traditional, but sleek smoke detector. It does blend in with the environment, while the Relay Station (main hub) attaches to a modem via Ethernet cable. Aside from the Relay Station, NOVI operates without power cords or wires.
You set up the device on the ceiling using screws or tape, and its camera will provide a 170° view.
Similar to most DIY and home security products available on the market, NOVI operates via a smartphone app to send you push notifications and alert you if there are any security issues. Motion and smoke are detected, and if anything is sensed, a series of pictures are taken and sent to your smartphone.
Through the app you have the option of calling cops, ignoring the alert, or requesting more pics for clarity. You can also arm or disarm the alarm and siren. You can also choose family and friends to be notified in case you don’t respond to an event. If there is an event you can also set off the siren to scare off intruders.
One of the biggest appeals to NOVI is that there are no contracts or monthly fees. It’s cost is only the upfront price tag you’ll pay with purchasing, unless you opt for additional sensors. NOVI can sync up to six sensors to one relay station.
Photoelectric smoke detectors are used because they are more reliable than heat sensors when detecting smoke and preventing house fires. The fact that NOVI monitors for smoke is a plus, because not many DIY home setups do this. In most instances additional products have to be purchased.
The weight sensitivity will need to be changed if you have pets to make sure that false alarms aren’t triggered.
The product is portable, so it’s easy to move and relocate if you ever switch locations or move to a new house.
There’s Some Issues
There’s a fair share of positives for NOVI, but it doesn’t come without its flaws.
Many reviewers noted that the app and sensors are slow, and the device doesn’t hold reliable connection to the base unit.
Batteries only last one year under regular use (this is three pictures a day), but they will alert the app when they are low.
The camera cannot be adjusted, so its 170° view camera can only monitor areas in close proximity. Additional cameras would be needed for full home coverage. NOVI says to have a large coverage area, but placement will be vital to your setup, unless you’re interested in buying multiple sensors.
Cameras take photos to alert you of incidents or intruders, so unlike most home security setup there is no video recording or live feed. Only the last five pictures will be saved, and you’ll have to buy NOVI’s cloud storage to view additional photos.
Pro monitoring isn’t a default for the system. You’ll have to purchase NOVI + to receive the service. The NOVI + option will also provide cellular connection.
NOVI is a solid product. It’s sleek, modern, and decently camouflaged in your home. It’s a unique offering since it comes equipped with a smoke detector and it is fairly priced.
The downside is that you won’t have professional monitoring, and you won’t have any recorded video or a live feed. It’s product might be useful for users who need the bare minimum in security, but for the majority of people, an all-inclusive setup is the way to go.
Knowing you have professionals waiting to assist 24/7, and equipment that isn’t slow, will provide the true peace of mind that your home and valuables are secure.