It calls itself “The First Truly Autonomous Home Security System.” Angee is a home security system and a personal system, featuring 5.5 inch tall camera that spins all the way around. Angee ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and raised more than double its funding goal. The Angee systems are set to ship in October of 2016 (for now; we’ve seen kickstarter projects get delayed for months) to those who backed and preordered the product.
It promises a slew of features: full perimeter security, smart learning, voice recognition, motion sensing, streaming and recording, voice commands, cloud syncing with personal calendars, temperature monitoring. It seems like it does everything, covers everything. But before you jump to order this new technology, we have some concerns that we want you to consider.
It is unclear how Angee actually responds to breaches in security. It talks a lot about how the camera can detect motion and follow an intruder as they go about your house. It records it and livestreams it to your phone. You get a notification on your smartphone.
Is that it? Does it sound an alarm? Does it contact any authorities? What if you miss the notification on your phone? We silence our phones in meetings, leave them behind in cars, forget to check them if we’re caught up in something, and sometimes they die in the middle of the day. It happens. Are you supposed to be stuck to your phone 24/7 in order for this security system to mean anything? This information has been omitted on Angee’s kickstarter and website, but it’s such a crucial part of being a home security system. So for now, we’re unclear on what really happens when your home’s security is breached.
What is clear, however, is that this home security system is not monitored. Again, it simply sends your smartphone a notification. Maybe it will also send a notification to your family members and/or friends. We’ve seen that system before. Again, it’s unreliable and doesn’t replace a professional monitoring service that is alert 24/7 and has the ability to contact you, your emergency contacts, and the proper authorities as soon as your property has been breached.
Phone as Access
The way that Angee automatically knows to disarm or arm the security system is through bluetooth detection of your phone’s presence. When your phone leaves its range, it assumes you’ve left, and it arms the system. When your phone approaches it again, it recognizes the signal and disarms the system as you walk in. While this feature does sound convenient, it means that anyone who steals your phone automatically has access to disarm your security system.
10 Hour Battery Life
Yeah. 10 Hours. If you work 8-5 and commute more than 30 minutes each way, your home security system will die before you’re home. You recharge the battery with a cable, but who wants to have to worry about charging their home security system every 10 hours? That’s hardly peace of mind. You can keep it plugged in so that it constantly charges, but there’s not always a convenient outlet near the ideal location for a security camera.
The way that Angee provides perimeter security is through security “tags” that need to be installed at entry points. This is a pretty standard practice; you need to install door and window sensors for any security sensor. However, the sensors that come with Angee are anything but subtle. It’s a black, circular thing that sticks out of the door. Most doors have straight edges, not round ones, so this is sure to very noticeably stand out as an element of the room.
For comparison, Protect America’s sensors are sleek, small, and subtle. They take up a minimal amount of space, and they blend into the background; you wouldn’t notice it there unless you were looking for it. Your security system should be unobtrusive to your interior decoration, not an eye sore every time you scan the room.
Don’t be the Guinea Pig
With something as personal and important as home security, you never want to be Trial 1. There’s bound to be bugs and major areas for improvement—especially when it comes to a self-proclaimed miracle device that strives to do everything. All-in-one systems are often less effective than a network of specialized technology. Put your trust in a home security company that professionally monitors your system and doesn’t cut corners when trying to shove every functionality into a single device.