The SwannOne Smart Alarm Security & Video Monitoring Kit gets your connected home up and running with a smart alarm system and high definition wireless video recording.
The SwannOne app allows you to monitor and control your home from anywhere. Mobile alerts on your Smartphone or tablet will keep you updated when a sensor has been triggered, while the hub listens out for glass door and window breakage. The smart 720p HD SoundView camera will notify you if it detects motion, can be viewed remotely and can be set to automatically record footage, either to the hub or the cloud.^ Meanwhile the keyfob allows you to activate home, away and night modes at the push of a button.
Plug & Play Out of the Box
When you register with SwannOne you will have access to the Home Essentials Plan. This entitles you to the following advantages free of charge:
Email alerts, text messages and Smartphone push notifications for 2 users
Live video Streaming**
Real-time footage of what is going on at your home
Intelligent Sound Alerts
Includes access to the glass door & window breakage sound alerts
A user portal allowing you to control your SwannOne system & customize it to the way you like it - manage your contacts, personal details, change rules & more...
Expandable to your needs
To get even more out of your SwannOne system, you can select from a range of flexible plans which are available for purchase on a Pay as You Go (PAYG) basis or monthly subscriptions with no lock-in contracts.
The paid services will provide you with the ability to add additional users to your system, enhanced automation & rules capabilities, access to multiple properties, additional sound alerts, cloud video storage & professional services including centralized security monitoring.
^Cloud recording requires additional subscription.
*Additional purchase of a Smart Plug required.
**Additional purchase of a SoundView Camera required.
There is a growing range of competition in the DIY Home Security market, everything ranging from an app that turns those out-of-date smartphones most geek shave lying around gathering dust into security cameras, to high-end hard-wired kits that require you to run cable conduit around the skirting boards, unless you want to drill holes in the ceiling instead. But when it comes to kitsets made up of a loose cluster of interconnected wireless sensors and devices, there's only a few at present... and stepping away from the wired camera kits and into the new paradigm we see Swann's new home security brand, SwannONE.
As with all modular systems, you can choose to buy all the components, or a better and more economical plan is to buy a starter kits such as this one, then just add on the inputs and outputs you need to provide the best coverage. This kit comes with:
• The Smart Hub
• An indoor siren
• Two window/door sensors
• The SoundView indoor camera unit
• A keyring fob controller
There are also a growing range of other devices that will mesh into this network quite happily, including such things as a thermostat, outdoor camera, outdoor siren and smartplugs. While not the cheapest items, you have to look at what you want from your kit and what price you put on your security and possessions.
The Smart Hub is, as it sounds, the heart of the system, allowing the various devices to communicate with each other, and you to interact and instruct the cluster. It's quite subtle in terms of style - no 'Big Red Box on The Wall' here, just a slightly off-white, smooth-edged box with a mid-grey lid that sits on your bookshelve, coffee table, mantlepiece, or anywhere it is fairly central to the spread of devices. The grey lid is interesting, in that you can easily pop it off to reveal a cavity big enough for an external hard drive and a USB 2.0 plug. The only let-down for me was that despite much hunting, I couldn't find any way to activate this. I later discovered that it is a future-proof feature that will allow you to mount a hard drive for on-board storage of captured video. Presently, that content must be stored on a cloud-server service... which is something I am personally not too keen on. Roll on the upgrade!
If the Smart Hub is the heart, then the free-to-download smartphone app is the brains, allowing you to co-ordinate and configure the various devices in your network. You can do a lot with this - writing behaviour rules, tracking events and receiving notifications, seeing live-streamed footage from the camera(s), replaying stored footage, and potentially more in future... but be wary, oh traveller, for most of these features come at a cost. The 'free' services are basic, minimalist, and non-storage. If you want to track glass-breaking alerts, that's fine... but if you want to track any of the other dedicated sound-event alerts - car alarms, gunshots, violent altercations, smoke alarms or children crying - then you need to pony up for a monthly service package. Same goes for the footage storage - you pay by the week or month, and there's a new fee for every camera you want to track. The price-tag could get a wee bit out of hand very quickly if you have a comprehensive network and want it all 'awake'. Check with your insurance broker or agent as to which packages may off the best benefits to your policy.
Speaking of the camera... it's the 'black sheep' of the SwannONE family, being the only wired remote sensor. The motion sensor and door/window sensors all operate from regular store-bought batteries, but the camera requires a constant mains feed. That *is* it for the camera's wiring - communication is via WiFi to the Smart Hub - but that's something to keep in mind when you consider placement options. On the flip-side, it has one of, if not the most, innovative mounts I have come across, with a dish-shaped base and a rounded end to the camera, held together by strong magnets, you can orient the camera any way you see fit, and easily swap between table-top and ceiling mounting. Heck, buy an extra base and to relocate the camera between the two, just pull it free, unplug it, and click it into the other base. So easy! Be aware though that the video quality - at 720p live streaming - is moderate at best. I tried checking the live stream from a remote, free public system and the performance was no better than some of the cheaper options I have explored that bypass the Smart Hub and connect directly into my WiFi router.
Installation was a breeze - everything barring the camera came supplied with those Command Adhesive strips that you can remove by yanking on it's tail until it stretches and releases from the wall. A little cleaning of surfaces first, and care with placement, should give you what you need, where you need it, in under a minute per sensor/siren. The only thing to keep in mind is that the size of strips used for these are NOT sold in refill packs in NZ, so you may want to explore other options. God forbid, I got mine to work well enough with blu-tac!
Overall, while the kit has some definite highlights, it has more in the way of potential than it does appeal, mainly because of the severley limited free services - I mean really, asking me to pay for notifications is one thing, but requiring me to pay to activate a sound-event trigger that is already built in and firing off is bordering on just plain greedy. When you add up the cost of the hardware, and the monthly costs to get the really useful features 'switched on'... this unit is actually less value for money than a professionally-wired, monitored alarm system that adds tangible value to the house when/if you decide to sell it. I'm pleased to say I am keen, but I'm sorry to say I am not convinced. If Swann get more realistic with the pricing, give a few more freebies, and get the software upgraded soon to fix some glitches and open up local-storage then they may have a market-buster on their hands here.
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