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The Sentri offers smart home security with a personal twist


June 19, 2014

Sentri is a new smart home and security device

Sentri is a new smart home and security device

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Smart home and security devices like the Piper and the Vivint Sky provide a host of clever and useful functions, but can be tricky to describe concisely. The same goes for new arrival Sentri, though its makers claim that it's the smartest around. Users can geofence their home, check in on a live video and audio feed, monitor ambient conditions, view trends and stats, set up alerts for "irregularities" at home, control other smart devices, and even personalize its appearance to blend in with the decor.

In order to deliver all this functionality, Sentri features an HD video camera with night vision capability, a microphone, a speaker, a motion detector, an accelerometer and sensors for temperature, air quality, light and humidity. Based on the information it generates from these inputs and from its interaction with the user, Sentri is programmed to continuously refine its behavior.

The device itself measures 9.4 x 9.4 x 1.5 in (24 x 24 x 4 cm), and can be placed on a shelf using its kick-stand for support or mounted on the wall, and is designed to work pretty much straight out of the box. Users supposedly need only plug it in, switch it on and connect it to their Wi-Fi network. Sentri will then monitor the home and build up a picture of its normal conditions. Information is presented on the device's screen and is also relayed to the Sentri mobile app.

Once the device is up-and-running, users begin receiving notifications from Sentri. These could include information about home temperature fluctuations that might indicate energy efficiency issues or a potential fire, warnings that a door has been unlocked for a set amount of time or an alert about unexpected motion or noise that could signal an intrusion. Going forward, the number and type of notifications will be tailored based on user's responses.

Sentri's developers say that its simplicity, in the sense that it is an all-in-one solution and requires no complicated setup, and its intelligence, in that it learns about the user, are two aspects that set it apart from its competitors. While that may indeed be the case, there doesn't appear to be anything radically different in these respects to the aforementioned Piper or Vivant Sky devices. One area in which it does differ, though, is the option for users to personalize its look.

According to the company, the Sentri device, "is designed to fit into your home, based on your individual style." Where similar products can appear bulky and conspicuous, it says, users can customize Sentri with pre-loaded themes so that it fits in with the look of their home. The device's background, clock style and dashboard layout can all be changed based on the user's preferences.

Sentri is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for improving and finalizing its prototypes, and going into production. As of writing, the fundraising goal has been met and, for a pledge of US$249, backers can get their hands on the device, assuming all goes to plan.

The video below is Sentri's Kickstarter pitch.

Sources: Sentri, Kickstarter

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

Where is the added value?

Environment already set, controlled by thermostats.

I lock & unlock the doors, so for a pet sitter device that Fido will knock over, I guess that is why it needs an accelerometer, to let you know the exact velocity, and that it just died sending it's last video..

or maybe it has a tremor detection and tells you that your roof just blew oooooooooffffffffffffffffff.

Bob Flint

Hi Bob -- Wendy from Sentri here! Sentri actually provides you with more than just a view of your home's temperature -- track humidity and air quality as well and use the Sentri mobile app as a window into your home, regardless of where you are. If you own other smart devices (e.g., Nest, Lockitron), also view the status of those devices and control them from one single app.


Not very new idea, but hope better work.

Zilong Han

I like it. I wonder if it is compatible with my Venstar thermostat and my FrontPoint home security system.

Mark Keller
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