Piper

Easy-to-install home security device that connects to a smartphone app

Image: Hugh Threlfall

Designed and made in Canada, this is the neatest, most refreshingly modern, easy-to-install home security gadget I’ve yet come across. I used it on a recent three-week trip away when our house was empty and found it hugely reassuring and faff-free.

Wherever I was, I could peep into the room where it was installed and see – and hear – in reasonable quality what was going on via my iPhone. I could even vary the perspective as if the lens were motorised (it’s not, but it has a 180-degree field of vision so you can use your phone screen to peer around the place and zoom into specific areas).

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Seeing and hearing with the Piper isn’t all, though. You also get graphical read-outs of what movement the device has detected over 24 hours, what sounds it’s heard, what the inside and outside temperature has been, even the humidity levels. If I’d seen someone padding around, I could have shouted at them – or if a pet had been there, I could have said something to it. There are multiple other things Piper can do too, such as alert you to movement by text or email. And there’s a growing range of accessories you can fit around the house to talk to Piper (door sensors and so on), and for Piper to talk to (light switches, for example). Lovely technology, beautiful interfaces, close to perfect.

Our tech guru also singles out the SwannSmart ADS-450 with its 4m night vision and the Philips M120E In.Sight HD with its wider-than-usual lens.

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