When the new wave of surveillance cameras and home automation systems debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Piper set itself apart by melding the two more seamlessly than any other product at the show. Its sterling camera quality alone deserved recognition; but the steady stream of products blending home security and automation that followed throughout 2015 drew from an obvious source. Piper did something big, and it did it well.
Crucial to the success of the Piper system is its Z-Wave functionality. Z-Wave is a separate protocol from Bluetooth and wi-fi, meaning that the system functions independently from day-to-day internet activities. You can stream Game of Thrones via Chromecast while your kid plays League of Legends and your other kid blasts Taylor Swift over a Bluetooth speaker — and never the twain shall cause a buffering wheel to spin.
Surprisingly, Z-Wave functionality is the least common feature among Piper’s imitators. The rest of Piper’s innovations are likely familiar to you if you’ve shopped around for home security solutions lately. Up to five Piper cameras can operate in synchronization with Piper appliance controllers and sensors. The cameras and sensors use an algorithm that learns what motions, sounds, temperatures, humidities, lighting conditions, and appliance uses are typical for any time of day; each mode can be customized to send notifications to select family members’ smartphones according to which of those events occurs. For instance, it may be normal for the kids to get home before their parents. “Away” mode can be set accordingly such that the 105dB siren won’t sound when they traipse through the front door. Meanwhile, you can set Piper to call you or send a push notification along with sounding the alarm on “vacation” mode, since the whole family will ostensibly be gone. Additionally, you can set automated schedules for appliances and lights to switch on and off for convenience or energy conservation.
Unique to the Piper NV is the night vision feature, which comes along with improved camera resolution (3.4MP rather than the 2MP Piper Classic). All other features are present, but if you’re serious about home security, you’ll spring for the night vision. Whatever your preferred price, you’ll be investing in a robust system that will only get stronger. getpiper.com
Resolution: 2458×1382 HD
Field of View: 180 degrees
Battery Life: AC powered; 3 AA battery backup
Data Security: 256-bit SSL encryption
Connection: 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi; Series 500 Z-Wave Controller