The Piper security system consists of one wide angle HD video camera and sensors. The device is elegant and simple, standing about 6” high on a metal base. My unit is white, though it comes in black as well, and would fit perfectly on a table or counter, or perched on a bookshelf.
It has a built-in Z-Wave controller for motion detection, a microphone and a speaker, which means you can monitor everything going on in your home when you’re not there.
Setting up Piper was super easy. I plugged the device into the outlet, and followed the directions to connect it to my home W-Fi. Within minutes, I had a picture of my home office on my iPad screen. You can zoom, tilt and pan for a wider angle of the live video though the Fisheye lens captures a lot.
Piper uses Z-Wave technology which means it can only work with other Z-Wave-enabled devices. There are many plug-in modules available, such as motion sensors, open/close sensors and more. The idea being any device will work as long as it’s based on the common Z-Wave standard. Translation: it can only speak one language.
That actually makes it an appealing option for those new to home automation. There’s no worry about making sure one device can talk to the others. As long as it’s Z-Wave, it works. Adding devices was easy. You simply press a button on the accessory you want to connect and name it in the Piper app (iOS or Android).
From there, you can create rules for turning on lights or tell it what to do when motion is detected. (It will record when motion is detected and store it so you can go back to it.) For instance, you can ask Piper to call, text or email you, or if you’re on vacation, you can have Piper contact a pre-determined friend or neighbor.
Piper is the kind of device I would get if I lived in an apartment as it’s easy to install, has no monthly fees, and can be moved to a new apartment with no hassle. It’s also an amazing device to consider for older relatives who live alone.
In fact, it’s so easy I’m considering putting one in my Mom’s apartment so I can check on her. If I can’t reach her and I want to know if she went out, I can log into the app and see the most recent recorded videos of her entryway. I can also set it up so that when her front door opens, her living room lights turn on, something she has a difficult time doing.
My sisters could also log into the app if I were away, or get notified if the temperature changes or there’s been no motion for a certain period of time.
You’d have to spend a lot more to buy the features separately and you can always add on new Z-Wave accessories to build out your connected home using Piper. For renters it’s an ideal option. For $239 Piper offers a well-done home security system along with a pathway to the Internet of Things.