iSmartAlarm rolls out new devices and features

Mel Martin
M. Martin|01.06.15

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I looked at the iSmartAlarm system last year and found it really useful and easy to install. I appreciated that, unlike most security systems, there was no subscription or recurring charges. Buy the gear, add more devices if you want them, and you're done.

Now the iSmartAlarm system has been considerably enhanced, most notably with a new camera called the iCamera KEEP, a smart switch for remotely controlling electrical outlets, and a new smoke alarm system.

Functionality

I was sent a sample system to set up, which was easy enough to do. An attractive cube (called the CubeOne) is the central unit. You plug it into a router port, and configure it via an iOS app. Then various smart devices can be added, including motion detectors, window sensors, cameras, and the new iSmartAlarm Smart Switch. As you activate each device it is recognized, and you can add a label, like 'Kitchen Camera' or 'Front Window'.

The new camera, iCamera Keep, is quite sophisticated. It's designed to work with the iSmartAlarm Home Security System or as a stand-alone Wi-Fi device. It has 1280x720 resolution, motion and sound detection, and free on-demand streaming video control and cloud-storage, all with no fees or contracts. The motorized unit allows for wide range pan-tilt, night vision, multiple user support, as well as multi-iCamera support. Users will receive text, phone call, email, and push notifications on their smartphones in case of emergency or user-defined rules and conditions.

The new Smart Switch allows users to remotely control their electrical outlets, see when their lighting is turned on or off, ensure potentially dangerous appliances are turned off when not in use, and monitor energy usage. Automated schedules can be set up to secure the premises, to create the impression of a family at home, and provide physical safety so the user will never have to walk into a dark home again. Multiple Smart Switches can cross-communicate with other devices in the smarthome ecosystem to automatically turn on lights or other devices in case of a break-in.

All these new components worked well, and were easy to set up. Current users of the original iSmartAlarm system can add these new components, although a quick firmware update may be required.

Other new features I didn't test are the new smoke alarm which works standalone or can be integrated into the full system. The company has also announced compatibility with Z-Wave devices, allowing even further monitoring and interaction.

Cost

Pricing of the system depends on what components you add. A starter system that includes one CubeOne, two Door/Windows Sensors, one Motion Sensor, two Remote Tags, and iSmartAlarm stickers for added protection is US$199.00. A Premium package with an iCamera is an additional $149.00. Other devices can be bought a la carte. The new iCamera KEEP ships this month for $149.99, and the new smart switch is $39.99.

Conclusion

The already excellent iSmartAlarm system has been considerably advanced with new devices and services. It is simple to set up on your own, and the lack of recurring fees is a real plus. Everything is controllable remotely with an iOS app. The iSmartAlarm system can provide real piece of mind when you are home and are away. The fact that the software keeps getting updated for new features and new hardware like remote controlled AC outlets is a real plus.
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