Lowe's smart home system can call 911 for you

You'll need to pay a $14.95 subscription for the feature, however.


If you own a smart home system, here's the worst case scenario: You're away, something has genuinely gone wrong and you need to contact the emergency services. That involves a frantic phone call and some worrying about how swiftly your phone's notification came through. Lowe's Iris has a different approach -- if you sign up for its premium plan, the system will monitor your home and call emergency responders automatically. You'll be notified through the app, of course, and in some cases be able to cancel or confirm before someone from the police or fire department is sent out.

The catch? The package will cost you $15 per month. There's no long-term contract, however, so in theory you could switch it on just for a special occasion, such as a work trip or holiday. Still, that's a pretty steep fee, although Lowe's says is the "lowest on the market for this level of offering."

For the price you also get Iris' cellular backup service, keeping your home system online in the case of a power outage. If you need a reminder, Iris is an open(ish) smart home system that's compatible with both the company's own hardware and third-party devices. You'll need the Iris Smart Hub, however, which has had some less than stellar user reviews.