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a Canary in Every Coal Mine

Checking in on your home with Canary

Canary is a single device that contains an HD video camera and multiple sensors that track everything from motion, temperature and air quality to vibration, sound, and activity to help keep you, your family and your home safe.

This is an absolutely brilliant product and a market that is just beginning to be realized. Smart learning thermostats like the Nest, portable environmental monitoring Cubes and personal weather stations from Netatmo that observe and monitor air quality are already taking home automation and monitoring out of the garages of Arduino nerds and putting them into the homes of the less-nerdy but still geeky.

Canary can notify you when people enter and leave your house, and records videos of anomalous activity. It has alarms and push notifications. It monitors allergens and temperature in addition to humidity.

How many homes have you been in that leveraged X10 lighting controls and switches? How many families have no idea what the hell an “exten” even is? These gizmos and the Canary in particular are exactly what is needed to allow people to really make use of this type of technology without shitting up their homes with haphazard Rube-Goldberg-and-wire projects.

Ignoring the DVR, night vision, behavior learning and environmental monitoring, the best part about Canary is probably that it’s all contained in a cylinder that looks like a piece of modern art, costs USD$200 and doesn’t involve drilling holes into your rented apartment.

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iPhone can now IFTTT!

There is now an iPhone app for IFTTT, allowing you to create new recipes for automatic actions and event logging. Rather than relying on a third party notification service you can now opt to use notifications to the IFTTT App.

IFTTT1 is one of my favorite web services — I use it to dump ADN2 and Facebook status messages I’ve written into a Google Drive document, send CERT advisories to my iPhone via Prowl, and one of my favorites: starred posts on ADN, pinboard3 bookmarks marked “to read” and saved articles in Feedly get saved to Evernote and Pocket.

Having said that, IFTTT is my current achilles heel and I am hoping that they find a way to make sure some reasonable continuity of business is in the cards through some sort of service model. I would pay for the service as it is, especially now that my hot selfies can be auto-posted to my tumblr.

As with everything IFTTT, you’ll have to get creative to truly take advantage of the service’s three new channels: Photos, Reminders, and Contacts. For example, you could have IFTTT create a new Google Calendar event every time you add a contact, so you can keep track of when you meet people, or you could have IFTTT post every selfie you take to a Tumblr blog you’ve created. Yep, there’s an IFTTT trigger that activates only for photos taken using your phone’s front-facing camera. You can optionally receive push notifications when any of your recipes run their course.
The Verge


  1. if this, then that: ifttt.com 

  2. app.net – http://app.net/ 

  3. Great bookmark service: pinboard.in