Review of security system Piper – Observe and conquer

Review of security system Piper – Observe and conquer


    Organize unpretentious security system at home is not so difficult. You do not have to be a geek, and even hand directness does not play a special role: correctly matched DIY-solution will eliminate the majority of problems with the installation and configuration. System Piper – an example of such a product.

    The hardware part

    Piper – the project gets up on his feet thanks to national funding. The creators of a campaign to raise funds for the Indiegogo site about a year ago, and it has been very successful: the organizers wanted $ 100 000, and received three times as much. Greatly delay the official launch of the developers did not: in the spring of this year, the gadget was available to everyone.

    So, what is the Piper? At first glance, the rookie is another variation on the theme of “security camera for amateurs,” but not all that easy. Certainly, Piper can compete with any Dropcam, however, the subject of our review not only protects the house from intrusion, but also provides easy automation of the room, if you purchase additional accessories.

    The system has impressive dimensions, however, due to the unusual shape with a plurality of fillets, Piper does not look like such a solid. The housing is made of plastic, the upper and lower end of the insert are in the form of fine lattice.

    Color options in the gadget two – black and white. In both cases you will have to put up with glossy surfaces – it can, and beautiful, but need this beauty of the alarm system, which, in a good, better hide in the shadows? Authors, there are two types of positions Piper.

    To accommodate the gadget on a flat surface, you can use a stylish aluminum stand. When mounted on a wall, stand unscrewed, and in the course are far less aesthetically pleasing mount. The gadget is connected to the mains via an adapter to 7.5 W, but this is not the only source of power: in the back of Piper has a compartment for three AA batteries. One set is enough for 4-6 hours.

    A key component of the gadget – it is definitely the camera. In general, high-quality, but some of its parameters are ambiguous. On the one hand, the camera is able to shoot video in Full HD and has a viewing angle of 180 degrees – it uses the lens of the “fish-eye”. At the same time, Piper does not support night mode: the usual for such decisions IR LEDs, for some reason, there are no so dark, the camera is useless.

    The gadget is packed with a variety of sensors. In the first place, it is, of course, a passive infrared sensor, detecting motion within 10 meters. By default, the operation of the sensor in combat mode triggers video recording. Shot lasts 35 seconds, after which the resulting video is automatically sent to the cloud.

    The remote server can store up to 1000 files, and this service is free. In case of loss of communication with the router, Piper records video in its own memory, and at the first opportunity, transmits the data to a cloud server.

    Also, the gadget has sensors that monitor temperature, humidity and degree of light – they are used to monitor the condition of the premises, their testimony may be used in the establishment of rules of automation.

    Other important elements of the design – in microphone and speaker. This combination allows the use of Piper for two-way communication. And a built-in siren 105 dB that can scare off intruders. Piper works running ARM-chip TI DaVinci. The RAM is 128 MB, persistent storage has twice the capacity.

    We should also talk about the wireless modules. At Piper are two: Wi-Fi and Z-Wave. The first is used to communicate with the router and allows you to place the gadget in any part of the premises. Second module gives Piper the opportunity to act as a hub for other devices with Z-Wave.

    At the moment, the gadget is able to interact only with original accessories, but the authors promise that in the future their child will make friends with solutions from other vendors.

    The good news: despite the short period of existence and North American roots, Piper available in two versions – for the native land, and for Europe. The bad news because the operating frequencies of Z-Wave vary depending on the region, accessories for European and American versions are not interchangeable.

    In the Old World, a list of options includes a total of three points. The first gadget – a “smart” socket, made in the form of an external module with a through connection. This solution for loads up to 4 kW, which is a serious indicator.

    The second accessory – micro-module, built-in wall switches. With it, users can arrange remote lighting. Finally, Europeans available sensor opening the door / window – it is in the form of two independent segments, and is powered by a pair of AAA batteries.

    For the American version of the Piper also invited to the dimmer and the device, increasing the coverage area – probably soon these products will come with us. In fact, all the accessories are manufactured by Aeotec, but the creators of this Piper prefer to remain silent.

    On the pricing in Europe: on the official website price is 199 euros Piper, micromodules and opening sensors are sold at 50 euros per copy, and for the “smart” outlet asking for 60 euros.


    A mobile application for use with Piper exists on two platforms – iOS and Android. Features of both versions is identical to. The application interface has five key tabs – “Dashboard”, “Vitals”, “Live Video”, “Controls” and “Rules”. There is also a user has buttons to go to the fine-tuning, the complete list of the events and the list of captured video.

    Tab “Dashboard” – key. It contains keys switch between the three modes of operation (“Stay”, “Away” and “Vacation”), for each of which you can create your own set of rules. Resorting to these buttons often have: Enable or disable the alarm is done manually, automatic algorithms are not provided.

    Also page “Dashboard” displays readings embedded sensor and a list of connected Z-Wave-devices – they can be managed directly from this view. It also displays the most recent events with Piper.


    “Vitals” – this is a tab with the graphs that tell in detail about the changes in the last two days. The curves show the level of humidity, light and noise, as well as the mobility of people in the room. In addition, the page contains just two temperature graph – “inside” and “outside.”

    Last drawn on the basis of data from the Internet. Tab “Live Video” allows you to connect directly to the Piper and watch video from the camera in real time. Here there is a button to activate the two-way communication.

    If desired, the screen can display just four windows, each of which will display some shooting range in an approximate way. “Controls” – page create rules for the Z-Wave-accessories. Devices can be automatically turned on / off depending on the time of day and the sensors embedded in Piper.

    Finally, the tab “Rules” allows you to set the system’s response to certain events (operation of internal / external sensors, temperature) for different modes of operation. For example, it is possible to make the opening of the door in a state of “Stay” accompanied by the inclusion of the light and the start of the music center, and the mode “Away” – activation of the siren and sending a notification to the owner.

    The application supports push-notification, but it is not the only way to attract the user’s attention: Piper also able to send SMS / e-mail and even make calls to a mobile number. However, their own cell module with no gadget, so that all the options are based on the notification server manufacturer, and therefore, in the absence of the Internet, there will be no calls, no SMS.

    By the way, the application allows you to create a list of trusted persons who will also receive the notification. We should also note another interesting feature – “Bedside”. When activated, the screen displays the status of the system, as well as the big button to manually start the siren.

    The function should look and feel paranoid with a troubled sleep. Also, the creators Piper took care of the pet owners: a special option allows you to reduce the sensitivity of the motion sensor, so it does not react to small animals.

    Pros and Cons

    A definite plus Piper – ease of installation and relatively low cost. For 199 euros owner receives a full “secret police” and a blank for primitive automation system. If we consider as competitors like Piper camera Dropcam HD or Samsung SmartCam HD Pro, it may seem that the appendage in the form of Z-Wave-hub user gets for free.

    Alas, this is not quite right: the owner has to put up with the lack of a number of useful functions. Firstly, Piper does not support night mode that the security cameras, in fact, it’s strange. Secondly, the gadget is able to automatically switch between modes.

    Thirdly, the system does not allow the forced entry video. Certain competitive advantage can serve as an outstanding viewing angle, but on the whole Piper does not claim to be the leader in the segment of the security cameras.

    If we consider the gadget as a combined solution, it should be borne in mind that the purchase of additional accessories significantly increases the total cost of the system, resulting in Piper must confront already iSmartAlarm – another security system, owes its existence to krowdfounding. The latter has a number of advantages, but at the moment it is only available in the United States and Canada.

    We also note that, by the standards of Indiegogo-project gadget pretty quickly went on sale, but it has played a trick on him: at the time of the release of the software was raw, because of what users are faced with the problem of spontaneous disconnection Piper from the wireless network.

    For the device on which the safety of the property, it’s inexcusable. By the release of several firmware updates, the problem was resolved, but his portion of the negative system to collect in time.

    Buy Piper HD Security Camera:

    comments powered by Disqus