Founded in 2015, Home8 is a newcomer to the industry that has brought ease of use into the do-it-yourself home security and automation market. The company has won many awards and received recognition for its innovation and comprehensive systems. Home8 is compatible with Honeywell, Philips, Nest, and IFTTT products, providing customers many options for their system. The Home8 Total-protection platform covers connected security, safety, video, care, energy, and automation control under one mobile app, and the Home8 cloud-app offers collaborative video-verification, in-view local 1st-responder calling, secure video privacy and user control for priority emergency response. Home8 offers affordable starter kit systems with easily expandable add-on devices, but they also offer free basic service.
Vivint has expanded its home security options to include some of the most popular features available to the smart home market. These include various security and energy controls to help homeowners monitor and protect their homes. Vivint is proud to have developed their home automation system entirely in-house, without relying on external sources to develop software, etc. As such, this system is designed to work together and boasts higher rates of technical problems which can result in a DIY approach.
While this approach has its strengths, there are drawbacks. All equipment which is added to the system must be purchased from Vivint. Additionally, the company's smart home services come with stringent service contracts, the terms of which are significantly longer than many of the industry leaders. Vivint is a good choice for those who already have a security package, but most may find the contract length to be prohibitive.
Oplink Security is a home security company acquired by MivaTek in 2015. Their Total-protection platform covers connected security, safety, video, care, energy, and automation control under one mobile app, and their cloud-app offers collaborative video-verification, in-view local 1st-responder calling, secure video privacy, and user control for priority emergency response. Standard monthly monitoring is free and premium monitoring costs only $19.99 per month. Supplementary services may be added for $10/month each. This home security company provides a one-year warranty on equipment in select regions.
AT&T packages basic home automation equipment with its AT&T Digital Life product, to compliment and enhance its home security products. While AT&T's smart home offering is limited to home security and energy saving features, it covers the basic expected features customers expect to get with the home security. AT&T Digital Life offers few packages which are designed to meet the demand for home automation.
SmartSafe DIY home security systems are self-controlled and self-monitored wireless home security systems with no monthly fees and no contracts required. The systems have WiFi and Cellular double connection with higher reliability. Free Apps for iPhone and Android smartphones. The systems can be easily expanded and customized. Indoor camera, outdoor camera, and video doorbell are also available and can work with alarm system together.
Nest was founded in 2010 and has become of the more respected names in home automation. The company was acquired by Google in January 2014, allowing Nest more resources to continue its growth. One of Nest's mottos is that it "(takes) the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things." The "unloved" home products that Nest focuses on are thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and home security cameras. Using a smartphone, Nest allows users to control the temperature of their home, monitor the air quality, and view/record real-time video.
The Nest products have received mixed reviews and customers seem to overwhelmingly like their Nest Learning Thermostats, Nest Cams and Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These products work together without the need for a hub, which is unique to the industry. There are several products which also will work with Nest to make one's home more connected. An investment in Nest can be more expensive than one with another product line, and some customers have reported significant wait times or problems with customer service.
Piper is owned and operated by a Canadian company, Icontrol, a company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Piper was introduced in 2014 and combines video unit and home automation interface. Piper also is poised to make some important upgrades to its app so that IFTTT will be supported; however, there are several limitations to Piper, including few monitoring options and communication languages.
Vera Control Ltd. offers home automation with their DIY system which consists of a centralized controller and products. Products in the home can be controlled from a computer, smartphone or wearable (Apple Watch). The company is headquartered in Hong Kong and was founded in 2008. Vera Control Ltd. was named as a winner of Electric House Magazine's 2013 Product of the Year Award. The system is able to communicate with most protocols and the company guarantees that any certified Z-Wave device will be compatible with the Vera controller.
The introduction of the VeraPlus resulted in significant back orders. Vera Control Ltd. has been proactive in updating their customers via their social media channels and promise that all orders will be fulfilled as quickly as possible. Vera Control Ltd. offers its customers a home automation option which is very adaptable and easily expanded and comes without monthly fees or a contract. Vera's guarantee of any certified Z-Wave product being compatible is unmatched.
The Iris home automation system was developed and created by Lowe's, a trusted hardware and home improvement store. The Iris home automation system is available online. The company offers a choice of two starter packages. It is significant to note that the Iris Hub, which is required to act as a bridge for all of the connected products and the user's smartphone. The system offers both a free and premium plan, with an additional medical monitoring pendant available for an added monthly fee and the cost of equipment.
Before its acquisition by Samsung in 2014, SmartThings got its start as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. After raising over a million dollars, the SmartThings product now includes a free app, no monthly fees, and a $99 hub, and compatibility with hundreds of smart devices from a variety of manufacturers makes SmartThings an inexpensive and convenient solution for DIY home automation.
Samsung then acquired SmartThings, adding its trusted brand to the product and giving the company the ability to continue to grow at the rapid pace which they have experienced since their humble beginnings. The Samsung SmartThings Hub is able to communicate with many products. Z-Wave, ZigBee, LAN and Cloud-to-Cloud communication is all supported. Additionally, unlike many of their competitors, the Samsung SmartThings Hub communicates on an encrypted channel which heightens the security of the system, making it less resistant to hackers.
While the starter pack is a bargain at $249.00, the cost of adding products to the system can be cost-prohibitive.Samsung SmartThings is a solid and innovative product for many aspect of home automation.