This DIY security system looks like an iPad, protects like a Sentri

Sentri units are available on Kickstarter now for $249, but pricing will increase by at least $100 once they make it to production. Kronosight

Kronosight, a startup composed of Asus, Acer, and HTC alums, launched a Kickstarter campaign on June 10 for Sentri, a DIY home security system with a distinct Apple vibe. Within 48 hours, Sentri had already exceeded its $200,000 funding goal -- so far, it has 706 backers and $236,968 in pledges. Contributions of $249 or more (the $199 contribution level has already sold out) earn backers one of the first manufactured Sentri units.

Sentri doesn't look like an IP camera competitor, but it has a lot of the same features as Piper, a highly rated all-in-one home security camera I reviewed in 2013 and Canary, another comprehensive DIY system that's available for preorder now and expected to ship in November 2014. The main difference between them lies in design execution.

Where Piper and Canary are controlled entirely on their related apps, Sentri adds a home screen interface where you can access details directly, like the current temperature, humidity, weather, light detection, and air quality. Each Sentri also has a built-in HD camera, motion detector, microphone, and speaker, along with night-vision capabilities.

Kronosight has plans to transform its Sentri units into hubs for third-party smart lights, locks, and thermostats, too. Right now, it lists Nest, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, and Lockitron as its partnered integrations. But since Sentri is supposed to be able to recognize any device with an open API/SDK via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, there's potential to add more over time.

Sentri has a height and width of 9.4 inches and a depth of 1.5 inches. Kronosight

Like Piper and Canary, Sentri is designed to be a straightforward do-it-yourself install. It's also supposedly equipped with a learning algorithm similar to the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat. That means that it should be able to track your usage patterns and adapt accordingly, sending you alerts when something unexpected happens (e.g., a huge temperature swing or a motion trigger).

This smart-security-system-turned-home-automation-hub has a lot of potential, especially since Kronosight claims to already be in communication with OEMs for production. Early contributors who help fund the project are scheduled to receive their Sentri units by May 2015. And after the Kickstarter campaign ends, Sentri units are expected to retail for closer to $350.

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Where to Buy

Kronosight Sentri

Part Number: CNETSentri

MSRP: $199.00

See manufacturer website for availability.