You can organize most of today's home security offerings into two groups -- do-it-yourself kits likeand and contract-based professional services like and .
There are a handful of hybrid systems, though (and , for instance), that merge easy install DIY-ness with advanced security features such as professional monitoring. But, many either lack open protocols for third-party integration or their "optional" monthly fees are required for viewing saved video clips and enjoying other security and automation basics.
Abode is a new hybrid system -- introduced today via Kickstarter by a former ADT employee -- that's trying to enhance this growing home security category with a suite of products, promised partnerships with as well as smart , and manufacturers and highly flexible professional monitoring fees.
The Abode kit includes a gateway, or hub, complete with RF, Z-Wave and ZigBee platforms, a 95-decibel speaker, battery backup and 3G backup. According to the Abode team, the hub was designed with future software upgrades in mind so it should be fairly easy to access any add-on features.
It also comes with two cameras. The wide-angle "motion" camera is supposed to use infrared tech to take a bunch of RGB photos whenever it detects activity; it relies on three AA batteries and is expected to last for as long as five years.
The "streaming" camera, on the other hand, is designed to capture video clips of security events that you can save on Abode's cloud server (there's no local storage option) and review on-demand on the Android or iOS mobile apps or on the Web app.
You'll also get two lithium-ion-powered door/window sensors for targeted motion detection in particularly vulnerable spots throughout your home. These sensors operate on an RF frequency, and Abode claims that each battery will last for more than a decade. If true, that's pretty impressive.
And, while you're supposed to be able to arm and disarm the Abode system based on the location of your phone, you should be able to use the included key fob for manual arming/disarming.
Better than ADT?
Abode co-founder and CEO Chris Carneyis an ADT alum who wanted to develop a strong security system that didn't lock folks into a contract. The result, according to the team, is a more customizable system that lets you opt in to professional monitoring for the 2 to 3 weeks that you're on a trip and opt-out again when you return home (month-long monitoring will set you back $30; it's unclear if Abode prorates for shorter durations).
The team has raised just over $5,000 so far and has a ways to go to before reaching its $100,000 campaign goal. But backers still have 44 days to snag their own Abode system with a minimum contribution of $199 (the post-Kickstarter retail price is $399). This kit is only available in the US, and units are slated to ship starting in August.