Meet Flare, a fresh DIY home security contender

You'll find a ton of features packed into BuddyGuard's disc-shaped DIY security device.

Megan Wollerton

Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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Berlin-based BuddyGuard is finishing up a Kickstarter campaign for Flare, its new all-in-one DIY security device that looks like it's part smoke detector, part UFO. With just over a day remaining and more than $160,000 raised, it has already well-exceeded its original $89,271 goal.

Flare reminds me of Piper and Canary , two standalone systems that each come with a camera, a siren, sensors and various other security features.

BuddyGuard's version includes a 1080p camera, motion, tamper and temperature sensors, a microphone, a speaker and a siren. It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0-enabled and it has a 3G cellular module for uninterrupted access whenever your Internet is spotty. And, you can either power it with a wall plug or with rechargeable lithium ion batteries (the batteries are supposed to last up to three weeks with "normal usage").

Setup is supposed to be easy, too. Flare has a magnetic base that's designed to stick to most surfaces with adhesive tape. Then, you just have to stick Flare to its base.

According to BuddyGuard, Flare can tell the difference between you and an intruder and will automatically turn its camera and microphone off if it recognizes your face -- and back again on if it sees someone that its database doesn't recognize. It's also supposed to respond to voice commands, so you should be able to tell it that you'll be away on vacation for a week and it will know to stay active the whole time.


But, you should also be able to use geolocation if you forget to tell Flare that you're leaving. This feature is supposed to access your phone's location to determine whether you're home or away and arm your system accordingly. You can access these various features on Flare's companion Android and iOS app. In addition to its own app options, BuddyGuard has plans for an IFTTT channel as well.

You've missed your chance for an "Early Bird" $195 Flare, but you can still reserve one for $229 (about £149 and AU$300 at the current exchange rate). Units are available internationally and are scheduled to ship to backers this December.

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