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Smart Home

Subtle home security from a single Point

This smart, security-minded smoke detector will let you know if anything's amiss in your home.

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2014 has seen a veritable glut of security-minded gadgets on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, all of them looking to add some sort of sensor tech into your living room. One of the latest examples is Point, an app-enabled smoke detector with additional sensors capable of monitoring things like temperature spikes, humidity levels, and unusual noises.

Point's low-key design promises "a softer take on home security," and at a Kickstarter price of $79 (£50, AU$92, converted roughly), it costs considerably less than competing all-in-one sensor units like Piper or Canary . The obvious tradeoff is that you aren't getting a built-in camera -- though Point's team paints this as a positive, claiming that surveillance devices ultimately compromise the sort of relaxed atmosphere you want when you're at home.

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The camera-less design puts Point more in line with devices like the Quirky Spotter and Nest Protect , neither of which seem adequate as standalone security gadgets, and don't market themselves as such. To set itself apart, Point promises a robust smartphone app with fully customizable alerts. Along with the usual push notifications, Point can sound an alarm during an emergency, or glow a specific color to provide a more subtle alert when it detects something like cigarette smoke, or a TV turned up too loud late at night.

In addition, Point is promising IFTTT compatibility, which should open the door for useful integrations with other smart home devices, including Philips Hue LEDs , Belkin WeMo Switches , and SmartThings. For what it's worth, Point's also claiming to work with Lockitron to offer remote control over your deadbolt -- though most of that gadget's initial backers still haven't received their devices.

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With so many new security options out there, it'll be interesting to see whether or not Point's approach can pull away from the pack. As of writing this, the Kickstarter campaign looks to be well on its way to a successful finish, but we'll reserve final judgment of the product's merits until at least July 2015, when units are expected to begin shipping out.

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