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Piper boosts its mobile app with Life360 support

Security extends beyond the smart home with Piper's new partnership with family-tracking service Life360.

Icontrol's Piper NV camera.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Icontrol -- the company behind Piper Classic and Piper NV, two 180-degree, 1080p high-def DIY home security cameras -- announced a partnership with Life360 today.

Life360 is a tracking app and Web service that relies on GPS and geofencing technology to pinpoint exact locations of friends and family members with Android, iOS and Windows phones. Send invitations to your "circle" and you should be able to monitor their comings and goings with relative ease, including receiving alerts when they enter or leave a specific area.

This basic service is free, but Life360 offers a subscription option for $5 per month (or $50 per year) that extends phone tracking to "dumb" phones as well. Life360 also has a channel on the If This Then That (IFTTT) online service, allowing you to create custom rules such as, "If everybody leaves home, then turn off the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch."

Piper Classic and Piper NV are highly rated DIY security cameras equipped with HD video resolution, motion and sound detection capabilities, environmental sensors like ambient light and humidity, two-way talk, customizable rules, a siren and a Z-Wave hub that can be paired with a variety of accessories, ranging from door and window sensors to connected plugs.

The news today is that Icontrol customers should now be able to login to their Life360 app from the Piper app and access an all-new feature called "Smart Arming." Smart Arming is supposed to harness Life360's tracking power and alert you when, for instance, all of your family members have left home but your Piper camera is unarmed. It will then prompt you to arm the camera.

Pairing Piper and Life360.

Icontrol

While Icontrol clearly packed a lot of features into its Piper cameras, it has remained fairly aloof in terms of partnering with other smart-home companies -- something that would give it even more of an edge in the DIY security market.

This collaboration with Life360 shows that Piper is open to integrations outside of Z-Wave, but it still has a pretty limited scope. My vote's for Icontrol to join Life360 on IFTTT. It would still be able to achieve "Smart Arming" through a custom rule -- "If everyone leaves home, then arm my Piper camera" -- and it would also open up the potential for integrations with other third parties, from Philips and Lifx to Nest, Amazon Echo and Belkin.