Smart Home

The Sense smart home hub uses common sense to securely monitor and control your home

editors-choiceOne of the biggest worries when it comes to using any Internet of Things platform revolves around security. With most technology out in the world vulnerable in a million different ways, the last thing anyone wants to do is introduce even more vulnerabilities to the most sensitive parts of one’s life.

To combat this, former members of Mozilla Firefox and Qualcomm have joined forces to create the Sense smart home platform. The elegantly styled glass device acts as an intelligent camera and hub for the home by leveraging the use of a wide-angle 1080p camera with infrared capabilities along with a microphone. By itself, it can recognize who’s home and send meaningful notifications about unusual sound and movement. Together with other popular IoT devices, it can automatically control devices like Nest thermostats, speakers, and televisions based on whatever preferences it learns from each owner — cutting out clunky smartphone use in the process by instead using voice and gesture control.

What really makes Sense different is its use of the proprietary Silk platform, which combines deep learning technology with completely local data processing within range of uniquely identifiable smartphones to ensure no one — hackers or the NSA — can connect to such sensitive data, all while users enjoy increased responsiveness. In addition, Silk’s open API guarantees a continually evolving platform with more and more functions as time goes on. Each Sense goes for $249 and is expected to ship by Christmas. Silk Labs needs $100,000 by March 17th, 2016 in order to be successful.

A centralized, completely adaptable hub-like smart home system seems to be the future for the IoT space. It not only helps consolidate disparate systems and devices but in the case of Sense, it helps to increase security. The MATRIX system has a similar premise as well but with the added bonus of being to replace a lot of the devices one would use the Sense with. But considering how malleable these platforms will be, what differentiates them now won’t necessarily be what does so later — and that’s truly exciting.

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