Smart Home

When preventing break-ins Korner’s in your corner

Premise. They say “home is where the heart is” but in most cases it’s usually where all of your stuff is. And while that gooey mixture of chili cheese fries proves you’re not interested in preserving your heart, maybe you’re more interested in safeguarding your stuff. But all that alarm and security talk gets real expensive real quick.

Product. Korner is a way to add a layer of security to your home, and was specifically engineered to be cheap and easy – a product combination we all need in our home security, our car insurance, and many many other outlets. Korner consists of a fob which plugs into your wireless router, stick-on door/window sensor(s), and an Android/iOS app. A combination of sensors in the “Tag” allow for the industry’s first one-piece door/window sensor. Up to 15 Tags can communicate via wireless protocol with the Fob and you can control the entire system using your computer or the app. Once an intrusion is detected, Korner sends you a message via the app so you know exactly which area of your home is being accessed; simultaneously a loud alarm emits from the Fob, to ward off potential intruders.

Pitch. Korner’s campaign video features CEO Steve Hollis speaking about creating an inexpensive home security system that everyone can easily use. He explains that Korner differs from similar products because the sensor is one piece, cutting down on complication, and is also better at honing in on the difference between vibrations and actual entry. Reading the campaign website you will find that the founders have a partnership with DAWN – Domestic Abuse Women’s Network – and encourage potential backers to support the organization by funding a donation of Korner to help provide security for those most in need. Other information provided on the campaign’s site includes projected schedule with production slated for November and distribution in December of this year.

Perks. For $79 you can purchase Korner for a women’s shelter. For $99 you can purchase a Korner starter pack which consists of three Tags and one Fob. Depending on whether you have a medium, large, or “very large home” there are additional levels of perks to secure, stopping at a $5,000 contribution which also names you a “Korner Supporter.” Paradoxically, for the deepest level of commitment, perks are vague – assumingly you would receive at least the starter Korner kit, but as a supporter you would have “influence” over future design details, add-on products, and can meet the team in Seattle (it’s unclear who funds the travel-to-Seattle part, though).

Potential. There is large potential for a product like Korner to become successful in the market. Citing the campaign video, adoption of home security systems in middle-income and low-income homes is much lower, while reported intrusions are more prevalent than in high-income homes. LILA is a similar concept sensor which features two pieces that needs to be aligned – going against Korner’s vow of simplicity. Other products like WataSensor or the Canary seem to rival Korner’s simplicity but do not match its clear advantage in affordability. While both systems offer a few more features than standard with Korner, consumers will need to decide whether the tradeoff is favorable.

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