Canary affordable home security device still hot sales item

With more than $1.9 million in hand, Canary is preselling its self- install device and is in talks with the ‘biggest monitoring companies’
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NEW YORK— Canary, a New York City startup that recently raised nearly $2 million through crowdfunding for what it calls “the first smart home security device for everyone,” says so many additional customers still want the device that it launched a more traditional sales campaign on its website today.

“We also have decided to continue to presell [the device] from our own site,” Adam Sager, Canary cofounder and CEO, told Security Systems News about the Sept. 11 preorder launch.

He said that after the 35-day crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo ended recently, the company put a button on its site asking if prospective customers who missed that campaign still wanted to reserve a home security device, also called a Canary. The company plans to have the Canary devices—ideal for renters because they’re affordable and portable—manufactured and shipped in the first six months of 2014.

In the past few days, Sager told SSN on Sept. 10, “Over 1,000 people reserved a device. Obviously, there’s a lot of interest here that takes us beyond the campaign, so we need to give people access to this and provide them with an opportunity to be part of this experience.” The price for each device will be $199, the same special price offered during the crowdfunding campaign, he said.

The company also is negotiating with some of the nation’s “biggest monitoring companies” about partnering with them to offer a 24/7 professional monitoring option to Canary customers, but can’t reveal details because no contracts have been signed yet, Sager said.

Unlike other systems that involve sensors placed around the home, the Canary is a single wireless device about the size of a can of soda that sits on a table and can be controlled from a smartphone or over the Internet. It has multiple sensors that take data from the surrounding environment. The Canary applies complex algorithms to the data to figure out the patterns of a household. That way, it learns not to notify homeowners of everyday events—say, a cat jumping on a table—but only of activities outside the norm.

When Canary launched its Indiegogo funding campaign in July, it set its goal at $100,000.

It exceeded that on the first day. When the campaign concluded, Canary has raised more than $1.96 million from nearly 7,500 funders, according to Indiegogo’s site. Most paid to receive one or more of the devices next year, but more than 100 people paid $5 each just as supporters of the product who want to be kept updated on it as it goes into production.

“We were obviously blown away by the response, first the response of course in orders but beyond that, the engagement, the excitement people have had about the product in general,” Sager told SSN. “It’s really the beginning of developing a community around not just the product but around this idea that there are different ways of looking at security and safety, especially in the home environment.”

He said people from nearly 80 countries participated in the campaign. Demand was the highest in the United States, but there were also a lot of interested customers in such locations as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Holland, he said. And in Latin America, he said, “we had a lot of really positive feedback how much this is needed in their environment especially in countries where … it’s less safe than in America.”

Sager said Canary also got more than 400 inquiries from distributors, stores and other businesses that want to “partner in some kind of way,” such as by distributing or selling the device.

Sager said the funding generated by the campaign will enable the company to add additional software features to Canary and also upgrade its hardware.