Add Arlo to the list of companies selling a DIY-install smart-home security system. The company, best known for its security cameras, will launch its system in the second half of 2019 and it’s centered around a clever all-in-one sensor unit.
The Arlo Multi-Sensor packs a magnetic sensor for detecting doors and windows opening and closing, a passive infrared sensor for movement detection, a moisture sensor for detecting water leaks, a temperature sensor, and a microphone.
That last one is capable of identifying the sound of a smoke or Carbon Monoxide alarm and, if it hears one, alerting the user to it effectively brings app alerts to older, non-smart detectors.
The little device adds a considerable amount of flexibility to a security setup. For example, if you buy a handful of sensors to monitor windows but then realize not all are needed, they can be redeployed to do other jobs.
The security system will use the new Arlo SmartHub, a base station that provides support for current and new Arlo security cameras and products from other companies that are compatible with the ZigBee and Z-Wave low-power radio technologies.
Arlo is launching a “Works with Arlo” certification program for device makers to get their smart hub products registered. It already includes Leviton, Jasco, Lifx, Philips Hue, Danalock, Yale, Schlage, Bose, and Sonos.
Arlo will sell its own battery-operated siren unit that can be used indoors or outdoors. The siren will sound when the alarm is triggered but can do double duty as a speaker for door chimes when used with the new Arlo doorbell.
And there’s also a remote control but not keypad unit. The entire Arlo security system is managed through a smartphone app and that’s where an arming and disarming code is entered. The Arlo Remote provides a shortcut around that, enabling people to arm, disarm and set perimeter mode.
A nice touch is a couple of user-programmable buttons on the top that could, say, be set to switch on and off the lights as you arrive and leave home.
Arlo will put the security system on sale in the second half of 2019. It hasn’t determined the price or exact availability.
By getting into smart-home security, Arlo will enter a competitive sector that includes companies like Ring and Nest, traditional home security companies, and telecom providers. Most base their business model on a monthly ongoing service charge that is typically around $30. Ring is the big exception, selling its professional monitoring service for just $10 per month.
Arlo said it hasn’t yet decided if it will add a professional monitoring option.
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.