Home security and automation in a smart little package

Piper keeps your place secure, gives you a panoramic view of your home and makes it smarter.
It’s the first home security and automation device that combines panoramic video, Z-Wave home automation, and environmental sensors into a single elegant product that you interact with on your smartphone or tablet.

Blacksumac, however, believes it can seamlessly meld those technologies through its upcoming Piper hub. The device links both a fisheye camera and environmental sensors to a Z-Wave-based home automation system. Out of the box, it can watch for intruders, listen for (or produce) loud noises and monitor local conditions like temperature. Once Z-Wave peripherals are involved, you can program sophisticated triggers and responses: Piper can send a warning when a door opens, for example, or turn on air conditioning when it’s hot.

It’s roughly the size of a bookshelf speaker, and is stylish enough to look appropriate on a corner table or mounted on a wall. There’s both a microphone and speaker inside, and it has a battery backup. Blacksumac claims that Piper should last for hours of basic monitoring on battery alone, although a power cut likely means that you’re also without internet access

The pre-release iOS app (there’s also Android support) makes it easy to check the hub’s status, control Z-Wave devices, view recent events and set up rules for when you’re home or away. Alerts can reach individuals or whole groups, and you can speak directly to anyone near the system. Piper makes particularly good use of its camera’s ultra-wide angle lens — you can pinch to zoom into a distant scene, view a panorama or split the view into four controllable sections. The app will also let you control any lighting directly from the live video mode.

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