Canary Backer & Pre-Order Update – April 18
Big news from Canary – the product is a motion detecting, video capturing, sirening beauty!
It was a milestone week at Canary HQ. We finalized the hardware, connected it with the mobile app, and ran a full demo in the office. We tested motion capture, notifications, real-time video, sensor readings and much more. While there are still a few things we want to polish up, we’re getting really close to having something we can’t wait to put in your hands. Our biggest goal now is making sure the experience is top notch. That means simple, stable, and intelligent.
Hardware & Shipping Update
As you heard above, the hardware has been finalized, which means that final components and boards are being assembled as we speak. We have a look and feel for the product that we’re really happy with, and we’re in the middle of locking down the packaging so that you’re impressed even before you set Canary up.
Over the past two weeks, our hardware team solved a few key issues that affected Canary’s ability to dissipate heat and accurately detect temperature, humidity, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We’re excited to have workable solutions and we’ve already incorporated these improvements into production. You can see the new heat sink (the silver aluminum piece) below.
In addition to installing a heat sink we are also optimizing the position of the temperature, humidity, and air quality sensors in the bottom PCB to thermally isolate them and also allow them to be as close to the environment outside of the device as possible. Here’s what the new sensor enclosure looks like:
When will we ship? As you can imagine, hardware changes this close to pre-launch, even minor ones like this, affect our ability to Beta test and ship as early as we’d hoped. However, discovering these things before we go into mass production means two things: 1) you get a better product and 2) we meet the high bar we’ve set for ourselves (and that you, as our backers, have a right to expect from us).
Here’s our plan: Adam (our CEO), Chris (our CTO), Jon (our Design Director), and several other members of the engineering team will fly to China next week to meet with our Head of Hardware Engineering (who’s living there until the product ships) to discuss the impact directly with our manufacturer. They’ll bring updated units back to Canary HQ, our internal team will test them exhaustively, and we’ll post a status update no later than May 5th. All that said, we don’t expect this to push our timeline back more than a few months.
On the software side, we’re building Canary to be smart and usable right out of the box. Whether you decide to use Canary as-is or want to customize it to suit your comings and goings, here’s a little insight into one of the ways that we’re making that happen.
Canary has four distinct modes that can be controlled and customized within the app: Home, Away, Vacation, and Privacy. Depending on the mode, Canary will change the way it responds to motion or activity. For example, if Canary is in Away mode and it detects unexpected motion, it defaults to sending a push notification to your smartphone. Once you get home and Canary senses your presence, it automatically disables push notifications so your phone won’t buzz every time you move around the house.
If you’re going to be away for an extended period and switch Canary into Vacation mode, Canary’s siren will automatically sound when motion is detected. This same “auto siren” feature can be enabled for the Away mode. In both Away and Vacation mode, if unexpected activity is detected and Canary is unable to reach you, it can notify a designated emergency contact.
Lastly, we created Privacy mode, which completely disables video and audio functionality and shuts off notifications. Canary will still provide you with access to temperature, humidity, and air quality readings while in Privacy mode, so it can still safeguard you against a fire or a similar event.
As we test these modes, our goal is to create presets that make the most sense for a majority of users, while giving power users options to fit their needs. We’re optimizing Canary to be as intuitive as possible—to ensure it’s easy to set up and even easier to use.
To sum up, software and hardware are moving along and have taken some major leaps forward. Our team is working around the clock–almost literally, since China is 12 hours ahead of NYC. And while we wish we didn’t need the extra few months, we’re glad it means you’ll get an even better Canary.
As we’ve said all along, we’re dedicated to delivering a well-designed, well-built, and thoroughly-tested product that meets (and hopefully exceeds) your expectations. Continued thanks to all of you for helping us create such a radical new approach to home security!