Next up in our Feature Spotlight series—check out our last one on air monitoring and home health—we’re talking about another feature we’ve built into Canary, how it works, and why. Today, we’re walking through how multiple people in a shared living space can easily and securely access a single Canary device. This not only lets families and roommates stay better connected to one another, it also gives every member of a household access to the same real-time information about what’s happening at home.
How Canary does it
When you set up your Canary, you’re prompted to invite other members of your household to share access. Each person is invited to Canary by email, and directed to create a unique account that’s tied to their own email address and phone number. Then, within the Canary app you will all have equal access to what’s happening at home. If everyone’s away and Canary detects unexpected activity in your home, you’ll all receive an alert. This way, everyone has access to the same real-time information and can—if necessary—take action regardless of where they are in the world. And if everyone misses a notification, Canary will escalate the alert to their backup contacts. When you respond to the alert—either by dismissing it or contacting the authorities through the app—every other user can see how you responded. You and other users can leave comments on an event to let everyone else know what happened or to start a conversation around it.
Canary makes arming and disarming easy, too. As long as one user is home, the device will stay disarmed until everyone leaves (or until someone manually changes the mode). Similarly, Canary will arm if everyone is gone, but will automatically disarm when any member of the household comes home. And if one person manually changes the mode, everyone else will be able to see which user changed the mode and when.
Location is used for more than just automatically changing modes. The main screen in the Canary app displays all the members of that location and indicates who’s home by placing a green home icon beside that user’s photo. That way it’s easy to get in touch with someone you know is home.
To better understand how this works, let’s look at a few examples:
- Adam, Chris, and Jon are roommates in an apartment in Brooklyn. They all leave for work in the morning and Canary automatically switches to armed mode. During the afternoon, Canary detects unexpected motion in the kitchen and sends notifications to all of their smartphones. Jon is the first one to see the alert, and he opens up the app; he sees that their landlord let himself in to fix a broken sink that the guys had reported the day before. Jon dismisses the alert, and Chris and Adam’s timeline reflect that the event has been reviewed, and everything’s okay.
- Erin and Ryan are married and have an eight-month old baby, Ruby. Ryan stays home one morning to take care of the baby while Erin goes to work. Later in the morning, Ryan leaves home with Ruby—automatically arming Canary—to meet Erin for lunch near her office. After lunch, Erin gets back to work and opens up the app to see that Ryan got home 10 minutes ago. She taps the watch live button and sees Ryan playing with Ruby on the living room floor. Erin wants to remember this moment and flags the clip so she can easily go back and re-watch it.
The implications of multiple users
Real security is about more than sensors and sirens; it’s about having access to information in real-time, all the time. It’s about staying connected to those you care about and watching out for each other. An IP camera alone can’t do this, but Canary is more than just a camera. A system designed for multiple users lets you know more about the people you love, rather than just the stuff you love. Canary builds off of the pre-existing relationships and trust between people in a home, making it easier for everyone to stay safe and care for each other.