One of the biggest hurdles in getting a security system is the time you have to spend setting it up.
First, you have to find just the right spots for sensors to achieve optimum coverage. Then you have run cables, enter passwords and configure integrations to get all your devices to work together.
But a new system allows you to just plug in a couple boxes to spot movement anywhere in your house. Aura uses a brand new technology to spot disruptions in Wi-Fi signals, allowing it to see through walls floors and anywhere else your Wi-Fi reaches.
They system consists of as few as two boxes: one base station and a receiver. You place them at opposite ends of your house, and the system monitors all the radio waves passing through your house, from cell signals to the Top 40 radio station in town. The strongest signal though is Wi-Fi.
Since it knows what a standard signal looks like, it can tell when there’s a disruption. By using two locations (the base station and the secondary monitor), the system is able to triangulate those disruptions.
But it doesn’t just alert you to any movement. Because it can sense any radio wave, include Wi-Fi, it can recognize your family member based on the Wi-Fi their phones are spitting out.
That also means you can easily add house sitters or cleaning crew to the system to cut down on false alerts. Plus, it can measure the amount of disturbance to differentiate between a cat moving around and a person, so pet owners can rest easy.
The system sounds ideal for people worried about the invasion of privacy that come with Wi-Fi cameras or those who are intimidated by complicated installations of many DIY systems. However, the current implementation does have some drawbacks.
For example, Aura has few options once it actually spots an intruder. Like many systems, it can alert your phone, ring its internal alarm or activate smart home devices through IFTTT, but it can’t call a security company or the authorities.
Also, since it relies on radio waves, it can be jammed with relatively simple hardware. However, it can still measure radio waves when the power goes out thanks to a battery backup, so it’s safe for a little while.
The Aura is just rolling out now and is available for $499.