Hive Sensors: A Review

At the start of the century everyone had dreams of the ultimate smart home, that made life easy and left you feeling secured. Now no longer a dream we introduce the Hive Home Ecosystem!

A specially cultivated range of products designed to not only bring security and ease but style and streamline everyday life. Within their ecosystem you can find smart home solutions ranging from thermostats to lightbulbs to security cameras, and today we are reviewing one of their most interconnected products: The Hive Motion Sensor!

 

Hive Smart Sensors

There are currently two different sensor ranges within the Hive Home ranges, Hive window and door sensors and the Hive motion sensor.

The Hive window and door sensors are installed on windows and doors and will indicate whether it is opened or closed. The Hive motion sensor however detects surrounding motions.

What do the Hive sensors do?

Just like it says on the tin these Hive motion sensors detect motion, however it doesn’t stop there. The Hive ecosystem is the pinnacles of smart sophistication as all their products interconnect, meaning that one well-placed sensor could open a variety of smart home solutions your heart can only dream of.

 

What can you do with the Hive Motion Sensor?

Using the Hive app, you can seamlessly integrate any motion sensors into your smart environment and connect them to any Hive devices to create ‘actions’. Actions work based on “if this, then that” to create a simplicity to smart living. Through the app, simply program one of these actions to include your new motion sensor and your away!

 

Security

Using the connectivity of the Hive app, once motion is detected in your home a smart notification will pop up on the connected smart devices to let you know of any suspicious behaviour and you can even take it one step further by connecting the motion sensor to other devices. Should you have a Hive View security camera, simply connect the two together so that if motion is detected near the front door, the camera turns on to give you a live view of what is happening.

 

Streamlined and Efficient

Struggling to find the light when you come home from work? Simply place a motion sensor close to your front door and set up an action where when motion is detected it will activate the hive smart plug that is connected to your hallway lamp, illuminating your house for you without even touching the switch.

The Hive motion sensors offer ways to create personalised smart home experiences that is tailored to the patterns of your life and which are going to best suit you.

 

What can you do with the Hive Door and Window Sensors?

As these are placed on doors and windows, these sensors offer great environmental and security controls that help to not only ensure that the security of your home is intact but to also help you cut down on your energy bills as well!

 

Security Notifications and Connections

As they detect when a window or door has been opened, you can keep track of who is coming in and out of your home effortlessly. Whilst at work your side door is opened, but not to worry a push notification is sent straight to your smart device and when connected to a Hive View camera placed in your hallway it automatically starts recording. This means that you can view the camera remotely from your smart device and see what activity has set off the motion alarm. Should the situation then call for it, using HomeShield you can call the local police, all from the app!

 

Energy Efficient and Money Saving

The Hive system is not the cheapest on the market, and for good reason too. These high-quality products can be a little bit of an investment to begin with, however the practicality, functionality and quality see you get a return on your investment. Save on energy bills when you create an action connecting your Hive thermostat with your new window sensor, so that when the window is opened your heating automatically decreases to not only save you money on your energy bills but also reducing your carbon footprint.

 

Placing a Hive Sensor in your Home

The Hive motion sensor is designed to be easily applied to any wall, corner or any other flat surface using the adhesive tabs which is going to provide a unique experience that fits to your lifestyle. Not only does Hive have amazing connectivity with the products in the Hive ecosystem but also to a select few other smart home brands such as the Phillips Hue Bulb.

 

Hallways

Placing a sensor in your hallway or entryway means that you can create a unique entrance into your home. Simply connect your sensor to a Hive smart plug or lamp with a Phillips Hue Bulb and when the sensor senses motion it will automatically turn on without even touching the switch.

 

Windows and Doors

Leaving the house in a hurry? You can double check all the doors and windows are closed from your phone for ultimate ease.

 

Landing

In a family home, you might have little children getting up in the middle of the night and wandering into the hallway. Simply placing a sensor just outside their door and linking it to a smart bulb or plug to turn on the landing lamp enables them to find their way without any bumps or tumbles. Within the app, you can even program the smart plug or bulb to turn off after a few minutes to ensure that energy isn’t wasted.

 

The Hive App

The control centre for smart home system is the Hive app. This app contains three different tabs that offer control, scheduling and monitoring of all the products within your home ecosystem and allows you to create ‘actions’ which tailor your smart home experience to your lifestyle and needs.

 

The Control Tab

This tab allows you to control all your smart products from one place. Should you want to turn the heating up or should you want to view your Hive View camera using live view, simply open the app and it will all be under this tab. Likewise, should you receive a sensor alert to your phone or smart device, it will be this tab that allows you to see which sensor has pinged and the situation.

 

The Schedule Tab

This tab allows for up to 6 pre-set time blocks to be set for optimising your smart products. In this tab you can create a system that is tailored to your lifestyle and not only is going to create ease in your day-to-day life but also help to save money on energy bills.

 

The Actions Tab

This is where you create those ‘if this, then that’ actions, where you can program certain actions to happen when a sensor picks up motion or a door/window opens. This tab gives you complete control to created personalised automations that will make things just that little easier.

 

Home Shield

Home Shield is the optional Hive security system that unlocks a handful of great security features within your ecosystem, all for a small monthly subscription of £9.99. Unlock features such as remote alarm access, friends and family access, intelligent alerts, live timeline, and voice control, just to name a few.

Homeshield is an optional service however we do think that for the small subscription price and all the benefits that come with it, we feel like it is the perfect system for those looking to fully realise the potential of a smart home and are looking to integrate a security system as well.

Find out more about the Hive Home Shield here.

 

Hive Home FAQs

Do I need a Hive Hub?

To allow for the connectivity of the Hive ecosystem, you must have both a Hive Hub and the Hive App. These two products allow you to pair Hive products together and with the other select smart home solutions. Unfortunately, without the Hive Hub the connectivity of the system is lost, and the potential of these products cannot be realised.

However, when you consider the potential of these products as not only a security system but also as a smart home that you can adapt to your lifestyle and needs, the cost of the right products for you is far outweighed by the value of the product.

 

What are the requirements for the Hive app?

If you are an Apple fan you will need ISO 9 or higher to operate the Hive app and a minimum of 4.4 should you be an Android user.

 

Do Hive sensors make a noise?

Hive sensors currently do not make a noise, however when paired with the Hive siren you can set up your smart security system so that when motion is detected when it should be the alarm will activate.

 

Can Hive control Phillips Hue?

Yes! Phillips Hue is one of the select brands that Hive is compatible with and can get integrated into the Hive ecosystem.

Blink Security Cameras

Security cameras are becoming all the rage in modern security systems, with a variety of brands offering different features. One of these brands offering a range of high spec cameras is blink.

 

What are Blink Cameras?

Blink is an Amazon owned company that makes home security cameras and devices. Their aim is to provide; affordable, innovative, and easy to use home security devices. Among their product ranges are battery powered indoor and outdoor cameras, the mini but mighty plug-in cameras and a wide variety of other home security measures. All these devices come with an impressive array of features that offer great security factors for every home

 

Features of the Blink Camera Range

  • HD Video – 720p HD video means that all images of your home will be crystal clear, with little blurring or distortion.
  • Motion Detection – when activated any motion detected by the Blink camera will trigger the recording feature to capture a short video clip of whatever is happening in your home.
  • Instant Alerts – you will receive a notification to your phone, with a video attached. So, you can see instantly what is happening to set off your blink camera.
  • Live View Mode – you can instantly view a live feed from your home in the Blink app
  • Instant on- this feature means that your camera will start recording within a fraction of a second, meaning you won’t miss what’s caused the alert.
  • Temperature Sensor – the Blink camera has a built-in temperature sensor, meaning you can monitor the temperature at each location your cameras are in (a good feature if you plan to use this as a baby monitor)
  • Auto-arm/Disarm Function – you can schedule in the times you want your Blink camera to be armed and disarmed. This means you don’t have to set it manually each day.
  • Multi-System Support – if you have multiple properties, a holiday home or use Blink cameras for your business, you can have multiple blink systems that you can control from one app.
  • Privacy Assurance – you can be confident in the privacy of your footage, it’s non-hackable and the hardware-based LED indicator light shows you when the camera is active, meaning you’ll never be taken by surprise.
  • Low Light Illumination – a great little feature is the fact that the advanced low-light performance technology means you will always have full colour, HD video, whether it’s light or dark.

What we like about Blink Cameras

Easy installation, a wide range of features at an affordable price and a 2-year battery life is a big claim from Blink but by all indication these claims seem to be true, which leaves us thinking that the Blink cameras offers customers great security features in a minimalist package.

 

Easy Installation

The standard indoor and outdoor Blink cameras are wireless, meaning that they are a piece of cake to install. Simply attach to the desired spot and you are ready to go! Similarly, the Blink Mini is compact and easily plugged in with an optional swivel stand for optimal positioning.

 

Compatibility and Integration

Blink cameras have easy integration, not only do they connect to Amazon devices such as the Alexas and Echos, but they also connect to hundreds of smart home devices using IFTTT. This means that they can be seamlessly included into any existing smart system, to create a network of security in any home and with the ability to connect up to 10 devices to the cameras you can ensure security from anywhere.

 

Affordable

With the outdoor camera sitting at £99.99, the indoor camera currently at £79.99 and the mini at an astonishing price of £34.99; the features that this range of cameras boasts far outweighs the price bracket and makes for a very smart purchase!

 

Minimalistic and Compact

Small and discreet, you can easily position any of these cameras covertly to ensure that your security device is well hidden should you wish to keep your spy a secret.

Blink Camera FAQs

Do Blink cameras record all the time?

Currently the Blink cameras don’t continuously record, however they can be set to start recording when motion is detected for any time interval.

 

What is the maximum distance a Blink camera will detect motion?

When optimally placed they can detect motion up to an estimated 20 feet.

 

How does a Blink camera detect motion?

The Blink Outdoor used infrared to detect infrared energy (heat) from people, animals and vehicles.

 

What happens if a Blink camera detects motion?

When motion is detected the Blink camera will start recorded for the set amount of time and a push notification will be sent to any smart devices connected to the camera.

The Future of Security 2021: Ring Indoor Drone

Here at Keytek® we are always keeping our eye on the latest security innovations and this one which was released in September last year really is taking the future of security to the next level. Introducing the Ring Indoor Drone, yes that’s right an indoor (!) drone!

 

“An innovative new approach to always being home”

That’s what Ring has set out to achieve with their new product. Their solution to the real problems that their customers are facing. One thing Ring couldn’t predict though was the worldwide pandemic and the fact that more now than ever we are all at home far more often than we’d ideally like. However, with brighter days on the horizon and our interest in new security technologies we’d thought you’d like to know where the future is heading too!

 

What is the Ring Indoor Drone?

The Ring Indoor Drone is a device that enables you to access multiple viewpoints via your smart device throughout your home. Rather than multiple CCTV cameras placed strategically around your home the Ring Indoor Drone is just one device, with one camera. As the name suggests like a drone this device fly’s like a drone around your home to capture multiple viewpoints. It is a flying CCTV camera, now if that’s not something from the future we don’t know what is!

 

How does the Ring Indoor Drone work?

As you guessed the Ring Indoor Drone is more than a flying CCTV camera, it is much more intelligent than that. The flying indoor camera is autonomous and flies through your chosen paths in your house so that you can activate it and check whether you may have left a window open, the stove on or if your dog has been sitting on your bed whilst you are at work during the day.

As well as having the option to control the Ring Indoor Drone to activate when you want it to it also will automatically fly around your home when triggered by your Ring Alarm when in ‘away mode’. This means it can capture a burglar in the act and enable you to alert the police straight away rather than waiting to see your home upturned once you get home.

Once the Ring Indoor Drone has done its job flying around your home it automatically returns to its base and slots itself in and begins charging. There’s not much you need to actually do to ensure it is maintained.

Ring have released a video on YouTube of how the drone works when triggered in away mode. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2jFN_QEcS4

 

Is the Ring Indoor Drone secure?

As with all smart devices the privacy and security of your device is paramount to avoid any attacks from cyber criminals. The camera is physically blocked when docked in its charging station and will only begin recording once in action. What’s more the drone can only fly in the paths that you set so it cannot be controlled manually by someone else. What about safety when flying about? The developers over at Ring had also thought about this to avoid any bumping into heads when you are walking around your home so the drone is lightweight with shrouded propellers and built-in obstacle avoidance technology.

 

How much does the Ring Indoor Drone cost?

Currently, the Ring Indoor Drone is not available in the UK but it is set to launch in the US this year with a price tag of $250. We were surprised at this cost and were expecting more but you will only receive the full benefits of the drone if you have the full Ring security system already in place in your home.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

If you found this blog interesting you should take a look at some of our other latest blogs including Hive View Outdoor Product Review and Burglary Statistics 2020/2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://blog.ring.com/2020/09/24/introducing-ring-always-home-cam-an-innovative-new-approach-to-always-being-home/

Keeping your Children Safe while Home Schooling

With the third lockdown firmly in place and Boris Johnson closing schools again, millions of children have now been told to proceed with online learning. Whether this be classes on Zoom, or using online resources, this means your child will be online a lot more. It is impossible to monitor them all the time and being on the internet can pose some threats. It’s important to educate yourself and your children about the possible dangers online and how to protect them from it. We will go through some of the threats you need to look out for and how to avoid them.

 

What is Online Learning?

Online learning, also called remote learning or home-schooling, is a method of school on which a child does not enter a school building or have face-to-face contact with a teacher. Your child may have webinars, e-learning, live-streaming or access to downloadable resources. Each school will have a different method when it comes to home schooling, as well as their own unique policies and guidelines for parents and students.

You child might also be using Virtual learning Environments or VLEs, this is an environment where children can access resources remotely, work can be submitted and marked online and can also give your child access to a chat function or messages boards.

 

What to Consider for Safety

Your child should never sign up for anything online learning related with a personal email address, the school should provide them with a school email address and password.

Make sure your child keeps their school email address and password private, they need to understand that it’s not safe to share these with anyone.

If your child does use a chat function or message board, you need to monitor this frequently. It’s important that your child knows what is and isn’t appropriate to write online; they shouldn’t be sharing any personal information for example.

Your child should also have an understanding of how to conduct themselves online, their behaviour will be monitored and anything deemed inappropriate or of a bullying nature could impact their future at the school.

Several VLEs have a separate app for parents that allow you to monitor what’s happening with your child’s online learning. Familiarise yourself with this, so you can keep track of what your child is doing.

 

Video Calls

As part of home schooling and online learning, your child may need to make video calls with their teacher, or group video calls with the entire class. Depending on the policy at your child’s school, one-to-one video calls may not be permitted, for staff and student safety.

 

Safety Considerations for Video Calls

Your child must not put personal details in the user profile part of which ever video call service your school uses. Make sure any location services are switched off.

Make sure you have installed the most recent version of the video call software, and be sure to update if a new version comes out. This means that you won’t have any security flaws in the application.

It’s easy not to, but its good practice to read the terms and conditions of the programs; Zoom, Skype, Teams etc. For example, Skype restricts the privacy settings of any users under 16. Even if you have your own account, make a new one for your child and mark them as under 16 for the protection to apply.

You need to teach your child that they cannot use these video conferencing programs carelessly. Contact from people they don’t know is not allowed, and make sure they know not to download anything from unknown senders.

Your child must never accept; instant messages, phone calls, screen sharing or files from people they don’t know.

You can download parental controls such as Skypito, to monitor and manage who your child communicates with. You can approve all their Skype contacts and even restrict calls and chats.

 

General internet safety

Given your child will be on a device connected to the internet for most of the day, it is likely they will have access to more than just their online learning platforms. Schools have content filters to make sure pupils can be shielded from inappropriate content, you will need to check your own content filters and restrict anything you feel necessary while your child is home schooling. These aren’t failproof, so you need to teach your child about why certain online interactions and websites are off limits to them. The Department of Justice states that 76% of internet-initiated sex crimes start in a chatroom, so these types of websites need to be on your restricted list.

Whilst being out of school will reduce the risk of your child being bullied in person, they are left vulnerable to cyber bullying. Once again having open communication with your child is the best way forward, teach your child how to effectively handle these sorts of situations. It’s important your child feels comfortable enough to come to you if they experience online bullying. If your child is old enough, you can teach them how to block and report anyone who treats them badly. You can look into software such as LearnSafe that can monitor and detect any online bullying and risky behaviour, if you are very worried.

 

To Finish…

While installing safety programs and monitoring your child’s activity online is a good way to keep them safe, the most effective method of protection is open communication and education. By educating and talking to your child about the dangers of being online, they can protect themselves and stay safe while they are online learning.

https://blog.nationalonlinesafety.com/news/safe-remote-learning-in-education-how-to-ensure-safer-use-of-technology

Internet Safety for Distance Learning