There are plenty of home security units out there. There are some home automation units too. Not many combine that, and do it well. Piper NV, the update on the Classic Piper, has a good go at it. A camera that provides a 180 degree view, both in the day and night, throws in a bunch of sensors such as temperature and motion detection, and allows 2 way audio are the highlights of this device. On top of that, it can also connect to any Z-Wave accessories. This includes power plugs as well as door/window sensors that detect when a window or door is open.
Look and feel
The Piper NV unit itself is a pretty good looking device. It looks like a fancy speaker or box, with a camera and sensor sticking out the front. A green LED lets you know what’s going on, as well as speakers on top and bottom. The device can be mounted on a stand, or be fixed to walls/surfaces using a bracket.
Inside, you can insert batteries, or run it off of a DC Supply.
Like most such devices, this mostly runs on the app. The setup starts with you plugging the device in, and then installing the app. You set up an account, and the app looks for this device. After that, you are good to go.
I have noticed a lot of reviews that mentioned connectivity issues, but I had none. It may have something to do with the fact that I used it on Android, but I can’t comment on the troubles.
The app lets you watch live video, as well as vitals. It also gives you a basic status output.
In the app, you can also control your Z-Wave accessories (switches you can turn on or off), or set Rules when you are at home, when you are out, and when you are actually away.
The accessories take a little time to connect to the app. This was not as straight forward as the original setup, but after a bit of ‘looking around’, the device paired with the accessories. After that, you can use the ‘Controls’ tab to turn the switches on or off, and the Dashboard normally reports to you when there is anything opening or closing, if you have the Door/Window sensor.
Of course, the accessories are extra to buy, but important for the ‘home automation’ element of the device.
The video is pretty good, and available in both day and night modes. The day mode is full HD, and it gives a great fish eye 180 degree view all around. The night mode works fairly well, and like any other night mode it looks black and white.
Live video is particularly useful if you have any alerts, and you can check what is going on at home, wherever you are. The video was able to stream perfectly on both 4G and via WiFi connection.
While the standard mode is to run this off of AC (as in plugged in), you can also run this off of batteries. Every time the power turns off, you get a notification on your phone to let you know. This could be an accidental unplugging or turning the power off, or something worse like a blown fuse or even a sinister act. The battery power means that the device will still work even in those conditions.
The battery lasted about 20-30 hours, so just over a day, but it should be enough to work in that critical time.
More information on the Piper NV can be found on their website:
It is available on various online retailers, including Amazon:
It is available in White and black, and starts from £230.
A good looking device that delivers what it promises. The price is a bit on the higher side, but with the ability to add accessories, this is a great option.